AH64 Apache, world’s most advanced multi-role helicopter gets ‘Made in India’ link

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Leading aerospace company Boeing and Tata Advanced Systems (TASL) have joined hands to set up a facility in Hyderabad to co-produce helicopter fuselages and other aerostructures. The JV, named Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited (TBAL), has been established for producing Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopter fuselages and other aerostructures besides pursuing integrated systems in aerospace.

The Hyderabad production facility will be the sole producer of AH-64 fuselages globally. The AH-64 Apache is the world’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopter and used by the US and 15 other nations including India. Senior government officials said that the manufacturing facility is being set with up with an investment of over R400 crore.

“The joint venture between Tata and Boeing is a significant step in developing India’s capabilities for aerospace and defense manufacturing and becoming a global exporter. This is a clear example of the significant progress made towards ‘Make in India’ for defence,” defence minister Manohar Parrikar said after laying the foundation stone for the facility. He said the approval process for defence procurement with lot of indigenisation would be speeded up during the current financial year and hoped that there will be more ‘Make in India’ projects by the end of 2016-17.

In November 2015, Boeing and Tata announced a JV for manufacturing aerostructures and collaboration on integrated systems development opportunities in India.

This joint venture will create a manufacturing centre of excellence to produce aerostructures for the AH-64 Apache and provide affordable manufacturing capabilities to the global aerospace industry.

“TASL has developed expertise in manufacturing as well as in large scale systems integration work in the aerospace and defence sector. Our capabilities are further enhanced through collaborations and partnerships with leading global aerospace majors,” Sukaran Singh, MD and CEO, TASL, and board member of TBAL, said.

Boeing and Tata group companies have established partnerships in India to manufacture aerostructures for Boeing’s commercial and military aircraft. Tata Advanced Materials has delivered composite panels for the power and mission equipment cabinets and auxiliary power unit door fairings for the P-8I long-range maritime surveillance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft.