May 27, 2018, 11:11 pm IST
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F-16 fighter jets to be produced in India

F-16 fighter jets to be produced in India

 Jun 21, 2017

Tata Advanced Systems Limited and the US defence giant Lockheed Martin have entered into an agreement to make F-16 block 70 fighter jet planes in India .The signing up of the contract is a prelude to bid for India’s defence requirement. Defence minister, Arun Jaitley has said that India would buy 200 fighter planes. The government has earmarked $12 billion for the fighter jet deal , for which tenders would be floated this year.

Tata had already association with Lockheed Martin and the company acknowledged Tata`s proven performance in manufacturing airframe components for the C-130 transport plane and S-92 helicopter. The partnership would strengthen the Make in India programme, says Lock heed Martin executive vice president Orlando Carvalho. “It would create more jobs in India and would bring to India the world’s most combat proven multirole fighter ”.

For N. Chandrasekharan, the Chairman of Tatasons, the deal builds on the already established joint venture between the Lockheed Martin and the Tata.

The move by the Tata makes a strong contender for a single engine aircraft against Sweden`s Griper –E of Saab. But would the American government under Donald Trump permit the moving away of the manufacturing facility from US to India? It would be discussed during Modi`s visit to US starting from June 26.

As Pentagon has moved to the fifth generation F-35 fighter planes, it makes good business sense to move its F-16 manufacturing base to India from US.



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