Spread over 14,000 sq mts and employing 350 highly skilled workers, the facility will be the sole producer of the AH-64 Apache helicopter fuselage.

Tata Boeing open Apache helicopter fuselage facility in HyderabadImage source: Twitter
Atom Aerospace Thursday, March 01, 2018 - 21:45

Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited, a joint venture of Boeing and Tata Advanced Systems on Thursday inaugurated its facility here to co-produce the Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopter fuselage and other aerostructures.

Spread over 14,000 square meters and employing 350 highly skilled workers, the facility will be the sole producer of the AH-64 Apache helicopter fuselage delivered by Boeing to its customers, including the US Army.

The delivery of the first fuselage of one of the world's most advanced attack helicopter is expected later this year.

The facility, inaugurated by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, will also produce secondary structures and vertical spar boxes of the multi-role combat helicopter.

The Apache has been flown or selected for acquisition by the US and 15 other nations, including India.

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

The foundation for the facility was laid in 2016.

The Defence Minister said the world-class facility would give a big push to the defence industry and set the pace for Make in India in a big way.

She said the plant would also help India realise its goal of becoming an exporter of defence systems.

"Our Prime Minister's dream is to see India as a defence product exporter. We want to manufacture not just for our consumption and not because we have big wish list of things we want to buy in defence but we want to export from here," she said.

Sitharam said she was proud to learn that facility had already earned appreciation from auditors in the US Army that the products manufactured here have zero defects.

"This shows that zero defect product attributed normally to robotics and automation is achievable with high degree of human element," she said.

US Ambassador to India Kenneth I. Juster said the facility was perfect example of what the US and India could do in defence production. He noted that US was not mere a supplier but was partner in developing India as a significant place for advanced defence production.

"Having enabling environment that encourages trade investment and ease of doing business in regulatory sense is essential to this effort what we see here," he said.

The ambassador also said America First and Make in India were not incompatible and in fact, were mutually reinforcing.

Leanne Caret, President and CEO, Boeing Defence, Space & Security, said the facility would help Boeing meet commitments to our customers with greater speed and agility.

She said Boeing invested tremendously in India because future here is extremely bright. She said they were investing talent, training and skills development to front line factory workers ready for advanced aerospace manufacturing.

"We have expanded the partnership beyond products and services to build innovative talent pool. We are working with customers, suppliers and universities to make sure we get very best people," she said.

She noted that India has been strong, steady and strategic partner to the US and to Boeing.

Sukran Singh, CEO and MD, TASL, said the project was significant for India and US cooperation. He pointed out that 80 per cent of 2,200 parts in the product are made in India.

Tata Emeritus Chairman Ratan Tata, Telangana Minister for Industry K.T.A. Rama Rao, President, Infrastructure, Defence and Aerospace, Tata Sons, Banmali Agrawala, Boeing India President Pratyush Kumar and other officials attended the event.

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