Lockheed Martin, Tata to Build F-16 Wings in India

Landmark ‘Make in India’ move strengthens US-India defence ties

Defence Industry

FORT WORTH, Texas. Lockheed Martin Corp announced on September 4 an agreement to commence production of F-16 wings in India.

This strategic initiative positions Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) to become the provider of wings for all future customers and strengthens their role in the F-16 global supply chain.

TASL is Lockheed Martin’s strategic industry partner in India.

Producing F-16 wings in India will strengthen Lockheed Martin’s strategic partnership with Tata and support ‘Make in India.’ The planned F-16 wing production move to India is not contingent on the Government of India selecting the F-16 for the Indian Air Force.

“Building F-16 wings in India is a natural next step that builds on our successful partnerships with Tata on the C-130J [airlifter] and S-92 [helicopter],” said Vivek Lall, Vice President of Strategy and Business Development for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics.

“This is a strategic business decision that reflects the value of our partnerships with India and the confidence we have in Tata to perform advanced defence manufacturing work and deliver world-class products.”

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 recently submitted a comprehensive, fully compliant 600-plus page Request for Information (RFI) response to the Indian Air Force.

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.

To date, 4,604 F-16s have been procured by 28 customers around the world. Approximately 3,000 operational F-16s are flying today with 25 leading air forces, including the US Air Force.

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