Boeing to manufacture Apache helicopters in India

Posted on 11 Nov 2015 by Michael Cruickshank

The world’s largest aircraft manufacturer Boeing has this week announced plans to manufacture Apache attack helicopters in India.

Fuselages of the aircraft will reportedly be produced in the country as part of a joint venture with Indian multinational Tata Advanced Systems.

The joint venture calls for the creation of an aerostructures manufacturing hub for Boeing in India.

This will eventually grow to compete for the production of other Boeing commercial and defence aircraft into the future.

Boeing announced in a statement that India’s increasing industrial strength prompted it to pursue this deal.

“This partnership will capitalize on India’s industrial capability, innovation and talent to contribute to Boeing’s long-term competitiveness and position us for future growth in the global marketplace,” said Chris Chadwick, president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security.

“It is a demonstration of our commitment to further accelerate our partnership with one of the world’s fastest growing economies.”

As well, the deal comes on the back of other recent moves by the company to transfer production to India. According to official statements, Boeing has more than doubled its sourcing from the country over the last year.

Tata was a natural partner for Boeing on the subcontinent, with the company already producing parts for the Boeing 787-9 as well as maintainance equipment for the C-17 Globemaster III.

Specifically, the new joint venture will be producing aerostructures for the AH-64 Apache, a two-seater attack helicopter which has proven itself in several armed conflicts over the past decades.

In September this year, the Indian Air Force ordered at least 22 of the latest-model AH-64 Apache alongside 15 CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopters.

It is unclear yet if these aircraft will be manufactured in India through this joint venture, or whether it will service other clients.

Currently there has been no information provided by either Boeing or Tata on how much money is being invested in this venture, how many people it will employ, or its eventual location.