Tata Boeing Aerospace (TBAL) has inaugurated its latest and advanced Apache fuselage facility in Hyderabad, India.
TBAL is a joint venture (JV) company comprising of Boeing and Tata Advanced Systems (TASL) established under a partnership agreement signed in 2015.
The new manufacturing unit will serve as the only producer of fuselages for Boeing’s AH-64 Apache multi-role combat helicopter, delivered to various customers across the world, including the US Army.
TASL managing director and chief executive officer 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.”
In addition, the fuselage facility will produce secondary structures and vertical spar boxes of the AH-64 helicopters.
The first fuselage produced by the plant is expected to be delivered this year.
Boeing has set up a competitive supplier base in India, integrated into the company’s global supply chain. Its aim is to provide advanced capabilities and readiness to the country’s military.
Boeing India president Pratyush Kumar 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.”
In September 2015, the Indian Ministry of Defence finalised an order with the company for the development of 22 AH-64E Apache helicopter units. Deliveries are scheduled to commence next year.
More than 2,300 units of the aircraft are operated worldwide.