Business & Defence

Lockheed Martin To Pitch F-21 Fighters To The IAF at DEFEXPO 2022

The 12th biennial edition of India’s DEFEXPO 2022, which begins on March 10 in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, will feature Lockheed Martin’s comprehensive range of defence capabilities and solutions.

This year’s exhibit covers a wide range of sophisticated technologies from the company’s core sectors of aeronautics, rotary and mission systems, missiles, and fire control. Lockheed Martin’s main draw at the show this year will be one of the most technologically advanced complicated aerostructures – a “Made in India” fuel-carrying, 9G, 12,000 hour, interchangeable/replaceable fighter wing.

The Tata Lockheed Martin Aerostructures Limited (TLMAL) plant in Hyderabad produced this wing.

TLMAL is the single global source of C-130J empennage assemblies fitted on all new Super Hercules aircraft, exemplifying the Indian government’s “Make in India” ideals. According to TLMAL’s statement, the business will have manufactured and delivered the 150th C-130J empennage in September 2021.

At the Lockheed Martin pavilion, India’s workhorse, the C-130J Super Hercules airlifter, which represents a strong tradition of partnership between India and the US, will also be on show. The IAF’s fleet is used to assist a wide range of tasks, from freight delivery to humanitarian aid.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) made substantial use of its Super Hercules fleet in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as for the evacuation of relief items, equipment, and personnel in areas impacted by storms Yaas and Tauktae.

The company will be demonstrating its product and will also take a prominent position at Lockheed Martin’s exhibition booth in an effort to pitch its F-21 fighter jet to the Indian Air Force. The aircraft, according to the statement, uses both 4th and 5th generation technology to provide the optimum option to meet or surpass the IAF’s capability needs, enable Make in India industry possibilities, and boost India-US cooperation on advanced technologies, such as fighter aircraft.

The F-21 underlines Lockheed Martin’s commitment to providing the Indian Air Force with an advanced, scalable single-engine fighter – For India, From India, according to the announcement.

Another highlight for Lockheed Martin at the exhibition is the Indian Navy’s recent acquisition of the MH-60R “Romeo” multi-mission helicopter. The MH-60R is the world’s most modern maritime helicopter, and it provides the Indo-Pacific area with critical anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare capabilities. The MH-60R is the latest chapter in Lockheed Martin’s and the United States of America’s collaboration with India.

The first three aircraft were given to the Indian Navy in 2021 by the US Navy. Three further aircraft will be supplied to the Indian Navy in 2022, and these aircraft will be used to begin the first standup of the first Multi-Role Helicopter squadron.

Over the next few years, a total of 24 MH-60Rs will be supplied to the country.

Lockheed Martin’s participation at the event will be bolstered by the S-76D helicopter, which has an unrivalled track record of safety and reliability. Customers can expect the same level of safety, reliability, and efficiency from the S-76 helicopter family, but with a higher cruise speed and more efficient fuel consumption. Lockheed Martin and Tata Advanced Systems Limited signed a Letter of Intent to collaborate on the S-76D for the Indian Naval Utility Helicopter (NUH) programme at Aero India 2021.

Lockheed Martin also manufactures the Javelin anti-tank guided missile system as part of the Javelin Joint Venture.This multi-target precision weapon system is a versatile and effective one-man-portable and platform-employed weapon system that can destroy a wide range of close combat threats on the modern battlefield. The weapon uses fire-and-forget technology to find its target without the need for external commands, allowing soldiers to seek cover or redeploy.

Javelin can operate in a multitude of locations and situations, with a range of 65 metres to 4 kilometres in typical operational conditions and the capacity to function despite severe weather and battlefield obscurants.

“Lockheed Martin is committed to supporting in the strengthening of India’s strategic security capabilities and the development of an indigenous defence manufacturing ecosystem in India,” stated William L Blair, Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, Lockheed Martin India. Our collaborative ventures with Tata are proof of the Indian government’s ambition to build a “Atmanirbhar Bharat” in the defence sector.”

“Taking part in DEFEXPO 2022 allows us to directly demonstrate our advanced technology to India’s largest gathering of defence and aerospace partners and customers,” Blair said. During the trade fair, he added, “we are looking forward to establishing new ties across the country, particularly with big, Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and start-ups.”

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