India to fly home Lockheed Martin and Boeing under ‘Make in India’ umbrella
15th August 2016Category : TechnologiesPublished by :Rahul Verma Reading Time : 4 Minute News Sourced : India
Scratching noise through the skies in formation by the Indian Air Force is always a proud moment that showcase the legacy of the guardian of the skies. The dream of flying ‘indigenous’ fighter aircraft delayed to over 30 years and finally ‘Tejas’ take off with the thunder. The project revamped airstrip for next generation fighter jet for India.
The nation has one of the largest air force in the world and for counterattacks it needs the best wings. The growing concern from counterpart over diminishing numbers of fleet and aging jet technology, here India need to break this jinx towards achieving the best line of defence in the sky.
The archrival China and Pakistan are producing joint fighter (J-17) in collaboration, and Dragon though has produced J 20 stealth fighter, clearly indicates that India must adopt policy to tackle the alliance. Like our close neighbours, India is on the modernization path with technology transfer in defence sector with long time defense partner Russia. Looking to the concerns over delayed projects and strong demand of fifth generation of combat aircraft PM Modi’s visionary ‘Make in India’ is now becoming guiding force to the sector.
India still needs good number of squadron compared to China as procurement of 120 multi role combat aircraft is in lull; out of that defense ministry is working on deal for purchasing 36 Rafale from France. The major defence companies Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Sukhoi and SaaB are looking to play catalyst role in procurement policy. The winning streak is world’s leading manufacturer Lockheed Martin has history of producing largest exporting series F -16 and catapulting fully loaded breed of F 35, is looking to make production base in India.
American defence major Lockheed Martin has shown interest to move its production line of the latest version of fighter aircraft F 16-Block 70 to India from Texas to cater to Indian and global requirement. “The offer we have given to the Indian government is unmatched and from our side unprecedented,” Randall L Howard, F16 Business Development, Lockheed Martin.
The company has similar interest to India and believes this step will also cut the cost of the aircraft which in turn will increase its global demand. Though company has made it conditional to IAF in picking up the aircraft for its fleet.
India has 100 per cent FDI approval in defense. Conglomerate generation of India, the Tata, Reliance and Mahindra is motivated with the efforts to make fighter jets and advance weapons in the country and planning to absorb fresh demand with their defense arm and foreign collaborators. The statement from Defence Minister Parrikar too backed the motive of upbringing fighter aircraft unit in India. Media reports suggests the possibilities of manufacturing fighter jet in future and Boeing has made offers of manufacturing F-18 Super Hornets for IAF in India
Meanwhile, India is focusing on Fifth Generation aircraft with HAL Sukhoi collaboration and soon that will cost $ 300 m to India in preliminary phase. The hunt for the best has started, as the US, Sweden and Russia is looking to invest in India for world class fighter aircrafts and helicopters. Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited (TBAL) has started its facility with joint cooperation on Boeing AH-64 Apache combat helicopter fuselages globally.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has said India will choose at least one more aircraft, besides the indigenous Tejas, for the IAF through the ‘Make in India’ route. Lockheed Martin, which has sold 4,588 F16s in the world, faces competition from its American rival Boeing (F/A-18E), Dassault Aviation of France (Rafale), Swedish Gripen by Saab and the Eurofighter Typhoon.
In recent visit to Sweden, Indian Air Force (IAF) chief Arup Raha flew the Gripen fighter aircraft manufactured by Sweden’s defence major Saab, has also offered to make Gripen in India for the requirement of Indian forces.