According to report in Janes, Lockheed Martin is leveraging its manufacturing ecosystem in India to support its proposal to supply F-21 fighter jets to the Indian Air Force (IAF) as part of India’s Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft (MRFA) acquisition project.

Following a request for information (RFI) from the Indian Ministry of Defence, New Delhi announced the USD18 billion MRFA project in April 2018. (MoD). The MRFA programme replaces the now-defunct Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) project, which was announced in 2001. The MRFA project aims to acquire 114 fighter planes (or six squadrons).

According to previous disclosures by the companies, the MRFA project has attracted bids from seven companies. Aside from Lockheed Martin, Boeing (with its F/A-18E/F and F-15EX), Dassault (Rafale), Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug (Typhoon), and Mikoyan-Gurevich are also present (MiG-35).

Hyderabad-based Tata-Lockheed Martin Aerostructures Limited (TLMAL) facility has been certified to makeF-16 fighter jet wings. The facility can make 50 pairs of wings, which can carry fuel, perform and fly at ‘9G’ and have 12,000-hour lifespan.

The wing can carry fuel, it can perform and fly at ‘9G’ — ‘G’ defines gravitational pull and 9G is the maximum a human body can endure. The wing has 12,000-hour lifespan and is capable to be interchanged on all fighters (F-16).