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Lockheed submits proposal to supply F-21s to Indian Air Force; to source heavily locally if wins bid

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MUMBAI : American aerospace major Lockheed Martin has submitted a proposal evincing preliminary interest to supply F-21 fighter jets to the Air Force and winning the bid may result in it working with 400 local companies, a senior official has said.

The American company, which has a decade-long partnership with the Tatas on defence manufacturing, is also working on manufacturing the wings for its F-16 fighters from their JV plant in Hyderabad from and has started work on a prototype, which will enable it to supply to the world soon, its vice president for strategy and business development Vivek Lall told PTI.

The Air Force had sought request for information from vendors from across the world to supply 114 modern fighter planes, in a contract that is pegged at $18 billion.

The American company is reported to be competing with Boeing, French company Dassault, and the Russian MiG 35.

About the possible offset clauses and the benefits that will accrue to the Air Force, Lall said the contract is under the strategic partnership model and pointed to his company’s association with the Tatas.

"The F-21 programme is a very strategic win-win for both the counties. It gets India an entirely different aerospace ecosystem. We have talked to and evaluated 400 companies in India, both public and private, and that is the kind of infrastructure that will be needed to support this," he said.

It can be noted that aircraft manufacturers depend on a lot of vendors to supply components creating an entire downstream ecosystem.

The next stage in the procurement will be filing of an expression of interest, he said, indicating the company is keen to go ahead on the same.

Lall said the F-21 will come with an India-unique electronic warfare suite, a single engine that reduces the costs and also capacity to carry 40 percent more weaponry.

He also welcomed the recent warmth in the Indo-US relations, saying it is a win-win for both the sides which will help businesses forge partnerships.

The growth enhancing measures on taxation will be of particular help for local manufacturing, Lall said, but added that the company has no plans for investments into manufacturing in India.

He said the facility at the Tatas employs 1,000 people in Hyderabad at present and there is no reason why the same should not grow if the ties expand.

 

https://www.livemint.com/news/india/lockheed-submits-proposal-to-supply-f-21s-to-indian-air-force-to-source-heavily-locally-if-wins-bid-11569761547942.html

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"F21" is just a glorified f16.  I don't want IAF to get this 1970s plane - let them use Tejas for bulk numbers, augmented with better jets like Rafale.  

 

This deal is in Lockheed's interests, not India's.

 

Fighter jets are 20th century tech anyway, drones and drone-swarms is where its at.  You still need jets, but don't invest billions in buying mid-grade jets like these. 

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22 minutes ago, sandeep said:

"F21" is just a glorified f16.  I don't want IAF to get this 1970s plane - let them use Tejas for bulk numbers, augmented with better jets like Rafale.  

 

This deal is in Lockheed's interests, not India's.

 

Fighter jets are 20th century tech anyway, drones and drone-swarms is where its at.  You still need jets, but don't invest billions in buying mid-grade jets like these. 

How would you compare the F-21 fighter jet to the Russian MiG 35?

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never trust Americans for front line fighter jets

 

placate them by buying more P8s (which we have)

 

I honestly think we need a degree of moneyball tactics. French air force will retire upto 10 Rafales a year which will still be in decent condition if India makes a deal with them.

 

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that might run into trouble with Lockheed's manufacturing plants in United States, especially with Trump's America First policy. anyways F-21 is just an advanced variant of F-16, a 4th generation jet. I don't think India will go for that. also, India has traditionally only used French and Russian fighter aircrafts so I don't see India going for American aircrafts. most likely it will be more Rafales or some Russian jet.

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1 hour ago, SecondSlip said:

How would you compare the F-21 fighter jet to the Russian MiG 35?

why would I compare them anyway.  My point is that for a air force for the next 20 years, IAF needs to get more strategic with its dollars.  Tejas may not be great, but it can provide numbers.  UAVs is where we should push to work with US, Israel etc.  

 

We need to shift a few billion of our defense purchases to the US, to address the pressure on trade deficits, and thats fine. Like @G_B_ pointed out, there are plenty of other items we can source from the US that make sense.  

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4 hours ago, sandeep said:

why would I compare them anyway.  My point is that for a air force for the next 20 years, IAF needs to get more strategic with its dollars.  Tejas may not be great, but it can provide numbers.  UAVs is where we should push to work with US, Israel etc.  

 

We need to shift a few billion of our defense purchases to the US, to address the pressure on trade deficits, and thats fine. Like @G_B_ pointed out, there are plenty of other items we can source from the US that make sense.  

Problem with Tejas is it’s got an American engine 

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18 hours ago, sandeep said:

why would I compare them anyway.  My point is that for a air force for the next 20 years, IAF needs to get more strategic with its dollars.  Tejas may not be great, but it can provide numbers.  UAVs is where we should push to work with US, Israel etc.  

 

We need to shift a few billion of our defense purchases to the US, to address the pressure on trade deficits, and thats fine. Like @G_B_ pointed out, there are plenty of other items we can source from the US that make sense.  

what we really need from the americans is the Excalibur shells for the m777 guns we have purchased which can give us 40-57km gps guidance.

 

Testing in the USA so far indicates that the US army has got the m777 guns to shoot 100km plus rounds with great accuracy. 

 

Imagine we can shell Islamabad one day with artillery from inside our borders. Might be possible in 2040s. But till that point ensuring we can cover any part of PoK with artillery fire will be very handy in curbing even infiltration. 

 

If you notice we are pursing the k9 , dhanush and m777 artillary aggressively. Procurement of artillary has been the most effective policies of Modi 1.0

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and Re the F21 and F35

 

 these jets are very expensive to run. India has infra already for French and Russian jets. There is an issue of spare parts etc and you have to create infra for them.

 

A Rafale can carry nukes, can be used on an aircraft carrier etc. It just versatile enough with low running costs to meet our needs in the Indian ocean. We are not going to be fighting wars half way around the world.

 

Personally I would like to see the Indian navy get a squadron of Rafales. A two front Rafale attack from the sea and the land will severely stretch the PAF.

 

 

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27 minutes ago, jf1gp_1 said:

I thought we weren’t going to buy any more fighter planes from other countries

this is the second 114 fighter jet rfp. it was initially single engine now it's just 114 fighters without the trials etc it might become govt to govt. looks like it's going to be more rafale with Safran help for kaverI engine.

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