Lockheed Martin recently announced it is to build all wings for the F-16 fighter at Hyderabad by Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL).
This strategic initiative puts TASL to become the provider of wings for all future customers and strengthens their role in the F-16 global supply chain. TASL is Lockheed Martin’s strategic industry partner in India.
The planned F-16 wing production move to India is not contingent on the Government of India selecting the F-16 for the Indian Air Force, according to Vivek Lall, Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at Lockheed Martin.
Both Lockheed Martin and Tata Group company signed a letter of intent for a collaboration last year, to produce the F-16 Block 70 in India if the aircraft is selected by the Indian Air Force.
TASL already has multiple collaborations with global aerospace companies such as Sikorsky, Boeing and Rolls Royce besides Lockheed Martin through various joint venture manufacturing facilities in the city involving the production of aircraft components.
“Building F-16 wings in India is a natural next step that builds on our successful partnerships with Tata on the C-130J (airlifter) and S-92(helicopter),” added Vivek Lall.
Lall elucidated that the company planned to begin production of the F-16 wings in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad from 2020. He said these were being produced at a facility in Israel and would not impact any jobs in the United States