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Tata Boeing Aerospace delivers 100th fuselage for Apache helicopters

NEW DELHI (PTI): Tata Boeing Aerospace Ltd (TBAL) on Friday announced the delivery of the 100th fuselage for production of AH-64 Apache combat helicopters from its manufacturing facility in Hyderabad.

The fuselage will be transported to Boeing's manufacturing facility for AH-64 Apache in Mesa, Arizona for integration into the final assembly line.

TBAL, a joint venture between Boeing and Tata, has been delivering Apache fuselages since May 2018.

President of Boeing India Salil Gupte said that the TBAL is an example of Boeing's commitment towards ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India) initiative and the co-development of integrated systems in aerospace and defence not just for India, but for the world.

"We have quadrupled our sourcing from India in the past two years to more than US$ 1 billion. Skilled talent, robust infrastructure, ease of doing business, and a highly responsive government administration make Telangana (southern Indian state) an ideal destination for the high-end manufacturing work," he said.

The AH-64 Apache is one of the world's most advanced multi-role combat helicopters and is flown by the US Army. The IAF had signed a multi-billion dollar contract with the US government and Boeing Ltd in September 2015 for 22 Apache helicopters.

Additionally, the Defence Ministry in 2017 approved the procurement of six Apache helicopters along with weapons systems from Boeing at a cost of Rs 4,168 crore for the Army.

Sukaran Singh, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL) said that the "accomplishment" places the Telangana facility as part of the global supply chain for Apache helicopters.

"The achievement of 100th fuselage delivery for AH-64 within three years of the facility being operational reflects our strong ability to industrialize and ramp up complex aerospace programmes and deliver with highest levels of quality," he said.

"It underlines our indigenous manufacturing capability to produce cutting-edge technology and quality defence equipment in the country, and promote the Indian aerospace and defence manufacturing ecosystem, globally," he added.

Tata Boeing Aerospace, Boeing's first equity joint venture in India, is the result of a 2015 partnership agreement with TASL.

Spread over 14,000 square metres, the state-of-the-art facility has been producing aero-structures for Boeing's AH-64 Apache helicopter, including fuselages, secondary structures and vertical spar boxes for customers worldwide.

Recently, Boeing announced the addition of a new production line to manufacture complex vertical fin structures for the 737 family of aeroplanes.

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