Boeing will start manufacturing fusalages of its Apache AH-64E attack helicopter meant for an Indian Air Force order, at a facility in India from next year.
The US company’s plan is to manufacture the Apache fuselage at the Tata Advanced Systems’ facility in Hyderabad and ship it to the US for assembly. The helicopter will be ready by end of the year, Livemint reported Monday.
India bought 22 Apaches and 15 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters worth $3 billion for the Indian Air Force (IAF) under a government-to-government deal with the US in 2015.
This month it ordered six additional Apache AH-64E helicopters valued at Rs4,168 crore for the Indian Army.
While the first Apaches for Indian Air Force will be delivered in 2019 and are being built in the US and other places, the Indian Army Apache will be made locally. “We are ahead of schedule,” said Pratyush Kumar, president of Boeing India, referring to the production with the Tata firm, said Monday.
Boeing has won contracts worth about $14 billion from India over the past few years, including for the supply of C17 Globemaster transport planes, Harpoon missiles, P-8 anti-submarine warfare jets, Apaches and Chinooks.
Boeing’s next aim is to secure an Indian Navy deal. Boeing’s F-18, French Rafale, Swedish Saab Sea Gripen, Russian MiG-29K are contenders for a proposed $15 billion purchase of 57 fighter aircraft by the Indian Navy.
Boeing expects movement on the deal by next year.