Bengaluru, February 20: Good news for Indian Defence firms. United States of America’s premier fighter jets makers – Lockheed Martin – on Wednesday unveiled the F-21, claiming it to be produced in India under the ‘Make in India’ programme. The announcement by the multi-role fighter jet maker comes in the backdrop which is vying for the multi-billion dollar order from India. It has also floated a Request For Information for 114 fighter aircraft during the Aero India Show 2019.
In its multi-billion dollar billion bid, the Lockheed Martin claims that the new aircraft will be configured explicitly for the Indian Air Force. Along with this, the firm promises that if the bid is taken seriously and considered, it will have ‘Make In India’ opportunities that no other firm had offered earlier to the country. Aero India 2019: Rafale, Sukhoi MK30i, Tejas – India’s Aerial Might on Display in Bengaluru on Day 1; Watch Videos.
The announcement was made by US giant on the Aero India Show 2019’s first day and had promised that it would partner Tata Advanced Systems to produce the F-21 in India itself.
It is to be known that the Union Defence Ministry had earlier issued a notification for the appropriate bidder for fighter aircraft which would fulfil the requirement of Indian Air Force. Martin’s is among the seven bidders who had responded positively to IAF’s RFI for fighter jets and had offered the F-16.
However, taking a step forward, the US fighter jets maker stated that F-21 is designed to address IAF’s unique requirements. It includes an advanced and scalable fighter aircraft to the IAF, providing the elite Air Force industrial opportunities locally.
Previously, Lockheed Martin had bidden for the F-16 Block 70 as part of the MMRCA (medium multi-role combat aircraft) deal, which France’s Dassault bagged and India got Rafale. With the new bid in place, the US firm claims that it is a win-win situation for both the countries – India and the US. Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 1.05 lakh people globally.