Lockheed Martin and India’s Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) signed an agreement affirming the companies intent to join hands to produce the F-16 Block 70 in India.
The agreement was signed at the Paris Air show Monday.
This unprecedented F-16 production partnership between Lockheed Martin and TASL 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 company said in a statement Monday.
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.
Indian air force is planning to hold 'limited trials' of the US fighter jet F-16 and Swedish Gripen as part of its selection process to identify a foreign partner to build 120 combat planes in India under a $20 billion deal.
The F-16 had not been selected then as it was found that there was no potential for developing the aircraft further. The Saab Gripen did not have an advanced radar called AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array), which was mandatory requirement in that project, the official further elaborated to the publication.
The fighter jets are said to be compliant to the current requirements as the the F-16 manufacturer, Lockheed Martin has has come up with the latest version of F-16 known as F-16V (Block 70) while the Gripen has been fitted with an AESA radar.