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April 6, 2016

Make in India’ boost: Boeing & Lockheed Martin offer to locally manufacture F16 and F/A 18 jets

 
In the first government facilitated talks on producing an American fighter jet in India, rivals Boeing and Lockheed Martin (LM) jointly met top defence ministry officials in the capital on Tuesday, offering to locally manufacture the F16 ‘Super Viper’ and a customised F/A 18 ‘Super Hornet’ for Indian Air Force requirements.
The formal meetings, held in the presence of Pentagon’s Director for International Cooperation Keith Webster at South Block, is the first step towards a possible foreign military sales (FMS) proposal for producing American jets under the Make in India initiative. Several officials associated with the project told ET that the government to government discussions – in the presence of the two defence manufacturers offering the aircraft – would continue over the next few days with US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter scheduled to meet Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on April 12.
 While rivals Boeing and LM have publicly announced their interest in manufacturing fighter jets in India, the government level talks are a serious step ahead on the proposals. Officials told ET that discussions hinged around the modalities of a possible Make in India project but a formal offer letter – with pricing and availability of aircraft – could be some distance away.
 The interest of foreign players in producing fighters in India comes after Parrikar has publicly stated that the ministry is interested in setting up production lines for ‘one or two’ fighters at the earliest. With the French Rafale fighter deal going slow on pricing issues, global players sense an opportunity to set up a production base in India. As reported by ET, New Delhi has been considering a proposal to manufacture the F 16 fighter jets under the `Make in India’ initiative after LM offered to shift a production line here to meet both Indian requirements and for exports. LM had even raised the possibility of local manufacture during the meeting of one of its top executives with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modilast year. .

economictimes


In the first government facilitated talks on producing an American fighter jet in India, rivals Boeing and Lockheed Martin (LM) jointly met top defence ministry officials in the capital on Tuesday, offering to locally manufacture the F16 ‘Super Viper’ and a customised F/A 18 ‘Super Hornet’ for Indian Air Force requirements. The formal meetings, held in the presence of Pentagon’s Director for International Cooperation Keith Webster at South Block, is the first step towards a possible foreign military sales (FMS) proposal for producing American jets under the Make in India initiative. Several officials associated with the project told ET that the government to government discussions – in the presence of the two defence manufacturers offering the aircraft – would continue over the next few days with US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter scheduled to meet Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on April 12. While rivals Boeing and LM have publicly announced their interest in manufacturing fighter jets in India, the government level talks are a serious step ahead on the proposals. Officials told ET that discussions hinged around the modalities of a possible Make in India project but a formal offer letter – with pricing and availability of aircraft – could be some distance away. The interest of foreign players in producing fighters in India comes after Parrikar has publicly stated that the ministry is interested in setting up production lines for ‘one or two’ fighters at the earliest. With the French Rafale fighter deal going slow on pricing issues, global players sense an opportunity to set up a production base in India. As reported by ET, New Delhi has been considering a proposal to manufacture the F 16 fighter jets under the `Make in India’ initiative after LM offered to shift a production line here to meet both Indian requirements and for exports. LM had even raised the possibility of local manufacture during the meeting of one of its top executives with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modilast year.

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