In a development, that could be a major push for the ‘Make in India’ campaign, Lockheed Martin is keen on shifting its base to India.
The American military producer wants to produce the F16s in India, taking advantage of the liberalized FDI norms.
Lockheed Martin is eyeing a $15-billion export potential for a new generation of ‘Made in India’ F16 fighter jets.
Although, this isn’t the only proposal in front of the Indian government.
The government has received at least four similar applications by global aviation leaders to set up a fighter jet line in India to cater for the requirements of the Indian Air Force (IAF).
The defense ministry is currently evaluating the proposals.
Lockheed’s proposal is to shut the only active production line in Fort Worth, Texas and shift it to India if its plan is accepted.
The company is believed to have orders only for a few more months, with the US military, F-16’s biggest customer, moving to more advanced fighters and foreign orders drying up.
The F16 has been manufactured at several locations in the past, including South Korea, Turkey and Belgium, besides the US.
The F-16s direct competitors are its American rival Boeing (F/A-18E), Dassault Aviation of France (Rafale), Swedish plane Gripen by Saab and the Eurofighter.
Lockheed has already sold its hardy C-130J air-lifter to the Indian Air Force.