The facility will be the sole global producer of fuselages for AH-64 Apache helicopter delivered by Boeing to its global customers
Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited (TBAL), a joint venture between Boeing and Tata Advanced Systems Ltd. (TASL) on March 1 inaugurated its Apache fuselage facility in Hyderabad. The facility, spread over 14,000-square meters and employing 350 highly skilled workers, will be the sole global producer of fuselages for AH-64 Apache helicopter delivered by Boeing to its global customers including the U.S. Army, the company said in a statement. The facility will also produce secondary structures and vertical spar boxes of this multi-role combat helicopter.
The delivery of the first fuselage is expected in 2018.
Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman congratulated Tata and Boeing for taking this ‘bold step towards ‘Make in India’ and making this substantial investment in the defence space’. “The manufacturing of advanced defence platforms and being integrated with the complex global supply chain will help our aerospace industry acquire technology, build local capability, provide employment and become a global exporter,” she said.
“TBAL is just the beginning of Boeing’s future journey of partnership with India,” said President Boeing India, Pratyush Kumar. He further said, “As we progress, we see this as a major step towards future opportunities to pursue the co-development of integrated systems in aerospace and defence. Our partnership with Indian industry fulfils the goals of the ‘Make in India’ initiative and results in mutual growth and productivity growth for both India and Boeing”.
President, Infrastructure, Defence and Aerospace Tata Sons, Banmali Agrawala said, “Tata is a significant player in the global aerospace market focused on leveraging opportunities in global markets and reducing India’s reliance on imports in defence related requirements, 60 percent of which is met through imports. With the streamlining of the export regulation process under the strategy for defence exports (SDE) of the government of India, and with established capabilities and demonstrated deliveries, we are poised to emerge as a supplier of choice for global OEMs”.
MD and CEO, Tata Advanced Systems, Sukaran Singh said, “The inauguration of the TBAL facility marks an important milestone in our collaborative engineering journey with Boeing. As India focuses on indigenous manufacturing in the defence market, this partnership is testimony to Tata Group’s commitment to develop global high-end technology in defence manufacturing, making India more self-reliant”.
Around the world, more than 2,300 Boeing-made Apache helicopters are operated by customers since the aircraft entered production. The helicopter has been fielded or selected for acquisition by the armed forces of 16 countries, including India. Pertinently, the Indian ministry of defence finalised an order with Boeing for 22 AH-64E Apache helicopters in September 2015, deliveries for which are scheduled to begin in 2019.