DW: You put in a lot of effort in the IAF MMRCA pitch with the F-16. Has the disqualification been a setback for Lockheed Martin in India?
Roger Rose, Chief Executive,Lockheed Martin India: We had high expectations from the MMRCA tender as ours was among the lowest bids, combined with the fact that the F-16 is a proven aircraft in service with many Air Forces in the world. However, it is ultimately the customers’ decision what it wants to buy. We are moving on from the experience and focusing on other procurement opportunities in India.
DW: How is the C130J program progressing in India and is there the possibility of a follow-on order?
Roger Rose, Chief Executive,Lockheed Martin India: The C130J deliveries have happened on schedule and within cost. I can say that the IAF is happy with the performance of their C130J transport planes which have been pressed into active service. A follow-on order is expected for an additional six aircraft and we are hopeful about a letter of intent soon.
DW: There is talk of an Indian Navy requirement for a multi-mission helicopter in which the MH60R helicopter is to be pitched. Is this true?
Roger Rose, Chief Executive,Lockheed Martin India: We have been requested to provide information about the MH60R Romeo helicopter by the Indian Navy. Their requirement is for 75 multi-mission helicopters which is a fairly large order. The MH60R Romeo has its airframe built by Sikorsky in which Lockheed Martin has substantial contribution in terms of the avionics suite and other electronics. The helicopter has been delivered to the U.S. Navy and is considered its most advanced helicopter. Of late, Australia too has shown interest in the MH60R. We will certainly bid when the Indian RFP comes out. On the helicopter front, we are also expecting results from the attack helicopter tender in which the Boeing Apache has emerged as the most qualified bidder. Lockheed Martin sensors, weapons and networking systems are working on the Apache AH 64D.
DW: What is the status of the Javelin missiles procurement for the Indian Army?
Roger Rose, Chief Executive,Lockheed Martin India: The missile has been successfully tested by the Indian Army in exercises and it has performed as per expectations. This is a foreign military sales project and it is for the Indian government to initiate talks with the U.S. government on buying the Javelin. The missile is one of the lightest and most accurate soldier-fired anti-armour weapon in the world today.
DW: Are you also in the race to supply laser guided bombs to the Indian Air Force?
Roger Rose, Chief Executive,Lockheed Martin India: We are in contention to supply the Paveway II Laser-guided bombs(LGBs) to the IAF. The IAF plans to have the bunker-busting bombs mounted on Jaguar warplanes. We understand that Lockheed Martin’s Paveway II LGBs have emerged as the lowest bidder and are awaiting contract negotiations in this deal.
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