New Delhi, June 19: Lockheed Matin – the American aerospace giant and Tata Group on Monday finally signed an agreement to produce the combat F-16 fighter jets in India. As per the agreement between two giant companies, the Texas plant of Lockheed will be shifted to India and with this, the American jobs will not be affected. The deal has been inked in such a way that it will not be a threat to US President Donal Trump’s “American first” campaign.
The deal announced on the sidelines of the Paris Airshow between Tata Advanced Systems Limited and Lockheed Martin is ideally suited to meet the Indian Air Force’s single-engine fighter needs. This deal will boost Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India initiative’. This deal was inked ahead of PM Modi’s US trip. Indian Air Force needs many F-16’s to replace its current fleet. Lockheed is shifting is the plant to India as PM Modi-led government has clearly stated that production of planes should be done within the soil as it will help in building the domestic industrial market.
Both the firms, regarding the agreement of F-16s issued a joint statement saying the production of the fighter jets in India will create news jobs in the manufacturing zone of the country. The statement further said that the initiative supports India’s aim to develop a private aerospace and defence manufacturing capacity within the country. N. Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Sons, said:”This agreement builds on the already established joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Tata and underscores the relationship and commitment between the two companies.”
N. Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Sons, said: “This agreement builds on the already established joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Tata and underscores the relationship and commitment between the two companies.”
As per the two big business giants, India can also export the fighter jets.
F-16 is a US produced aircraft specially designed for their Air Force. Approved in 1976, it’s an all-weather aircraft. The F-16A, a single-seat model, first flew in December 1976.