New Delhi: US-based plane maker Boeing Co. and India’s Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL) have laid the foundation for a new facility in Hyderabad for a joint venture, mainly to co-produce Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopter fuselages.
The facility will eventually be the sole producer of AH-64 fuselages globally, boosting India’s prospects in the aerospace and defence sector.
The Apache has been flown or selected for acquisition by the US and 15 other nations, including India.
“The joint venture between Tata and Boeing is a significant step in developing India’s capabilities for aerospace & defence manufacturing and becoming a global exporter," said Manohar Parrikar at the foundation laying ceremony on Saturday. “This is a clear example of the significant progress made towards Make in India for defence."
In a tweet late on Saturday, Parrikar confirmed that it was the “largest defence FDI (foreign direct investment) JV of TATA-Boeing to make fuselage for Apache H’copter."
The partnership could boost the emerging manufacturing sector and furthers TASL’s commitment to the Indian aerospace sector, said S. Ramadorai, chairman of TASL.
In November 2015, Boeing and Tata announced a joint venture for manufacturing aero-structures and collaboration on integrated systems development opportunities in India.
Telangana wasn’t even originally on the radar of plane maker Boeing when a government delegation led by minister K.T. Rama Rao met the company’s executives in Washington DC during a tour last year.
Rama Rao and his team briefed Boeing about the state’s new industrial policy and how an aerospace ecosystem already exists in Hyderabad in the form of Indian government’s defence manufacturing installations and units of Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL), which has tie-ups with Sikorsky Aircraft Corp, Lockheed Martin Corp., RUAG Aviation AG and Pilatus Aircraft Ltd.
After a series of meetings, Boeing finally zeroed in on Hyderabad to make fuselage for Apache helicopters in collaboration with TASL.
“We will be making significant investments to ensure the success of this joint venture as we bring value to our customers globally and compete for additional manufacturing work in the global market," said Dave Koopersmith, Boeing vice president, Vertical Lift.