Boeing and Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) have begun construction of a new production facility for the AH-64 Apache in Hyderabad. India’s defence minister, Manohar Parrikar, laid the foundation stone of the new facility, which is being built in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Adibatla.
The facility will manufacture AH-64 fuselages and other airframe components, not only for India, which has 22 AH-64E Guardian Apaches on order, but for Boeing’s global supply-chain as well. In other words, India will be the source of Apache fuselages for all Apache users. TASL also manufactures parts for CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift and AH-6i lightweight utility helicopters.
Comment and Analysis
This is a landmark event for India’s private defence sector, and TASL in particular. Gradually, but surely, commercial offsets are serving a critical role in strengthening the capacity and raising the prominence of India’s private industry. Not only that, but the likes of Boeing – and potentially others from Europe – are viewing India as not only a market for their goods, but an asset as a means to improve competitiveness. India’s private sector is becoming the means to control costs and improve efficiency.