Lockheed Martin getting set to assemble F 16 Block 70 in India
Bangalore: US Aircraft major Lockheed Martin is progressing with its preparations for Exclusive F-16 production in India, for the Indian Air Force and global export that would make India home to the world’s only F-16 production facility. In this connection Lockheed Martin team led by Randall L Howard who heads F 16 business development visited Bangalore, Hyderabad, Delhi, Pune and Chennai to meet up potential partners and suppliers for the proposed F 16 production in India.
Lockheed Martin’s preparation is in anticipation of the order from the Indian Air Force for 100 high performance, single engine, multi-role fighter Aircraft. With more than 3200 Aircraft in operation in 24 countries F 16 is well proven for its utilities and capabilities. Lockheed Martin’s offer to make F-16 Block 70 in India for India and for export supports the Make in India and Defence export policy of the Government and also expected to reduce the cost considerably due to its production in India.
The Joint Venture in Hyderabad between Lockheed Martin and Tata Advanced Systems Ltd is the single global source of C-130J empennage assemblies included on all new Super Hercules aircraft produced in Marietta, Georgia, in the United States of America.
Once the manufacturing facility of F 16 is shifted from Texas, India would become the largest supply base for more than 3,200 F-16s being operated by 24 countries around the world. Lockheed Martin is already experienced in establishing F 16 production in countries like Belgium, Netherlands, Turkey and Korea in the past.
Production of F-16 in India would enrich Indian industry with advanced defence capabilities, create high technology jobs and would give the Indian Enigineers exposure to high technologies used in F-16 production said Abhay Paranjape, Director Business Development of Lockheed Martin.
Production in India would reduce cost of F-16 for Indian Ministry of Defence and the world. With the manufacturing of F 16 in India Lockheed Martin will also encourage its suppliers worldwide to set up subsidiaries in India, source parts or sub contract work said Mr.Randall.
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