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Lockheed Martin, Tata to hold suppliers' meet in India to create F-16 jets' manufacturing ecosystem

WASHINGTON: Lockheed Martin and Tata will jointly host a suppliers’ meet in India to provide unmatched opportunities for Indian companies to establish new business ties with the F-16 fighter jets’ maker and other industry leaders, the American aerospace giant announced on Tuesday.

Such a move from Maryland-based Lockheed Martin comes as part of its broader proposed F-16 partnership with India to produce F-16s exclusively in India for the Indian Air Force and export customers. 

Last year, Lockheed Martin and Tata Advanced Systems Limited announced their intention to join hands to produce the F-16 Block 70 in India if the aircraft is selected by the Indian Air Force.

Last month, it entered into an agreement with Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) for the production of the wings of Lockheed Martin’s F-16 fighter jets.

The current F-16 suppliers and prospective Indian industry partners are gathering at the event in Bangalore to discuss opportunities on the .. 

“The F-16 provides unmatched opportunities for Indian companies of all sizes including Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and suppliers throughout India to establish new business relationships with Lockheed Martin, Tata and other US and global industry leaders,” said VivekLall, 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,” he said.

Lockheed has offered to move its entire F-16 manufacturing base to India. India is yet to make a decision on it. Producing F-16 wings in India will strengthen Lockheed Martin’s strategic partnership with Tata Advanced Systems Limited and support the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Indian government, the company said last month.

(Source : The Economic Times)