US defence major Lockheed Martin will showcase its F-21 fighter jet, S-92 multi-role helicopter, MH-60R Romeo multi-mission chopper and anti-tank weapon Javelin, among others, at the upcoming Aero-India exhibition in Bengaluru.
The 14th edition of Aero-India, known as Asia’s largest aerospace exhibition, will be held at Bengaluru in Karnataka from February 13 to 17. Almost all leading aerospace companies around the world are expected to attend the event at Air Force Station, Yelahanka, in a total area of around 35,000 sq metres.
Lockheed Martin has been pitching its F-21 aircraft as the best option in the Indian Air Force’s hunt for 114 combat jets.
The company said it will showcase its vast range of advanced defence capabilities and solutions at Aero-India and the exhibits will include the F-21 fighter aircraft, C-130J transport aircraft, MH-60R ‘Romeo’ multi-mission helicopter, Javelin weapon system, and S-92 multi-role helicopter, among others.
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”We are excited to participate at Aero-India 2023 to showcase our advanced capabilities and address our customers’ biggest challenges for the 21st century,” William Blair, chief executive, Lockheed Martin India Private Ltd said.
The top executive said Lockheed’s focus in the country would be to create opportunities for the local industry to feed into the global supply chain and manufacture in ”India, for India and for the world”. ”We continue to strengthen and grow our presence and partnerships in India for strategic security and greater self-reliance in the defence sector,” he said. ”We have a high degree of confidence in the manufacturing and technical capabilities of the Indian industry which is reflected through our two joint ventures and multiple associations with public and private companies of all sizes, including MSMEs,” Blair added.
The company said the prime attraction at the Lockheed Martin booth will be the F-21 fighter aircraft cockpit demonstrator.
It said the F-21 jet, which is on offer to the Indian Air Force (IAF) for the Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft competition, is configured with the latest sensors and mission avionic systems.
The Indian Navy’s most recent rotary wing acquisition, MH-60R ‘Romeo’ Seahawk helicopter, will occupy a prominent place at Lockheed display. The MH-60R is an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface warfare (ASuW) multi-mission helicopter.
The first three MH-60R helicopters were delivered to India in 2021 and are being utilised to train Indian pilots and crew members in the US. In July-August last year, the Indian Navy accepted the delivery of another three helicopters at Kochi International Airport.
A total of 24 MH-60Rs are being delivered to India over the next few years.
Lockheed said ”world’s most versatile” one-man portable and platform-employed anti-tank precision weapon system, Javelin, will also be a part of its exhibits at Aero-India. Using ”fire-and-forget” technology, the weapon guides itself to the target, allowing soldiers and platform assets to reposition out of harm’s way once the missile is fired, it said.
”Boosting Lockheed Martin’s presence at the show will be the C-130J Super Hercules aircraft and the S-92 multi-role helicopter, both of which represent a strong legacy of partnership with the Indian defence industry,” the company said in a release. The Indian Air Force operates 12 C-130Js using the tactical airlifter for a variety of missions. India is also connected to C-130J through Tata Lockheed Martin Aerostructures Limited, a joint venture, that has the distinction of being the single-global source of C-130J empennage assemblies included on all new Super Hercules aircraft. All C-130Js now built have major components manufactured in India.
Lockheed said its present and future programmes in India range from transport, maritime and fighter aircraft to sea and land-based air and missile defence projects, as well as capabilities in civil sectors, including new and renewable energy.