Lockheed offered an F-16 assembly plant to India along with aircrafts

Lockheed offered an F-16 assembly plant to India along with aircrafts


Lockheed, for a worthwhile prospective export market for its F-16 fighter aircraft and in a bid to win a large Indian military order, has offered to set up an assembly line in India, a top executive told Reuters.

In that move, U.S. defense firm is not only seeing a potential export market of more than $20 billion but is also trying to win an Indian order estimated to be of worth $15 billion.

Other companies offering their planes for Indian air force’s requirement of 114 fighter planes includes Saab offering Gripen, Boeing with F/A-18, the Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Aviation bringing Rafale and a Russian aircraft. To that tough competition, Lockheed is offering shifting of whole assembly line along with the planes.

The shifting of assembly line from the United States to India, creating a defense industrial base and generating jobs for youth entering the workforce of the country each month, will also be a biggest boost for Indian Prime Minister’s Make-in-India project.

Meeting the requirements for the Indian military as well as overseas markets, the facility in India will be made as a sole global production center for the F-16 by Lockheed, Vivek Lall, the vice president of strategy and business development at Lockheed, told Reuters. Currently the firm is expecting a demand of more than 200 aircrafts from markets other than India and amount of those initial purchases would likely be exceeding an amount of $20 billion, he added.

The aircraft being offered to India are F-16 Block 70, which had also been picked by Slovakia and Bahrain; moreover, discussions with 10 other countries including Bulgaria are in progress. It is like new beginning of the F-16, Lall said.

For its proposed F-16 plant, Lockheed, regardless of the outcome of the Indian military order, will be partnering with Tata Advanced System in India.

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Zac Berry is presently a full time editor at Market Morning. He covers the M&As and follows live market commentary. Before joining Markets Morning, Zac Berry worked with a start-up, where he worked in the capacity of a Team Leader tracking company events and results. Born in the U.A.E, he spent most of his growing up years in Dubai. Currently, he resides in U.S. and is pursuing his charter in Accountancy.