The Tata-Boeing JV delivers first Apache fuselage for army - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Thursday 19 January 2023

The Tata-Boeing JV delivers first Apache fuselage for army

Boeing directly employs over 5,000 people in India, and an additional 13,000 through over 300 Indian partners


By Ajai Shukla

Business Standard, 20th Jan 23


Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited (TBAL), a Hyderabad-based joint venture (JV) between Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL) and The Boeing Company, delivered on Thursday the first fuselage for six AH-64 Apache attack helicopters ordered by the Indian Army.


TBAL has produced and supplied 190 Apache fuselages to Boeing’s Apache final assembly plant in Mesa, Arizona. More than 90 percent of the parts used in these aero-structure assemblies are manufactured within India through over a hundred micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), supporting the government’s Make in India vision. 


Tata Group recently won the “Supplier of the Year” award for 2022 from Boeing, beating out more than 11,000 suppliers worldwide.


There are more than 1,275 Apaches in operation worldwide. These have accumulated over 4.9 million flight hours, of which 1.3 million have been in combat. The Apache attack helicopter has the reputation of being the world’s most deadly attack helicopter.


Boeing has earlier supplied 22 Apache AH-64E helicopters to the IAF. It is now addressing an Indian Army order for six Apaches.


The Apache will provide the Indian Army with a significant boost in capability just as the AH-64 did for the Indian Air Force,” says Salil Gupte, who heads Boeing India. Boeing had completed the deliveries of all 22 AH-64E Apache helicopters to the Indian Air Force in 2020.


TBAL’s 14,000 square metre facility is a global sole source supplier for Apache fuselages, and produces complex aero-structures for Boeing 737 and 777 models. 


The Boeing – TASL joint venture employs over 900 engineers and technicians and utilizes cutting-edge robotics, automation and advanced aerospace concepts in its manufacturing processes.


India has bought four types of advanced aircraft from Boeing: the C-17 Globemaster III, the P-8I Poseidon multirole maritime mission aircraft and the Chinook and Apache helicopters.


Boeing has strengthened its supply chain in India with more than 300 local companies and the TABL joint venture to manufacture fuselages for Apache helicopters. Annual sourcing from India stands at $1 billion. 


Boeing currently employs over 5,000 people in India, and an additional 13,000 through over 300 Indian partners. 

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