Requirements for new-age military solutions sought by India to be addressed by Lockheed Martin

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Vaibhav Agrawal
Vaibhav Agrawal
Vaibhav Agrawal is the founder editor of Bhraman (a Digital Travelogue). As an independent journalist, he is passionate for investigating and reporting on complex subjects. He has an extensive background in both print and digital media, with a focus on Travel and Defence reporting. *Views are personal

In order to address India’s requirement for the new-age military solutions in the domains of space, cyber world, land and sea in sync with the robust framework of fast-expanding Indo-US strategic ties the American Aerospace major Lockheed Martin said that it is ready for the same on Sunday.

For partnering with the Indian entities in the areas of machine learning, artificial intelligence, Quantum computing and unmanned platforms among others, the Vice President and Chief Executive of Lockheed Martin India operations said that the company is well placed.

Best options

Mentioning the F-21 aircraft as the best option in the Indian Air Force’s hunt for 114 combat jets, the chief executive pitched Lockheed Martin’s F 21 aircraft which has been specifically configured in order to meet the Indian Air Force needs.

Along with setting up a production facility in India for the export market as well if it gets the contract, the company will also emphasize its focus on the highest levels of indigenisation in the plane, as said by the above-cited official.

By making a commitment of not selling the F-21 to any other country provided that it secures the multi-billion dollar deal, in order to manufacture the aircraft in India, Lockheed Martin has already tied up with the TATA Group.

Joint ventures

During an interview with PTI the Lockheed Martin official said that in order to establish capability and start delivering in advance of requirements just as they did in the case of the C-130J programme, they have already commenced mobilizing actively through the joint ventures.

As a part of efforts with the objective of further expanding its overall involvement in India’s aerospace and defence sector, a two-day conference was held in the previous week by the company with around 300 of its suppliers along with partners in Bengaluru.

With an aim of acquiring 114 Jets at a cost of around $18 billion, a Request For Information (RFI) or initial tender was issued by the Indian Airforce approximately two years back which was billed as one of the world’s biggest military procurement in recent years.

Requirements focused

For meeting the country’s requirements of New Age military solutions along with platforms in the domains of Cyberworld, space, land and sea, the above-cited Lockheed Martin official said that the company is also looking to partner with the Indian firms for the same.

To boost the overall combat capabilities of the Indian armed forces, the focus is being laid on acquiring next-generation Technologies and products such as Quantum computing, Robotics, artificial intelligence and drones by the country’s top military planners in view of the myriad security challenges facing India.

The company official said that in the areas of artificial intelligence India can leapfrog going forward in areas like Quantum computing, machine learning, cyber and space as well, as the country has an edge there.

Including integrating existing systems and platforms with the new generation applications which would also fall in line with the provisions of the United States regulations, the official indicated that Lockheed Martin is set to look at addressing India’s requirements.

For deeper defence cooperation between the two sides, signing of foundational pacts such as Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA), Communication Compatibility and Security Agreement along with Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMA) have paved the way for the same while the official also referred to an overall upswing in the India-US strategic ties.

Lockheed Martin executive said that a strong Foundation has been set up in India by the company for over the last thirty years thereby becoming a part of the country’s Aerospace and defence ecosystem.

Earlier deal

In order to provide dedicated and comprehensive support for the Indian Air Force fleet of 12 C-130J 30 Super Hercules aircraft, a five-year contract worth 328.8 US dollars was awarded to Lockheed Martin earlier this year by the Indian Air Force, while the Government of India had announced its purchase of around six C-130 J Super Hercules airlifters were of foreign military sale with the United States Air Force back in 2008.


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