Lockheed offers F-21 fighters to India

US firm Lockheed Martin unveiled the F-21, a multi-role fighter jet, which it claimed will be specifically configured for the IAF. The announcement comes in after India floated a request for information for 114 fighter aircraft. The US firm is eyeing a multi-billion-dollar order.

Lockheed said in a statement that it would partner with Tata Advanced Systems and it will have Make in India opportunities that no other firm has offered. Lockheed is among seven firms that have responded to the IAF’s RFI for fighter aircraft. However, it first offered the F-16. The F-21, the firm said, is designed to address IAF’s unique requirements. The firm said the new plane highlights its commitment to delivering an advanced, scalable fighter aircraft to the IAF, while also providing industrial opportunities locally.

It could not be immediately confirmed whether the IAF has already been consulted on the new aircraft. The IAF is aware of the F-16. Lockheed claimed the Make in India opportunity combines ‘the strength of the world's largest defence contractor with India’s premier industrial house to deliver a win-win situation for India and the US”.

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