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India Becomes Sole Global Producer of AH-64 Apache Fuselage

CC0 / / AH-64 Apache helicopter
AH-64 Apache helicopter - Sputnik International
A facility in the southern city of Hyderabad expects to deliver the first fuselage in 2018. It will also produce secondary structures and vertical spar boxes for the Apache multi-role combat helicopters.

New Delhi (Sputnik) — In what could propel Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ‘Make in India' campaign, India's southern city of Hyderabad has become the sole global hub for the production of fuselages for Boeing's AH-64 Apache helicopter which has customers all over the world, including the US Army. The state-of-the-art production facility for such fuselages was inaugurated by Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Hyderabad on Thursday.

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"The manufacturing of advanced defense platforms and the integration with the complex global supply chain will help our aerospace industry acquire technology, build local capability, provide employment and become a global exporter," Nirmala Sitharaman said at the occasion.

​The facility was jointly created by Tata Boeing Aerospace (TBAL), a joint venture between Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Tata Advanced Systems (TASL) in the 14,000-square meter space that employs 350 highly skilled workers.

"With the streamlining of the export regulation process under the Strategy for Defense Exports (SDE) of the Government of India, and with established capabilities and demonstrated deliveries, we are poised to emerge as a supplier of choice for global OEMs," Banmali Agrawala, president of infrastructure, defense and aerospace at Tata Sons said in a statement on Thursday.

Construction of the manufacturing facility began in 2016 and was completed on schedule. "The auditors from the US mentioned that it is zero defect facility which you attribute normally to robotics. This facility shows that it is achievable even with a high degree of the human element," Sitharaman added.

​Presently, over 2,300 Boeing-made Apache helicopters are in operation in at least 16 countries including India. The Indian Ministry of Defense had finalized an order with Boeing for 22 AH-64E Apache helicopters in September 2015, the deliveries for which are scheduled to begin in 2019.

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