The US based Lockheed Martin and Indian company Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) signed an agreement in which both companies affirmed the intent to jointly produce the F-16 Block 70 in India. The F-16 Block 70 is considered to be the best fit for the Indian Air Force, which is looking for a reliable single-engine medium multi-role medium range aircraft to meet its growing needs.
The fighter jet with unmatched successful history with this new partnership coming out between U.S.-Indian industry partnership goes well with Modi government’s initiative to Make in India. If materializes, it will increase Indian capacity to develop and enhance aerospace and defense manufacturing capacity in India.
Such kind of agreement is unprecedented when it comes to producing the F-16 in any foreign land. This gives Indian the opportunity to not only produce, operate the jet for its use but also export it to other countries.
The F-16 Block 70 aircraft is the latest and most advanced version of the world’s most successful, and combat-proven multi-role fighter.
F-16 production in India also means possible creation of thousands of job for the Lockheed Martin and F-16 supplier in the U.S., new manufacturing jobs in India, and puts Indian industry at the center of the most extensive fighter aircraft supply ecosystem in the world.
“This agreement builds on the already established joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Tata and underscores the relationship and commitment between the two companies,” said Mr. N. Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Sons.
“Lockheed Martin is honored to partner with Indian defense and aerospace leader Tata Advanced Systems Limited on the F-16 program,” said Orlando Carvalho, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. “Our partnership significantly strengthens the F-16 ‘Make in India’ offer, creates and maintains numerous new job opportunities in India and the U.S., and brings the world’s most combat-proven multi-role fighter aircraft to India.”
The Lockheed Martin-TASL F-16 partnering agreement is testament of TASL’s ability to manufacture quality airframe components for the C-130J airlifter and the S-92 helicopter.
F-16 are produced more than 4,500 in numbers, with 3,200 operational aircraft worldwide being flown today by 26 countries, it remains the world’s most successful, combat-proven multi-role fighter ever produced. The F-16 Block 70 is the newest and most technologically advanced Lockheed Martin ever offered to any nation.
Source: Lockheed Martin