Hyderabad, June 19 (IANS) Lockheed Martin and Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) Monday signed an agreement to join hands to produce the F-16 Block 70 in India.
The F-16 Block 70 is ideally suited to meet the Indian Air Force's single-engine fighter needs and this unmatched US-Indian industry partnership directly supports India's initiative to develop private aerospace and defense manufacturing capacity in India, the two companies said.
This unprecedented F-16 production partnership between the world's largest defense 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, according to a statement here.
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 center of the most extensive fighter aircraft supply ecosystem in the world.A
"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 Tata Sons N. Chandrasekaran.
"Lockheed Martin is honored to partner with Indian defense and aerospace leader Tata Advanced Systems Limited on the F-16 program," said Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Executive Vice President Orlando Carvalho.
"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."
The Lockheed Martin-TASL F-16 partnering agreement builds on TASL's proven performance manufacturing airframe components for the C-130J airlifter and the S-92 helicopter.
With more than 4,500 produced and approximately 3,200 operational aircraft worldwide being flown today by 26 countries, the F-16 remains the world's most successful, combat-proven multi-role fighter ever produced. The F-16 Block 70 is the newest and most technologically advanced F-16 ever offered.