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Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL), a Mumbai-headquartered company, and US-based Lockheed Martin are currently engaged in discussions to collaborate on offering the Made in India C-130J Super Hercules aircraft to the Indian Air Force (IAF). This move comes as the IAF aims to meet its requirement for 60-80 Medium Transport aircraft. With Tata Lockheed Martin Aerostructures Limited (TLMAL) already manufacturing the empennage of the C-130J Super Hercules in Hyderabad, the two companies have established a strong working relationship over the past decade.

TLMAL’s manufacturing facility in Adibatla, Hyderabad, has been instrumental in producing components for the C-130J Super Hercules. In recent years, there has been significant progress in indigenizing the empennage, with localization levels rising from 85% to over 95%. This achievement underscores the commitment of both TASL and Lockheed Martin to the “Make in India” initiative, which aims to enhance indigenous defence production capabilities and reduce dependence on imports.

The potential partnership between Tata Advanced Systems Limited and Lockheed Martin holds immense strategic value. Tata-Airbus, a joint venture between TASL and Airbus, is already involved in the development of the C-295 Airlifter for the Indian Air Force. By leveraging their existing expertise and infrastructure, the two companies can offer a comprehensive range of transport aircraft options to the IAF, including the C-130J Super Hercules, which is already in operational service with the IAF.

The C-130J Super Hercules is a versatile and reliable medium transport aircraft widely used by air forces around the world. It boasts exceptional performance capabilities, including the ability to operate from short and unprepared runways, making it suitable for a variety of military and humanitarian missions. The aircraft’s advanced avionics, enhanced range, and payload capacity make it a valuable asset for the Indian Air Force’s transport fleet.

By manufacturing the C-130J Super Hercules in India, Tata Advanced Systems Limited and Lockheed Martin would not only support the country’s self-reliance goals but also contribute to job creation, technology transfer, and the development of a robust defence industrial base. The collaboration would further strengthen the ties between the two companies and deepen the defence partnership between India and the United States.

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