Tuesday, August 29, 2017

India may start exporting F-16 fighter jets, Lockheed wants India as global factory

New Delhi: Lockheed Martin is closing in on an international deal for F-16 fighter planes, and has offered to eventually build all the jets at a proposed plant in India if it wins a bigger order to supply the Indian Air Force, a top executive said.
The US defence giant and Sweden's Saab are in a two horse-race to equip the Indian military with at least 100 single-engine jets that have to be produced locally under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Make-in-India' plan.
Randall L Howard, who leads F-16 business development, said Lockheed is offering to make India the sole F-16 production centre, so eventually it will make the planes not just for India, but also for other countries.
Lockheed is closing its F-16 production line at Forth Worth, Texas and will supply new orders from a new facility at Greenville, South Carolina. But the plan was to eventually build the planes in India, Howard told Reuters.
"Our next customer, which we believe to be very soon ... we will produce those aircraft out of that (Greenville) facility," he said. "As you look beyond that, the opportunity for India is to then move all of that into India and that's what's being proposed ... to have a single production line in India that would service the new production requirements of global demand, the global market."
29/08/17 Reuters/India Today