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Tata Boeing delivers first India-made AH-64 Apache helicopter fuselage

The joint venture's Hyderabad facility is the sole global producer of Apache fuselages for global customers

Tata Boeing Aerospace has delivered the first AH-64 Apache combat helicopter fuselage made in its facility in Hyderabad, India.

Delivered ahead of schedule, the fuselage will be transported to Boeing’s facility in Arizona for integration, the company said, PTI reported on Friday, June 1.

The joint venture between Boeing and Tata inaugurated the Hyderabad facility in March. It will be the sole Apache helicopter fuselage producer for Boeing’s global customers including the U.S. Army. it will also produce secondary structures and vertical spar boxes for the AH-64.

“The delivery of the fuselage within a year of the facility being operational is a huge boost to indigenous manufacturing,” Sukaran Singh, managing director and chief executive officer, Tata Advanced Systems, said.

“This is a major step forward in Boeing and Tata Advanced Systems continued commitment to make advanced, high quality aerostructures in India,” Pratyush Kumar, president, Boeing India said. “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.”

Boeing says the joint venture with Tata is a “step towards co-development of integrated systems in aerospace and defence in India and helps to fulfil the goals of the ‘Make in India’ initiative.” The company is “expanding its engagement with India’s Ministry of Defence in order to deliver advanced capabilities and readiness to India’s military customers.”

The Indian Ministry of Defence finalized an order of 22 AH-64E Apache helicopters in September 2015 and deliveries are set to begin in 2019.

Boeing has also partnered with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Mahindra Defence Systems, proposing to manufacture the F/A-18 Super Hornet in India and to work on “joint development of future technologies.” The proposal includes the construction of a state-of-the-art production facility that can also be used for other aircraft programs like India’s Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) program, Boeing said.

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