Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited announced the delivery of the first AH-64 Apache combat helicopter fuselage ahead of schedule from its state-of-the-art facility in Hyderabad. The fuselage will now be transported to Boeing’s AH-64 Apache manufacturing facility in Mesa, AZ, for integration into the final assembly line. This delivery comes within a year of the aerospace joint venture facility becoming operational.
The facility, which is spread over 14,000-square meters and will be employing 350 highly skilled workers at full production, was inaugurated by Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Honourable Minister of Defence, Government of India, in March this year. The facility 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 facility will also produce secondary structures and vertical spar boxes for the multi-role combat helicopter.
“This is a major step forward in Boeing and Tata Advanced Systems’ continued commitment to make advanced, high quality aerostructures in India,” said Pratyush Kumar, president, Boeing India. “Our investments in technology, capability and skilling are clearly paying off as evident from the quality and speed at which this delivery milestone has been achieved. As we accelerate our efforts, we see this as a major step towards future opportunities to pursue the co-development of integrated systems in aerospace and defence.”
Sukaran Singh, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Tata Advanced Systems, said, “The timely delivery of the AH–64 Apache helicopter fuselage marks a milestone in our collaborative journey with Boeing. Our partnership reflects a continued commitment to develop aerospace and defence manufacturing ecosystem in India. The delivery of the fuselage within a year of the facility being operational is a huge boost to indigenous manufacturing and also demonstrates our commitment to deliver high quality products within a short span of time.”
Tata Boeing Aerospace, Boeing’s first equity joint venture in India, is the result of a 2015 partnership agreement with TASL. Construction of the manufacturing facility began in 2016 and was completed on schedule a year later. In addition, Boeing and TASL have worked closely to develop a pool of highly skilled aerospace talent through skill development initiatives.
Today, customers around the world operate more than 2,300 Boeing-made Apache helicopters since the aircraft entered production. The helicopter has been fielded or selected for acquisition by the armed forces of 16 countries, including India. The United States Army Apache fleet alone has accumulated more than 4.3 million flight hours, including more than 1.2 million in combat, as of January 2018.