Lockheed Martin, a United States defense firm, is competing with other companies to win a contract to supply the Indian air force with 114 combat planes (Reuters). Lockheed has offered to shift the F-16 production line from the United States to India, making India the sole global production center for the F-16 (Reuters). The proposed contract is worth more than $15 million and could potentially be a huge boost for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the upcoming election (Reuters). The deal supports his ‘Make-in-India’ initiative by creating a defense industrial base and generating jobs for thousands of youth entering the workforce each month (ET).
Lockheed has chosen Tata Advanced Systems as its local partner for the proposed F-16 (SM). Last year the U.S. defense firm announced that their joint venture would produce wings for the aircraft in India regardless of whether they win the contract (Reuters). The deal would be mutually beneficial as Lockheed has a current demand outside India of more than 200 aircraft (Reuters). According to Vivek Lall, the vice president of strategy and business development at Lockheed, the value of those initial acquisition programs will likely exceed $20 billion (Reuters).
Tags: India, United States, Lockheed Martin, Defense Company, Aircraft