Bangalore. 09 October 2018. Lockheed Martin Corp. and Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) are hosting an F-16 industry supplier conference this week in India. Current F-16 suppliers and prospective Indian industry partners at the event are gathering to discuss opportunities on the F-16 program — the world’s largest fighter aircraft ecosystem.
“The F-16 provides unmatched opportunities for Indian companies of all sizes, including Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises and suppliers throughout India, to establish new business relationships with Lockheed Martin, Tata and other U.S. and global industry leaders,” said Vivek Lall, Vice President of Strategy and Business Development for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. “Exclusive F-16 production integrates Indian industry into a [USD] $165 billion fighter aircraft sustainment market.”
Sukaran Singh, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Tata Advanced Systems, said, “We are delighted to host the supplier conference with our partners Lockheed Martin and provide a platform that will allow Indian players in the industry explore opportunities, share knowledge with other global suppliers in the F-16 fighter aircraft manufacturing ecosystem. The potential F-16 India Project, as a single source globally, will be highly strategic for India, especially to build new capabilities in the Indian defence manufacturing sector. We also look forward to participating in the selection process for the Fighter Program of the Indian Air Force.”
Current F-16 industry partners include GE, Terma, Honeywell, Fokker, Israeli Aerospace Industries, Elbit, UTC, Terma, Eaton, Moog, Parker, and other global defence industry leaders.
Lockheed Martin recently emphasized its commitment to India by announcing the company will partner with TASL to commence production of F-16 wings in India. The landmark ‘Make in India’ announcement is a strategic initiative that positions TASL to become the provider of wings for all future customers.
Lockheed Martin’s broader proposed F-16 partnership with India—to produce F-16s exclusively in India for the Indian Air Force and export customers—stands firm. Lockheed Martin and TASL announced last year that the two companies intend to join hands to produce the F-16 Block 70 in India if the aircraft is selected by the Indian Air Force.
The F-16 Block 70 features advanced avionics, a proven Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, a modernized cockpit, advanced weapons, conformal fuel tanks, an automatic ground collision avoidance system, an advanced engine and an industry-leading extended structural service life of 12,000 hours.
To date, 4,604 F-16s have been procured by 28 customers around the world. Approximately 3,000 operational F-16s are flying today with 25 leading air forces, including the U.S. Air Force.