In what comes as a major thrust to the ‘Make in India’ project, Lockheed Martin, the American aerospace giant, and Tata Advanced Systems, the defense arm of India’s Tata group have signed a deal for the production of F-16 Block 70 fighter aircraft in India.
The joint announcement was made by Tata and Lockheed Martin on June 19 at the Paris Air Show. This landmark deal gives India a chance to produce, operate and export the aircraft which is touted as “the newest and most technologically advanced F-16 ever offered”.
F-16 Block 70 fighter aircraft are the best match for Indian Air Force’s requirement of single-engine fighter planes.
More than 4,500 units of F-16 fighter aircraft have been produced so far, out of which, around 3,200 are still operational and are being used by 26 countries across the world.
Apart from giving a great boost to the ‘Make in India’ campaign, the agreement will also create numerous new manufacturing jobs in India.
The press release by Lockheed Martin quotes Orlando Carvalho, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, saying,
Also SeeTop Most Characters of Mahabharata
Lockheed Martin is honored to partner with Indian defense and aerospace leader Tata Advanced Systems Limited on the F-16 program. Our partnership significantly strengthens the F-16 ‘Make in India’ offer, creates and maintains numerous new job opportunities in India and the U.S., and brings the world’s most combat-proven multi-role fighter aircraft to India.
— Lockheed Martin (@LockheedMartin) June 19, 2017
Elaborating on the pact signed by the two companies, N. Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Sons, says,
This agreement builds on the already established joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Tata and underscores the relationship and commitment between the two companies.