American security and aerospace giant Lockheed Martin has entered into an agreement with Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) to manufacture wings of its F-16 fighter jets in India. Producing F-16 wings in India will support Central Government’s flagship ‘Make in India’ programme and strengthen Lockheed Martin’ strategic partnership with TASL.
Lockheed Martin and TASL joint venture is bidding for contract to supply Indian air force (IAF) with 114 combat planes, estimated at more than $15 billion which must be all manufactured locally under Make in India programme. Lockheed has offered to move its entire F-16 manufacturing base to India.
The proposed production of F-16 wings in India is not contingent upon company winning order from IAF for these planes. It will help to push local manufacturing that will generate jobs and also end armed forces dependence on imports. Lockhead Martin and TASL already have entered into partnership for C-130J [Super Hercules airlifter] and S-92 [helicopter].