SOURCE: SATYAJEET KUMAR/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
Its Raining F-35 offers to India After Japanese Think tank now British defense publication claims that India is silently negotiating with the American government for the purchase of F-35 jet fighter jets and now another west backed publication has claimed that India will be offered a Heavy modified F-35 in likes of what was given to the Israel where extensive involvement of its local defense contractor allowed F-35A to be called as F-35I due to significant country-specific modifications.
Indian specific version won’t be merely Indian additional weapons but also the addition of Indian electronic warfare system but also deep access to the avionics modifications including its present software suite that will allow India to upgrade systems and weapons without the need for American permission.
Publications claim that India will be supplied F-35 in a complete knock-down (CKD) and will get country-specific modifications and enhancements by the selected local partner of Lockheed Martin in India before it is delivered to India.
In 2021, Lockheed delivered 142 F-35s and is ramping up production to hit a max of 156 jets a year by 2023. Lockheed Martin is trying to hit a base unit cost of $77 Million for F-35A that will make it cheaper than many of the 4.5Gen fighters that are offered to India under MRFA tender for 114 jets but F-35A still has unusually high operating per hour costs that will make Indian Air Force wary of F-35A.
Indian ADA along with HAL already has started manufacturing components for the prototype of India’s 5.5gen AMCA fighter jet that it plans to roll out by 2024 and conclude its first flight by 2025 and enter production by 2030. Hoards of F-35 articles mainly by Western-backed Publications and off late Lockheed Martin going silent of its F-16V offer to India under MRFA seems to be targeted lobbying that is going on at the International level.
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