Lockheed Martin to begin supplying F-16 wings from Hyderabad plant in 2020

Lockheed Martin will begin supplying wings for its F-16 combat jets from a facility in Hyderabad from 2020, a senior executive said on 26 September 2019 reports Reuters.

Lockheed is bidding for a contract, estimated at more than $15 billion, to supply the Indian Air Force with 114 combat planes and has offered to shift its F-16 production line from the United States to India under “Make In India” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Lockheed Martin offered to Indian Air Force a specialized variant aircraft F-21 with 14 India specific enhancement, F-21 is the most advanced version of F-16 ever build.

Lockheed was already producing the empennage of its C-130J transport aircraft from the Hyderabad facility and also cabins for its Sikorsky helicopters
Lockheed is already producing parts of its C-130J transport aircraft from the Hyderabad facility and also cabins for its Sikorsky helicopters

Lockheed said the wings of all future F-16s that the firm will sell worldwide will be produced in a JV with Tata Advanced Systems in Hyderabad

Vivek Lall, vice president of Strategy and Business Development for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, said the wings of all future F-16s that the company will sell worldwide will be produced in a joint venture with India’s Tata Advanced Systems in Hyderabad.

“The first wing prototype is being built now. The expectation is we will begin supplying by next year sometime, this will be the sole facility for future F-16 wing production,” Lall told Reuters.

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Lall said that with 3,000 F-16s flying around the world and more orders being negotiated with countries such as Bahrain, Lockheed estimated there was a market worth $165 billion for after-sales support.

“It is a huge potential business, India will be plugging into the world’s largest fighter jet ecosystem.”

Indian Government invited American Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Swedish Saab and European multi-nations Eurofighter Consortium to participate MMRCA V2.0 competition. The winner will have to manufacture most of the fighter aircrafts Components in India under “Make In India” initiatives.

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