An “unprecedented” deal was entered into between the Tata Group and the American aerospace giant Lockheed Martin on Monday. The deal said that both the companies jointly would produce combat-proven F-16 fighter jets in India. This is an uplifted task for the Tata Group, especially, looking at the factor of ‘Make in India‘ aspect.
The deal states that there will be a shift of the Fort Worth, Texas plant to India by Lockheed, however, the same would not affect the US jobs. The deal which was signed during the Paris Airshow is believed to meet the Indian Air Force’s single-engine needs.
N Chandrasekaran, chairman Tata Sons said “This agreement builds on the already established joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Tata and underscores the relationship and commitment between the two companies.”
The F-16 production in India not only supports thousands of Lockheed Martin and F-16 supplier jobs in the United States but also will help to create new manufacturing jobs in India.
Orlando Carvalho, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics said “Lockheed Martin is honoured to partner with Indian defence and aerospace leader Tata Advanced Systems Limited on the F-16 programme”.
F-16 Block 70 aircraft is considered to be the most newest and most advanced version combat-proven multi-role fighter. India, through this deal would be given an opportunity to be product operate and export F-16 Block 70 aircraft though the partnership.
The deal was signed by Sukaran Singh, CEO of TASL, and George Standridge, vice president of Strategy and Business Development, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. Along with Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus, Tata Sons, and Orlando Carvalho, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, were also present.
F-16 is the world’s most successful, combat-proven multi-role fighter ever produced. There are 4,500 of them produced and 3,200 operational aircraft flown worldwide in 26 countries.
As per the defence experts around 200 medium weight category aircraft is needed by the Air Force.
Hope the deal will give a new outlook towards building better relations with the US, as the agreement has come after a week of PM Shri Narendra Modi’s first bilateral meeting with Donald Trump.