Lockheed to meet India’s needs for a new age military
Lockheed Martin’s vice president and chief executive of India operations, William Blair, said the company is “well-placed” to partner with Indian entities in the areas of unmanned platforms, artificial intelligence, quantum computing and machine learning.
He also pitched Lockheed’s F-21 aircraft, specially configured to meet the needs of the IAF, as the best option in the force’s hunt for 114 fighter jets.
Blair said the company would focus on the highest level of indigenization in the aircraft and would set up a production facility in India for the export market upon getting the contract.
Lockheed has already tied up with the Tata Group to manufacture the aircraft in India and has promised not to sell the F-21 to any other country, provided it secures a multi-billion dollar deal.
Blair told PTI in an interview, “We are already actively mobilizing through our joint ventures to set up capacity and start supplying advance requirements, as we did in the case of the C-130J programme. Was.”
“Simply put, it is going to actually meet and exceed the requirements as we believe in the highest level of indigenous ingredients and the exclusive production-line will open up the biggest possibilities for exports. I think it will be unmatched. going to happen,” he added.
The company held a two-day conference with nearly 300 of its suppliers and partners in Bengaluru last week as part of efforts to further expand its overall involvement in India’s aerospace and defense sector.
Two years ago, the Indian Air Force issued an RFI (request for information) or preliminary tender to acquire 114 jets at a cost of around USD 18 billion, one of the world’s largest military procurement in recent years. Billed as
Blair said Lockheed wants to partner with Indian companies to meet the nation’s needs for new-age military solutions and platforms in the areas of land, sea, space and cyberworld.
“I can’t talk about anything specific right now, but certainly, we would like to meet the upcoming requirements,” he said.
Given the myriad security challenges India faces, the country’s top military planners are focusing on acquiring next generation technologies and products such as drones, robotics, artificial intelligence and quantum computing to boost the overall combat capabilities of the armed forces. Huh.
He said, “I think India can really leapfrog in the areas of artificial intelligence, machine learning, quantum computing, cyber and space. India really has an edge there.”
Blair indicated that Lockheed is ready to meet India’s requirements, including integrating existing systems and platforms with new generation applications, which should be compliant with the provisions of US regulations.
He also noted the overall growth in India-US strategic relationship and said that foundational agreements such as LEMOA (Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement), COMCASA (Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement) and BECA (Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement) were signed. Road to deeper defense cooperation between the two sides.
“I’ve never seen before both the promise and momentum of real progress that’s really built on those fundamental agreements,” the top executive said.
“The consultations held by the Ministry of Defence, actively engaging with the services, shaping and understanding capabilities and aligning requirements across multiple domains are truly unprecedented in my view,” he said.
Blair said Lockheed Martin has established a strong foundation in India over the past 30 years, becoming part of the country’s aerospace and defense ecosystem.
He added, “This foundation positions us well to support and maintain platforms not only meeting current requirements but also to meet future requirements that are just emerging Be it fighters, helicopters and ship-based systems.”
(Only the title and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)
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