SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG
Lockheed Martin’s F-16 Block 70/72 is enjoying a late-life revival due to complex issues that continue to plague fifth-generation F-35 fighter jets that its ever-increasing operational cost that has failed to come down even after repeated assurance. With steady orders coming from its current operators, Lockheed Martin is shifting its focus on India where requirements for 114 jets under MRFA Tender could extend the lifeline of the legacy jet by another 40 years.
Lockheed Martin which has tied up with Tata Advanced Systems (TASL) which is already producing F-16 wings in the country is offering the F-21, which is uniquely configured to meet or exceed all of the IAF’s Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft requirements.
IAF is yet to issue an RFP (Request for Proposal) for the MRFA tender that will lay out some of the configurations that might be requested and Lockheed Martin is willing to change the present configuration of the F-21 (Block 70/72 ) that are offered to meet IAF requirements.
Tata-Lockheed Martin Aerostructures (TLMAL), a joint venture between Tata Advanced Systems (TASL) and Lockheed Martin will be in charge of the production of the aircraft locally if it wins the tender and TLMAL will come up with a new manufacturing facility in around Hyderabad, Telangana.
Lockheed Martin is offering India Unmatched Weapon Integration capabilities with the F-21 that could clear the path for integration of all Indian-made weapons systems on the aircraft. Integration of Weapons currently developed and once in the future will have no issues being added without any restrictions from the OEMs.
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