India signs agreement with Lockheed to produce F-16 fighters

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, June 19, 2017
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Lockheed Martin and Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) have signed a pact affirming the intent to join hands to produce F-16 Block 70 fighter planes in India. The announcement comes days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi travels to Washington for a meeting with Donald Trump on June 26.

“This unprecedented F-16 production partnership between the world’s largest defence contractor and India’s premier industrial house provides India the opportunity to produce, operate and export F-16 Block 70 aircraft, the newest and most advanced version of the world’s most successful, combat-proven multi-role fighter,” the two companies said.

Lockheed and Tata said moving production to India would still retain jobs in the US. F-16 production in India supports thousands of Lockheed Martin and F-16 supplier jobs in the US, creates new manufacturing jobs in India, and positions Indian industry at the centre of the most extensive fighter aircraft supply ecosystem in the world, the companies 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,” said N Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Sons.

“Our partnership significantly strengthens the F-16 ‘Make in India’ offer, creates and maintains numerous new job opportunities in India and the US, and brings the world’s most combat-proven multi-role fighter aircraft to India,” said Orlando Carvalho, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics.

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