New Delhi. 10 March 2023 . Lockheed Martin and Tata Group have reached an agreement to begin the implementation of fighter wing production at the companies’ joint venture, Tata Lockheed Martin Aerostructures Limited (TLMAL), in Hyderabad, India. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) envisions production of 29 fighter wing shipsets, with an option of additional shipsets, and deliveries commencing in 2025.
Lockheed Martin formally recognized TLMAL as a potential co-producer of fighter wings in October 2021 following TLMAL’s successful production and qualification of a prototype fighter wing shipset. Through this prototype project, TLMAL was required to demonstrate the capability to perform detailed part manufacturing and delivery of a fully compliant fuel-carrying 9-g, 12,000 hour, interchangeable/replaceable representative fighter wing. That achievement further strengthened Lockheed Martin’s partnership with India; and supports its F-21 offering for procurement of 114 new fighter aircraft — exclusively for India and the Indian Air Force — by proving additional indigenous production capability. The India F-21 represents an unprecedented strategic and economic opportunity for the United States-India relationship and represents a catalyst to future advanced technology cooperation.
“This MOU between Lockheed Martin and Tata Group further exemplifies Lockheed Martin’s commitment to a self-reliant India and the degree of confidence that exists in our relationships with our partners in India,” said James Taiclet, chairman, president and CEO, Lockheed Martin. “Lockheed Martin’s 21st Century Security vision aims to deliver integrated mission-focused defense capabilities with innovation and urgency, and with that we are one of the only aerospace companies with a complex aerostructure capability for advanced fighters in India. This strong partnership embodies our principle of For India, From India, For the World.”
Tata Advanced Systems Limited and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics established TLMAL as a joint venture in 2010. TLMAL demonstrates the government of India’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat ‘Make in India’ and ‘Skills India’ goals and serves as the single global source of C-130J empennage assemblies that are installed on all new Super Hercules aircraft. To date, TLMAL has manufactured and delivered nearly 200 C-130J empennages.
“I am proud of the Tata Group’s partnership with Lockheed Martin on this prestigious project. I would like to congratulate the TLMAL team for successfully industrializing and qualifying the fighter wing in spite of the technological complexity involved. I am confident the initiative of manufacturing fighter wings in India will go a long way in strengthening the aerospace and defence manufacturing ecosystem in India.” said N. Chandrasekaran, chairman, Tata Sons Pvt. Ltd.
Lockheed Martin continues to build upon more than seven decades of association and three decades of partnership with India by nurturing and expanding collaborations with local industry to support the evolution of indigenous defense manufacturing ecosystems, and further advance India’s strategic security and industrial capabilities. These range from transport, maritime and fighter aircraft, to shipborne air and missile defense projects, as well as capabilities in civil sectors including new and renewable energy. Lockheed Martin India’s joint ventures, apprenticeships and founding membership of the India Innovation Growth Program underscore its conviction to Indian industry, talent and progress.