Global aerospace major Boeing and Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) have joined hands to set up a joint facility in Hyderabad to manufacture Apache helicopter fuselages and other aerostructures.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar laid the foundation stone of Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited (TBAL) at the aerospace Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Adibatla on the city outskirts on Friday.
The Hyderabad production facility will eventually be the sole producer of AH-64 Apache helicopter fuselages globally. “The joint venture between Tata and Boeing is a significant step in developing India’s capabilities for aerospace and defence manufacturing and becoming a global exporter. It is part of the reforms NDA government has taken for strengthening defence sector. This unit will be a big push for 'Make in India' programme,” Parrikar said at the meeting.
“I am delighted to see Boeing and Tata step forward and make this significant investment in India,” he said.
Apache is the world’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopter and is used by the US forces as well as many other countries, including India.
S. Ramadorai, Chairman of TASL, said, “Today’s ground-breaking ceremony is a significant milestone in furthering our commitment to the Indian aerospace sector. This partnership could boost the emerging manufacturing sector, contributing to the prime minister's vision of 'Make in India'. This joint venture brings together the core strengths of both companies and helps take this strategic relationship to the next level."
TASL, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Sons, is already on contract to manufacture aerostructures for Boeing’s CH-47 Chinook and AH-6i helicopters.
Boeing and Tata had announced in November last year a joint venture for manufacturing aerostructures and collaboration on integrated systems development opportunities in India.
This joint venture will also create a manufacturing centre of excellence to produce aerostructures for the AH-64 Apache and provide affordable manufacturing capabilities to the global aerospace industry.
Dave Koopersmith, Boeing’s Vice President, Vertical Lift, said the Indian industry was providing critical support to Boeing’s commercial and defence programmes adding that the company recently partnered with universities and scientific institutions across India which will not only enhance aerospace and defence development capabilities but will also create engineering talent.
Pratyush Kumar, President, Boeing India, said his company had doubled its procurement from India since last year. Sukaran Singh, Managing Director and CEO of TASL said they were proud to partner with a company like Boeing. “This is our 10th aerospace project between helicopters and aircraft," he said.