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F-21 will give India 'significant edge' with greater standoff capability: Lockheed

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

The multi-role fighter jet will give a "significant edge" with greater standoff capability, American has said and claimed that producing it locally will also strengthen the country's integration into the world-wide network of advanced fighter technology.

during the show in Bengaluru in February unveiled the multi-role fighter jet for India, to be produced locally.

The Maryland-based company, which had earlier offered its fighter jets to India, said the addresses the IAF's unique requirements and integrates into the world's largest fighter ecosystem.

and would produce the F-21 in India.

Vivek Lall, vice president for strategy and business development, Lockheed, said, While it is inappropriate for us to compare specific capabilities, the F-21 will give India a significant edge with greater standoff capability, greater staying power with less fuel burn, and network data linking capabilities across all platforms.

The tactics India employs with the F-21 will also be different - uniquely developed by the Indian Air Force, he said.

"The F-21 will meet all of India's performance, capability and advanced - the same requirements all other 4th generation competitors are offering. As we pursue cutting-edge technologies for the F-21, some capabilities may be evaluated as discrete, integrated functions, Lall said.

Refuting reports that the F-21 fighter jet is rebranding of the F-16, Lall said that while structures may look familiar, the differences become clear when looking at the unique capabilities of the F-21.

This includes an Advanced APG-83 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, which has detection ranges nearly double that of previous mechanically scanned array radars and the ability to track and attack more targets with higher precision, he said.

It has an Advanced Electronic Warfare (EW) System, developed uniquely for India, that provides enhanced survivability against ground and air threats; Long-Range Infrared Search and Track (IRST), enabling pilots to detect threats without detecting them and Triple Missile Launcher Adapters (TMLAs) allowing the F-21 to carry 40 per cent more air-to-air weapons, he said.

The F-21 proposal is unique in that the F-21 production line will be in India, and Indian industry will also be integrated into the global production and sustainment ecosystem. Approval by the for such an important strategic move signals a significant development in US-India relations, Lall told in an interview.

"The unmatched ecosystem we will partner with Indian industry and Lockheed Martin's top suppliers to develop will further strengthen India's integration into the world-wide network of advanced technology and cutting-edge production and sustainment, he said.

The F-21 also demonstrates Lockheed Martin's commitment to India: to deliver an advanced, scalable fighter to the that also provides unrivaled industrial partnership opportunities, he asserted.

Responding to a question on recent controversy surrounding aircraft, Lall said it is not for Lockheed to comment on any such matters, but the company is confident the F-21 is the best solution to meet the Indian Air Force's capability needs, provide 'Make in India' industrial opportunities and accelerate India-US cooperation on advanced technologies, including but not limited to

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

First Published: Wed, April 17 2019. 15:45 IST