Indian Air Force

American Lockheed Martin to explore tie-ups with India industry, suppliers

Photo: Lockheed Martin’s offer to Indian Air Force, F-21 combat jet.

New Delhi: American arms major Lockheed Martin will explore ‘Make in India‘ opportunities and partnerships with Indian industry and suppliers in a bid to strengthen defence ties between the two nations, while at DefExpo-2020 in Lucknow between Feb. 5 and 8.

The company said it has currently integrated more than 70 Indian suppliers including Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) into its global supply chain.

“At the expo, the company representatives will seek to discuss partnership opportunities with Tier 1 suppliers and prospective Indian industry partners that strengthen India-U.S. defence industrial ties and ‘Make in India’ opportunities,” it said in a pre-event statement here.

As a part of its larger commitment to enhance the growth and development of India’s innovation ecosystem, Lockheed Martin has sponsored and supported the India Innovation Growth Programme (IIGP) since 2007 in association with the Government of India‘s Department of Science and Technology.

In 2019, the company established Memorandum of Understanding with three Indian startups — Terero Mobility, Sastra Robotics, and NoPo Nanotechnologies — integrating them in Lockheed Martin’s global supply chain, contributing to the evolution of both the Indian and global aerospace and defence industry.

“We’re proud to participate in DefExpo-2020, where we can showcase our commitment to ‘Make in India’ directly to the largest gathering of defence and aerospace partners in the country,” Lockheed Martin India Chief Executive and Vice President William ‘Bill’ Blair said.

“Lockheed Martin continues to build upon its more than three-decades of partnership with India, expand collaborations with local industry to support the evolution of indigenous defence manufacturing ecosystem, and further advance India’s strategic security and industrial capabilities.”

Lockheed Martin’s goals at the show include building on the company’s existing foundation in India by identifying additional strategic partners from across the country, to include companies of all sizes — large, MSMEs and start-ups.

“For the past decade, we have supported the growth and development of India’s innovation and start-up ecosystem, and look forward to strengthening those partnerships to support the advancement of India’s defence industry well into the future,” Blair said.

The American major is participating in what’s seen as the largest single order for fighter aircraft at over $15 billion cost, offering its new F-21 jet to the Indian Air Force. F-21 will take centrestage at Lockheed Martin’s display at DefExpo-2020, with a cockpit demonstrator available at the booth for defence and aerospace partners to get of feel of piloting the jet themselves

“The F-21 demonstrates Lockheed Martin’s commitment in delivering an advanced, scalable single-engine fighter to the Indian Air Force that also provides unrivaled industrial partnership opportunities — for India, from India,” the statement said.

Another platform highlighted is the MH-60R ‘Romeo’ SEAHAWK helicopter, also on offer to the Indian Navy. “The MH-60R is the world’s most advanced maritime helicopter and will bring vital anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare capabilities to the Indo-Pacific region.”

Boosting Lockheed Martin’s presence at the show is the C-130J Super Hercules and the S-92 multi-role helicopter, both of which represent a strong legacy of partnership with India and the Indian defence industry.

The Indian Air Force operates 12 C-130Js, using the tactical airlifter to go anywhere to do everything. India also is connected to the C-130J through Tata Lockheed Martin Aerostructures Limited, a joint venture that has the distinction of being the single-global source of C-130J empennage assemblies included on all new Super Hercules aircraft. All C-130Js now built have major components manufactured in India.

On display will be the Javelin anti-tank guided missile system, an effective one-man-portable and platform-employed anti-tank and multi-target precision weapon system, provides the capability to defeat a broad spectrum of close combat threats on the modern battlefield.

Using fire-and-forget technology, the weapon guides itself to the target without external commands, allowing soldiers to take cover or reposition. With a range of 65 meters to four kilometres in most operational conditions, as well as the ability to operate through adverse weather and battlefield obscurants, Javelin can be deployed in a variety of environments and conditions.

Also highlighted is the Modernised Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS), the advanced electro-optical fire control system used by AH-64D/E Apache helicopter pilots for long-range precision engagement and pilotage capabilities in day, night and adverse-weather missions; and precision guided munitions.

NOTE: Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 105,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. Present in India for over three decades, Lockheed Martin has existing and potential programmes ranging from transport, maritime and fighter aircraft, to shipborne air and missile defence projects as well as capabilities in civil sectors including new and renewable energy.

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