Hyderabad, July 30 :-
The ground breaking ceremony (Bhoomi puja) for the first ever helicopter manufacturing unit by the Tatas is held at Adibhatla near the Shamshabad international airport here on Thursday.
One of the Regional Directors of Tata group laid foundation stone for the helicopter manufacturing unit. State Major Industries Minister Mr Kanna Lakshmi Narayana participated in the programme as chief guest.
Earlier it was planned that Chief Minister, Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy would lay foundation stone for the project. But due to some reasons, the Chief Minister and Tata group chairman, Mr Ratan Tata, did not turn up for the programme.
The Tata group will set up the facility in collaboration with the US-based Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation at the Aerospace Special Economic Zone in Adibhatla near the Shamshabad international airport.
Ground levelling and fencing of 50 acres allotted to the Tata Advanced System (TAS) is on full swing at present.
The AP Industrial Infrastructure Corporation is promoting the SEZ in 250 acres and has roped in several defence and precision engineering units in the private sector.
Sources said the Chief Minister, Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy, was keen on the project which would help the state become an aerospace destination as well. Unlike in the case of other projects, the government handed over land with title to the Tata group which insisted on starting the project on a clean slate.
The Tata group has already made a commitment to the Chief Minister to establish an aerospace and defence products manufacturing facility with an investment of $2 billion dollars. Accordingly, the state allotted 50 acres in the aerospace SEZ in July 2008.
TAS, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Tatas, has signed an MoU with Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp, to manufacture S-92 helicopter cabins. The MoU was signed on February 15, 2008.
Sources said the TAS will also set up another facility to manufacture surveillance systems in the SEZ. It has signed a cooperation agreement with the Israel Aerospace Industries for this.
The cooperation agreement reportedly covers a range of defence and aerospace products, including missiles, radars and others.