On the very first day of the DefExpo 2018, two US companies pitch in for their respective fighter jets for getting a deal of supplying 110 fighter jets worth $15 billion to the Indian Air Force (IAF). This can be considered as a major boost to the ‘Make in India’ campaign
Lockheed Martin offered to set up manufacturing line of F-16 fighter jets in India. Randall Howard who leads F-16 business development at Lockheed Martin, in an Interview to Bloomberg Quint said, “The fighters we offer are state of the art with modern avionics and we are willing to transfer technology to build in India as part of Make in India.” According to Howard, If Lockheed Martin gets the deal then it would shift its entire production line from US to India, which means that India would become exporter of the fighter jets to the world.
Currently 27 countries including Pakistan are flying F-16 Fighter Jets. According to Howard around 4,000 F-16 aircrafts are in use across the world. Lockheed Martin had already tied up with Tata Group to manufacture parts for the C-130J aircraft.
On the other hand Boeing is also pitching in for F/A 18 Super Hornet for securing $15 billion deal to supply 110 fighter jets for IAF. According to The Asian Age, Thomas E. Breckenridge, vice-president, India, Global Sales Defence, Space and Security of Boeing, said that they were in the race of acquiring the orders of IAF to procure 110 fighter jets, reported The Asian Age. Speaking on the cost comparison of the two aircrafts, Breckenridge backed Super Hornet. He said that Super Hornet is comparatively cheap and could be maintained at lower cost.
The vice-president, India, Global Sales Defence, Space and Security of Boeing assured of sourcing components from Indian companies. Presently Boeing is sourcing components from 160 Indian companies and would enhance its operation to 400 domestic companies. Breckenridge said that Boeing would soon announce