Hyderabad, June 18 (IANS) Boeing and Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) have joined hands to set up a facility here to co-produce Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopter fuselages and other aerostructures.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Saturday laid the foundation stone of Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited (TBAL) at the aerospace Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Adibatla on the city outskirts.
The facility will also deal in integrated systems in aerospace and will eventually be the sole producer of AH-64 fuselage globally.
The AH-64 Apache is the world’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopter and used by the US forces as well as many other countries, including India.
Parrikar termed the joint venture one of the initial big foreign direct investment in defence and aerospace under the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. He noted that Boeing kept its word given to him at the concluding of Apache and Chinok deals.
“They had promised that this particular facility will be located in India and they will be shifting it from the place where they have the facility,” he said.
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 last year announced a joint venture for manufacturing aerostructures and collaboration on integrated systems development opportunities in India. This joint venture will create a manufacturing center 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 Indian industry was providing critical support to Boeing commercial and defence programmes. He said the company recently partnered with universities and scientific institutions across India which will not only enhance aerospace and defence development capabilities but to create engineering talent.
He said the ground breaking demonstrate Boeing’s commitment to further expand aerospace ecosystem and footprint and continue developing key technologies in India.
Pratyush Kumar, President, Boeing India, said Boeing had doubled its procurement from India since last year to almost Rs.10 crore per day and planned to continue doing this.
S. Ramadorai, Chairman of TASL said the ground-breaking ceremony is a significant milestone in furthering their commitment to the Indian aerospace sector.
Sukaran Singh, MD and CEO, Tata Advanced Systems, said they were proud to partner with a company like Boeing. “This is our 10th aerospace project between helicopters and aircraft. The capabilities that we have built allow us to move seamlessly between helicopters and aircraft as all of them are built to aerospace standards,” he said.