Defenseworld.net interviewed the Head of Lockheed Martin India, Mr. Roger Rose on his firm’s plans for India and key projects such as the MMRCA fighter aircraft bid, the C130J transporter and on bringing some of the company’s latest defence technology to India as part of the offsets program.
DW : What cutting edge technologies will Lockheed Martin bring to India as part of its offsets requirement?
Roger Rose: We are in touch with the Indian MoD regarding the Indian Navy’s consideration of the world’s most advanced shipboard Weapons System, the Aegis Combat System (ACS). The US Navy has briefed the Indian Navy on the capabilities of the world's premier area air defense combat system; other Asia Pacific navies operating Aegis systems are Japan, South Korea and Australia. Lockheed Martin and Hyundai Heavy Industries also included the Aegis CMS concept when answering the Project 17A RFI.
DW : Other than the MMRCA, what projects is Lockheed Martin is bidding on. Please detail in terms of RFI and RFPs.
Roger Rose: "Team Romeo", which includes the US Navy and Lockheed Martin, awaits the decision on the suitability of the MH-60R Foreign Material Sales offering for short-listing in the Indian Navy's Multi-Role Helicopter competition. India is receiving the first international offer of the US Navy's front-line carrier battle group helicopter. We also are very excited about our bid for a Deep Submergence Vehicle (DSV) for the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT). The DSV is a scientific vehicle rather than military and will help NIOT to monitor the sea bed. The craft is designed to accommodate two researchers, one pilot and a large payload. It can reach depths of 400 meters to about 2 and half miles. It has a large personal sphere with five windows. Three of the windows have a 7 inch diameter viewing port and two have a 5 inch diameter viewing port providing good visibility. It is capable of hovering at any depth, maneuvering in rugged topography or resting on the sea floor while researchers explore and survey the ocean’s geology and biology.
DW : What is the status of the MMRCA trails regarding the F-16? What are the next steps?
Roger Rose: We are currently completing Phase III of field trials in the U.S. Once field trails are completed, the IAF will evaluate the results of all the competitors. Lockheed Martin is very excited to be a part of the competition and we feel the F-16 IN Super Viper is the right choice for the Indian Air force.
DW : Can you name any Indian partners identified for different projects and will be the level of partnership (equity participation, work share, etc.)?
Roger Rose: We are in discussion with several potential partners. I would like to mention here that Lockheed Martin is well versed in teaming with international shipyards in a variety of arrangements to ensure a low risk, successful integration of the Aegis Weapon System. We also have extensive experience in executing strategic industrial partnerships that include system co-development and in-country manufacturing. We have met with multiple Indian shipyards and defense contractors in preparation for the Aegis integration.
DW : What is the progress on the C130J aircraft purchase by the Indian Air Force.
Roger Rose: The C130J program is progressing as per schedule with deliveries of six aircraft starting from 2011. The C130 J will add to India’s heavy lift transport capabilities and we have an offsets program going with it.
DW : Are you also bidding on some helicopter program?
Roger Rose: Yes. We are bidding with our MH60R helicopter for the Indian Navy and the Apache attack helicopter for Indian Army. Both of these choppers are unmatched for the roles they have been designed for. The MH60R has not been offered to any foreign country and India will be the first outside the U.S. if it buys the MH60R.