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William Blair, Lockheed Martin’s India vice-president and chief executive, told ThePrint that Lockheed Martin sees the F-21 aircraft as a perfect fit between Indian-made LCA-Tejas fighter jet and Rafale and Su-30MKI as the company is keen to respond to the RFP (Request for Proposal) for MRFA that is likely to be issued later this year by Indian Air Force (IAF)

Lockheed Martin has offered India its F-16V configuration Block 70/72 which in India is called F-21. F-21 has a Maximum take-off weight of 21 tons which makes it below Rafale (24.5-tons) and Sukhoi-30 (34.5tons) but above LCA-Tejas Mk1A (14 tons) and Tejas Mk2 (17.5-tons).

Lockheed Martin will shift the production of the F-21 to India if it wins a contract for 114 jets under the MRFA tender. Lockheed Martin is bringing F-16 and F-35 fighter jets to Aero India where it also plans to showcase a full cockpit demonstrator of the F-21 aircraft.

Lockheed Martin claims that F-21 is vastly superior to the F-16 Block 52 supplied to Pakistan as it can support triple-rail launchers for the AIM-120 BVRAAMs that’s 40% more BVRAAM carrying capacity plus the F-21 (F-16V) also supports latest AMRAM Variants with increased range of over 160km.

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