Lockheed Martin won’t heed Trump, to land F-16s in India

By Express News Service  |   Published: 13th November 2016 09:14 PM  |

Last Updated: 13th November 2016 09:14 PM  |

BENGALURU: President-elect of the US, Donald Trump, may have claimed that Americans are living through the “greatest jobs theft” in the history of the world, but Lockheed Martin seems to have other plans. The American aircraft-maker has started the groundwork with the hope that India would accept its offer of moving its F-16 fighter aircraft production line from the US to India. Trump believes that US companies were moving out jobs to countries such as India, China, Mexico and Singapore.

The offer comes with the rider that India buys the fighter. “We want to be prepared and that is the reason we have started the groundwork,” said Abhay Paranjape, director, Business Development, India, Lockheed Martin. “We have met representatives of 40 defence and aviation firms from across the country to discuss our offer on making F-16s in India,’’ he added.

Earlier this year, Lockheed Martin made an offer to India that it would shift its only F-16 aircraft production line to India provided the Indian Air Force (IAF) buys the aircraft. “We are offering to make F-16 Block 70, the most advanced aircraft in India. It is one of the most proven fighter aircraft in the world and is flown by air forces in 25 countries,’’ said Randall L Howard, who looks after F-16 Business Development.

If the IAF buys 100 aircraft, it gives stability to the industry that will invest a lot of money in various manufacturing units that support the production line, Howard said. “We make it in India, for India and then we make it in India and export to the world. If the initial orders are not there, it may not work for the industry,’’ Howard added.

Though India has not yet responded to the offer, the top executives at Lockheed Martin are hopeful that it will accept the offer. “They are looking for single-engine fighter and we are offering one of the best aircraft, so we are confident that India will accept the offer,’’ said Paranjape. “They have sent letters to a few firms, including us,’’ he said.

Original post newindianexpress.com


Don’t really have any idea why India would chose the F-16V over the Gripen E/F 

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