Boeing and India’s Tata Advanced Systems (TASL) recently announced a joint venture that will manufacture aerostructures--initially for the AH-64 Apache helicopter. This followed a promise made by Boeing Chairman James McNerney when he visited India last summer. He spoke of partnerships and wanting to keep the initiative of manufacturing in India to continue, with Boeing as an involved partner. “I want to play,” he said.
In July, the two companies announced a strategic aerospace partnership to support the “Make in India” movement and collaborate on integrated systems-development opportunities, including unmanned aerial vehicles. The facility will be located at Hyderabad where TASL already has a components factory, and another facility where it manufactures cabins for Sikorsky’s S-92 helicopters. An industry official said that with 110 of the cabins delivered, Tier 1 supplier TASL is expected to draw on its experience as it works to supply materials for Boeing fuselages.
McNerney said Boeing was “much closer to having final assembly [of] Apache or Chinook helicopters [in India],” and AIN has found that India is likely to get some contracts for the Chinooks as well as Boeing’s MD helicopters division.
Rahul Gangal, partner, Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, told AIN, “This move signifies the increasing strength of India as a global supply hub in aerostructures. It also puts TASL in the next league of global aerospace Tier 1s.”
Boeing is furthering its commitment to accelerate its partnership with India, said Chris Chadwick, President and CEO, Boeing Defense, Space & Security. Sukaran Singh, managing director and CEO of TASL said in a statement that the company has the added advantage of taking on manufacturing and assembly of both aircraft and helicopters, “making it well-positioned for large-scale systems integration work in India’s aerospace and defense sector.”
Other Tata group companies, Tata Advanced Materials Ltd and TAL Manufacturing Solutions, have delivered power and mission equipment cabinets and auxiliary power unit door fairings for the P-8I long-range maritime surveillance aircraft and floor beams for the Boeing 787-9.