Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Is Lockheed Martin pushing obsolete aircraft to India?

In what could be a big boost to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ programme, the defence arm of the Tata Group has signed an agreement with American firm Lockheed Martin to produce and export new generation F-16 fighter aircraft.

The deal, coming days ahead of PM Modi’s first meeting with US President Donald Trump, was signed at the Paris Air Show. It is subject to the condition that the F-16 Block 70 fighter jet emerges as the winner of an Indian Air Force competetion to procure more than 100 single-engine fighters.

The Tata Advanced Systems Limited-Lockheed Martin combine will compete with Sweden’s Saab, which will offer its Gripen fighter aircraft for the requirement.

But some defence experts think Lockheed is trying to sell obsolete aircraft to India. Defence expert Brahma Chellaney wrote on Twitter: “India a dumping ground for obsolete weapons system? Lockheed Martin signs F-16 deal with Tata. Why Tata? Because they make the noisiest car?”
21/06/17 Economic Times

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