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Not only F-16 fighters, Lockheed ready to make Javelin missiles in India (Lead, Changing Dateline)

IANS  |  Thiruvidanthai (Tamil Nadu) 

With the beginning the process of buying 110 fighter jets, in a deal that could be worth more than $15 billion, has expressed its readiness to shift its fighter manufacturing unit to -- and the US government, according to the manufacturer, will allow it to do that.

That apart, the American global and defence is also prepared to transfer the technology of its third generation anti-armour guided missile system to for its future manufacture.

At least two Lockheed officials at the DefExpo 18 told IANS that if the defence procurement deals were signed with the company that is all geared to bid for the world's biggest fighter jet order, it would walk the extra mile and to local partners for sophisticated parts of

"We are offering a deal that is completely compatible with 'Make in India' -- offering a stand-up production line in India," said Randall L. Howard, who heads International Business Development for at Aeronautics.

He said more than 4,000 have been sold to countries across the world. "We are offering to shift the and produce all of our in India; not just for India, but for the whole world -- across South East Asia, across South America, across "

Asked if the would allow it to do so, Howard said the company had "full support of the US government".

He said the single-engine supersonic multi-role fighter that has seen action in the and wars was currently being built around the world, and setting up facilities in would not impact jobs in the US.

"So whenever we have a situation, we will be able to build the entire in But we will continue to have parts that come from the US. That will continue to create jobs in the US. This absolutely supports American jobs," he said, adding Lockheed was also looking at the possibility of setting up the entire ecosystem, including one with a runway, to produce the fighters in flyaway condition.

Another Lockheed official, Haley Donoho, who is of the shoulder-fired anti-armour missile, said a possible joint venture for the system "is in good standing with the Indian government".

"Should the be interested in the third generation missile system, we are ready to sell under a foreign military sale contract which is the most transparent acquisition contract you can find. You can trace at every step where the money is going."

He said Lockheed has got the US government's nod to transfer its "high-degree" technology to its partners in for the development of the 22 kg, portable missile system that comes with a combination of "fire and forget" and "man in the loop" capability, with a range of up to 4 km.

The missile, which automatically guides itself to the target after launch, has been used by US forces in the cold mountains of and in the hot deserts of With its arched top-attack profile, climbs above its target for improved visibility and then strikes where the armour is weakest, he said.

"The was ready to transfer under US-Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) when the previous deal was done. The has indicated to us, and to the Indian Defence Ministry, that we will continue on the discussion with similar levels of transfer of technology.

"I can speak for the US government, and they are interested in the same type of deal for transfer of high-degree technology, specifically for We have done this for no other country."

Asked about the future of India's fledgling indigenous defence-building capabilities, the two officials said it was only a matter of time before the country emerges as one of the military manufacturers in the world.

"I think it is coming. We will see whether it will take off quickly or slowly. But I think it is coming. This is Lots of engineers, lots of researchers, people with lots of capabilities. It is only a matter of time. We see it is coming," Donoho said.

(Sarwar Kashani can be contacted at sarwar.k@ians.in)

--IANS

sar/ksk/

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, April 12 2018. 13:18 IST
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