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The first consignment of Apache helicopter fuselages manufactured by the Hyderabad facility of Tata Boeing Aerospace Ltd (TBAL) will be delivered in 2018 to choppers that will be used by the US Army. The TBAL facility, a joint venture between the Tata Advanced Systems Ltd and Boeing, is expected to start operations next year. Fuselage is the central body of an aircraft, to which the wings and tail assembly are attached and accommodates the crew, passengers, and cargo.
Apache is a twin engine multi-mission attack helicopter. India has ordered 15 heavy-lift helicopter Chinook and 22 Apaches, which are expected to be delivered in 2019.
More than 50 per cent of the Apache helicopters currently in operation are used by the US defence forces.
“The building is being erected right now and we expect our first Apache fuselage to be delivered in the second quarter of 2018 for the US army.
“So, our strategy for this factory is not to only build fuselages for the Indian Apaches. The plan is to build them for every Apache from 2018 on wards in our factory in Hyderabad,” said Dave KooperSmith, Vice President, General Managar Vertical Lift of Boeing and board member of the TBAL.
“We are in the middle of negotiating over 240 aircraft for the US Army and 450 aircraft for all customers. From 2018 onwards all of those fuselages will be built in India,” said KooperSmith.