American Defence giant Lockheed Martin Wednesday unveiled the F-21 multi-role fighter jet for India, to be produced locally, as it eyed a multi-billion dollar military order.
Specifically configured for the IAF, the F-21 provides "unmatched" Make in India opportunities and strengthens India's path to an advanced airpower future, the firm said announcing the plan on the opening day at the Aero India 2019 air show.
Lockheed Martin and Tata Advanced Systems would produce the F-21 in India, for India, it said in a statement. The US Defence major, which had earlier offered its F-16 fighter to India, said the F-21 addresses the IAF's unique requirements and integrates India into the world's largest fighter aircraft ecosystem. "The F-21 is different, inside and out," said Dr Vivek Lall, vice president of Strategy and Business Development for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics.
"The new [F-21] designation highlights our commitment to delivering an advanced, scalable fighter aircraft to the Indian Air Force that also provides unrivalled industrial opportunities and accelerates closer India-US cooperation on advanced technologies," he said. This "unprecedented" Make in India opportunity combines the strength of the world's largest defence contractor with India's premier industrial house to deliver "a historic win-win" for India and the United States, the statement said.
Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 1,05,000 people worldwide. It is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.