Bengaluru, Oct 9 (IEBusiness) Global aircraft maker Lockheed Martin Corp and Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL) hosted an F-16 industry supplier conference in the city on Tuesday to discuss opportunities on the F-16 programme in India.
Current F-16 suppliers and prospective Indian industry partners gathered to discuss opportunities on the F-16 program — the world’s largest fighter aircraft ecosystem.
“The F-16 provides unmatched opportunities for Indian companies of all sizes, including Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises and suppliers throughout India, to establish new business relationships with Lockheed Martin, Tata and other U.S. and global industry leaders,” Vivek Lall, Vice President of Strategy and Business Development for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics said during the event.
“Exclusive F-16 production integrates Indian industry into a USD 165 billion fighter aircraft market,” he said.
Sukaran Singh, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Tata Advanced Systems said this platform provided the Indian players in the industry explore opportunities, share knowledge with other global suppliers in the F-16 fighter aircraft manufacturing ecosystem.
‘’The potential F-16 India Project, as a single source globally, will be highly strategic for India, especially to build new capabilities in the Indian defence manufacturing sector. We also look forward to participating in the selection process for the Fighter Program of the Indian Air Force,” he said.
Current F-16 industry partners include GE, Terma, Honeywell, Fokker, Israeli Aerospace Industries, Elbit, UTC, Terma, Eaton, Moog, Parker, and other global defence industry leaders.
Lockheed Martin recently emphasized its commitment to India by announcing the company will partner with TASL to commence production of F-16 wings in India. The landmark ‘Make in India’ announcement is a strategic initiative that positions TASL to become the provider of wings for all future customers.
Lockheed Martin’s broader proposed F-16 partnership with India—to produce F-16s exclusively in India for the Indian Air Force and export customers—stands firm. Lockheed Martin and TASL announced last year that the two companies intend to join hands to produce the F-16 Block 70 in India if the aircraft is selected by the Indian Air Force.
The F-16 Block 70 features advanced avionics, a proven Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, a modernized cockpit, advanced weapons, conformal fuel tanks, an automatic ground collision avoidance system, an advanced engine and an industry-leading extended structural service life of 12,000 hours.