NEW DELHI, ($1=75.70 Indian Rupees) – The American aerospace company Lockheed Martin has approved the Indian plant Tata-Lockheed Martin Aerostructures Limited (TLMAL) for the production of wings for F-16 fighters, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing Defense Express.
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The joint venture with the Tata plant will serve the global Lockheed Martin fighter market. It is noted that the Indian plant, located at 21,000 square meters. m will be able to produce 50 pairs of wings per year.
Such wings will have a service life of 12,000 hours and can be mounted on all F-16 fighters. Lockheed Martin noted that the production of wings is a technologically challenging task and noted the importance of this process in the entire production cycle of F-16 fighter jets.
India is arming itself with a domestic helicopter
As we reported in April this year, at an official ceremony, the Indian Navy took into service the first three Dhruv Mk III (ALH) helicopters produced in the country.
Dhruv Mk III (ALH) is an advanced light helicopter completely redesigned in India. India bought the first helicopters of this type earlier this year – on February 5 during the international military exhibition Aero India 2021. The manufacturer of the helicopters is Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
Mastered the main combat missions for which it intends, Dhruv Mk III (ALH) will perform other tasks such as surveillance and protection of the coasts of India, intelligence, armed patrol, and various search and rescue operations.
India has ordered about 32 helicopters of this type. They have two engines and weigh approximately 5.5 tons. The primary purpose of Dhruv Mk III (ALH) is to replace the existing light helicopters Chetak (Aérospatiale Alouette III) of the Indian Navy, which was produced in the distant 1969.
According to the manufacturer, the other helicopters that need to be put into operation are in production or flight tests. There is no change in the delivery schedule, and India expects to receive them by the end of this year.
Boeing received a license to sell the F-15EX to India
As we reported in February this year, Boeing confirmed it had already received the authorities’ consent to offer India the latest version of the F-15EX.
Maria H Laine, Boeing’s vice president of international sales and industrial cooperation, said in an interview with India’s Press Trust that US authorities had given a preliminary license to sell F-15EX Advanced Eagle multi-role fighters. In this way, she acknowledged that there intensified talks between industry and government officials. The result will be the presentation of the F-15EX fighter at the Aero India 2021 air show, which is just beginning and will last until February 5.
As announced, the F-15EX is being offered to India as part of the ongoing MRRCA (Medium Multi-role Fighter) program, aiming to acquire 114 aircraft. Authorities want to allocate $ 15 billion for this purpose. Interestingly, this is not the only American fighter included in this program. Lockheed Martin will try to sell the F-21, which should be a serious upgrade of the latest version of the F-16 Block 70/72 fighter. The Swedish JAS-39E / F Gripen, the French Dassault Rafale, or the Russian MiG-35 can also participate in the auction.
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