Lockheed Martin proposes making custom-built fighter jets in India

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http://www.businesstoday.in/current...built-fighter-jets-in-india/story/268482.html

American aerospace and defence major Lockheed Martin has proposed to manufacture custom-built F-35 fighter jets in India, which its officials say will give Indian industry a unique opportunity to become part of the world's largest fighter aircraft ecosystem.

"We plan to introduce two new words into the lexicon of international fighter aircraft manufacturing: 'India' and 'exclusive'," Vivek Lall, vice president, strategy and business development, at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics told PTI in an interview.

"India-specific state-of-the-art fighter production in India will be exclusive, something that has never before been presented by any other fighter aircraft manufacturer, past or present. There will also be a significant export market available for Indian-made fighters," he said.

Lall, an Indian American who last year was instrumental in the decision of the Trump administration to sell top-of- the-line unarmed drones from General Atomics, in his previous capacity.

Noting that the India-specific fighter on offer and its programme's size, scope and success will enable Indian industry to take advantage of unprecedented manufacturing, upgrade and sustainment opportunities well into the future, Lall said the platform will give Indian industry a unique opportunity to become a part of the world's largest fighter aircraft ecosystem.

"We intend to create far more than an assembly line in India," he said.

Lall claimed no other advanced fourth generation platform even comes close to matching the record of real-world combat experience and proven operational effectiveness.

"The fighter being offered specifically to India is uniquely the best state-of-the-art fighter," he said adding that all three variants of the F-35 are single-engine aircraft.

Many of the systems used on the India-specific platform are derived from key lessons learned and technologies from Lockheed Martin's F-22 and the F-35, the world's only operational fifth generation fighters, he said.

Northrop Grumman's advanced APG-83 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar on the F-16 Block 70 provides F-16s with fifth generation fighter radar capabilities by leveraging hardware and software commonality with F-22 and F-35 AESA radars, he added.

The APG-83 radar shares more than 95 per cent software commonality with the F-35 radar and more than 70 per cent hardware commonality.

Lall said the F-16 provides the path to business relationships with Lockheed Martin, the only company in the world that has designed, developed and produced operational fifth generation fighter aircraft.

Technology improvements will also continue to flow between the F-16, F-22 and F-35 for decades, at a fraction of the cost to F-16 operators, he said.

The platform being offered provides unmatched opportunities for Indian companies of all sizes, including micro, small & medium enterprises (MSMEs) and suppliers throughout India, to establish new business relationships with Lockheed Martin and other industry leaders in the US and around the globe, Lall said giving an insight into the offer being made by his company.

Asserting that approximately half of the Indian fighter supply chain will be common with the fifth generation F-22 and F-35, Lall said the aircraft brings the most modern avionics, a proven AESA radar, modernised cockpit, advanced weapons, longer range with conformal fuel tanks, auto ground collision avoidance capability, and an advanced engine with an extended service life.

Even with the addition of targeting systems and two 2,000 pound (lb) class Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs), the aircraft has a mission radius exceeding 1,300 kms 30 per cent greater than that of its closest competitor, he said.

"Many of the advances in systems on the aircraft India would get draw directly from key lessons learned from Lockheed Martin's work on the F-22 and the F-35," he said.

"The AESA radar is the result of over two decades of investment, use and experience with AESA technology, and it's fully operational today," Lall said.




"India-specific state-of-the-art fighter production in India will be exclusive, something that has never before been presented by any other fighter aircraft manufacturer, past or present. There will also be a significant export market available for Indian-made fighters," he said.

Lall, an Indian American who last year was instrumental in the decision of the Trump administration to sell top-of- the-line unarmed drones from General Atomics, in his previous capacity.

Noting that the India-specific fighter on offer and its programme's size, scope and success will enable Indian industry to take advantage of unprecedented manufacturing, upgrade and sustainment opportunities well into the future, Lall said the platform will give Indian industry a unique opportunity to become a part of the world's largest fighter aircraft ecosystem.

"We intend to create far more than an assembly line in India," he said.

Lall claimed no other advanced fourth generation platform even comes close to matching the record of real-world combat experience and proven operational effectiveness.

"The fighter being offered specifically to India is uniquely the best state-of-the-art fighter," he said adding that all three variants of the F-35 are single-engine aircraft.

Many of the systems used on the India-specific platform are derived from key lessons learned and technologies from Lockheed Martin's F-22 and the F-35, the world's only operational fifth generation fighters, he said.

Northrop Grumman's advanced APG-83 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar on the F-16 Block 70 provides F-16s with fifth generation fighter radar capabilities by leveraging hardware and software commonality with F-22 and F-35 AESA radars, he added.

The APG-83 radar shares more than 95 per cent software commonality with the F-35 radar and more than 70 per cent hardware commonality.

Lall said the F-16 provides the path to business relationships with Lockheed Martin, the only company in the world that has designed, developed and produced operational fifth generation fighter aircraft.

Technology improvements will also continue to flow between the F-16, F-22 and F-35 for decades, at a fraction of the cost to F-16 operators, he said.

The platform being offered provides unmatched opportunities for Indian companies of all sizes, including micro, small & medium enterprises (MSMEs) and suppliers throughout India, to establish new business relationships with Lockheed Martin and other industry leaders in the US and around the globe, Lall said giving an insight into the offer being made by his company.

Asserting that approximately half of the Indian fighter supply chain will be common with the fifth generation F-22 and F-35, Lall said the aircraft brings the most modern avionics, a proven AESA radar, modernised cockpit, advanced weapons, longer range with conformal fuel tanks, auto ground collision avoidance capability, and an advanced engine with an extended service life.

Even with the addition of targeting systems and two 2,000 pound (lb) class Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs), the aircraft has a mission radius exceeding 1,300 kms 30 per cent greater than that of its closest competitor, he said.

"Many of the advances in systems on the aircraft India would get draw directly from key lessons learned from Lockheed Martin's work on the F-22 and the F-35," he said.

"The AESA radar is the result of over two decades of investment, use and experience with AESA technology, and it's fully operational today," Lall said.
 

hindu maravan

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I am sick of our defence purchase process. Most worst country when comes to defence procurement .All deals r riddled with corruption and delay.
 

SanjeevM

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We can go ahead with U.S.partnership with private sector to manufacture defence items, however it should not be contingent upon India agreeing to buy certain numbers. In case private sector companies like TATA are manufacturing parts for LM, they can upgrade their partnership to manufacture full F-16 or F-22 or F-35. We don't have any problems. It's that the government should not be pushed to buy certain numbers. Government should do what is in best interest of the nation.
 

asianobserve

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I am sick of our defence purchase process. Most worst country when comes to defence procurement .All deals r riddled with corruption and delay.
American defense companies are not known for corrupt deals. The US government is very strict about that. You expect corrupt deals with Russian and some European defense companies.
 

asianobserve

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We can go ahead with U.S.partnership with private sector to manufacture defence items, however it should not be contingent upon India agreeing to buy certain numbers. In case private sector companies like TATA are manufacturing parts for LM, they can upgrade their partnership to manufacture full F-16 or F-22 or F-35. We don't have any problems. It's that the government should not be pushed to buy certain numbers. Government should do what is in best interest of the nation.

You don't sound business-minded. Why would a company spend millions or billions of dollars to transfer a factory and hire and train new workers, and expose their manufacturing secrets in the process if the client country will only buy 40 units? Think about it. Put yourself in their shoes. It does not make sense. There will always be minimum orders for this kind of arrangement to make sense.
 

Adioz

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We can go ahead with U.S.partnership with private sector to manufacture defence items, however it should not be contingent upon India agreeing to buy certain numbers. In case private sector companies like TATA are manufacturing parts for LM, they can upgrade their partnership to manufacture full F-16 or F-22 or F-35. We don't have any problems. It's that the government should not be pushed to buy certain numbers. Government should do what is in best interest of the nation.
The Americans know that the best way to deny us technology is not to impose sanctions on us. The best way is to sell their best wares (cause we are their "allies" :rofl:) to us. If they can sell us their best wares, the domestic development of equipment would be junked because the silly politicians would be vying for making such stuff in India to earn political brownie points and the user (IAF) will be getting the best tech in the world, domestic products be damned. DRDO is going to face outright cancellation of projects or at least budget cuts. And the USA is going to earn big $$$, big support from foolish Indian public (spurned on by the news media). Biggest of all, the Americans will gain another satellite state (India) to use and abuse in order for the USA to achieve their narrow foreign policy objectives.

That said, I don't think F-35 is on offer. And certainly not a domestic production line. Not unless, as @asianobserve observed, we order a sizable (~250) number of F-35. Even if they did, I have a modicum of confidence that this government will not allow this BS to fly and hit our AMCA. And the IAF does not currently have the budget to do this kind of purchase, and by the time they do have the budget, we will have a domestic 5th generation fighter flying in IOC configuration, making it extremely difficult for the Americans to kill our fledgling indigenous fighter jet industry.

All in all, Muricans can go f*** themselves.
 

nongaddarliberal

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You don't sound business-minded. Why would a company spend millions or billions of dollars to transfer a factory and hire and train new workers, and expose their manufacturing secrets in the process if the client country will only buy 40 units? Think about it. Put yourself in their shoes. It does not make sense. There will always be minimum orders for this kind of arrangement to make sense.
The same reason Apple spent millions in setting up iPhone factories in China, even though the domestic market there wasn't much. Because it's a cheaper industrial base, so they have a higher profit margin. Same reason why manpower heavy industries moved to developing countries in the first place. It's much cheaper to hire a Bihari than a Texan.
 

tharun

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2016 acquisition cost.......
upload_2018-1-21_10-26-6.png

2017 acquisition cost
upload_2018-1-21_10-27-27.png

If they want to export price will be 25-30% higher.
 

binayak95

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The Americans know that the best way to deny us technology is not to impose sanctions on us. The best way is to sell their best wares (cause we are their "allies" :rofl:) to us. If they can sell us their best wares, the domestic development of equipment would be junked because the silly politicians would be vying for making such stuff in India to earn political brownie points and the user (IAF) will be getting the best tech in the world, domestic products be damned. DRDO is going to face outright cancellation of projects or at least budget cuts. And the USA is going to earn big $$$, big support from foolish Indian public (spurned on by the news media). Biggest of all, the Americans will gain another satellite state (India) to use and abuse in order for the USA to achieve their narrow foreign policy objectives.

That said, I don't think F-35 is on offer. And certainly not a domestic production line. Not unless, as @asianobserve observed, we order a sizable (~250) number of F-35. Even if they did, I have a modicum of confidence that this government will not allow this BS to fly and hit our AMCA. And the IAF does not currently have the budget to do this kind of purchase, and by the time they do have the budget, we will have a domestic 5th generation fighter flying in IOC configuration, making it extremely difficult for the Americans to kill our fledgling indigenous fighter jet industry.

All in all, Muricans can go f*** themselves.

A couple of things to learn from the American example. They look after their own interest at all times. Maybe we should learn a thing or two. We should make use of US willingness to sell us high end weapons. Acquir combat and surveillance drones, gain access to EMALS, E-2D, and even perhaps get on with joint development of next gen Apparel and armour for infantry.

About the F-35 proposal: any chance of it happening has disappeared with news of talks on the FGFA finally being greenlighted by MoD. That + AMCA makes things very difficult for the F-35. Heck, its not even fully operational, so LM can't make that argument.

I'm more anxious to see where the SE thing goes. Too many interests have invested too much time in this, it won't be wise to let it go to waste.
 

kunal1123

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Why the Pentagon Isn’t Happy With the F-35
By
Anthony Capaccio
January 24, 2018, 9:50 AM GMT+5:30 Updated on January 24, 2018, 10:39 PM GMT+5:30
  • Costliest weapons system reviewed by Pentagon’s testing chief
  • ‘No significant improvement’ in aircraft available in years

A Lockheed Martin Corp. F-35

Source: USAF
Efforts to improve the reliability of Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 are “stagnant,” undercut by problems such as aircraft sitting idle over the last year awaiting spare parts from the contractor, according to the Pentagon’s testing office.

The availability of the fighter jet for missions when needed -- a key metric -- remains “around 50 percent, a condition that has existed with no significant improvement since October 2014, despite the increasing number of aircraft,” Robert Behler, the Defense Department’s new director of operational testing, said in an annual report delivered Tuesday to senior Pentagon leaders and congressional committees.

The F-35 section, obtained by Bloomberg News, outlined the status of the costliest U.S. weapons system as it’s scheduled to end its 16-year-old development phase this year. Starting in September, the program is supposed to proceed to intense combat testing that’s likely to take a year, an exercise that’s at least 12 months late already. Combat testing is necessary before the plane is approved for full-rate production -- the most profitable phase for Lockheed.

Pentagon officials including Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and chief weapons buyer Ellen Lord have highlighted the need to reduce the F-35’s $406.5 billion projected acquisition cost and its estimated $1.2 trillion price tag for long-term operations and support through 2070. Still, the Defense Department is moving to accelerate contracting and production for the fighter despite the persistence of technical and reliability issues disclosed in the current phase of development testing.

Flawed Software
A final version of the plane’s complex software has gone through 31 iterations and has yet to be deployed because of “key remaining deficiencies,” the report found. The troubles also include more mundane issues, such as tires on the Marine Corps version of the plane, the F-35B, that are proving less than durable.

The upcoming testing, “which provides the most credible means to predict combat performance, likely will not be completed until” December 2019, according to the testing office.

By the end of the testing needed to demonstrate that the F-35 is operationally effective and suitable for its missions more than 600 aircraft already will have been built. That’s about 25 percent of a planned 2,456 U.S. jets; 265 have been delivered to date.

Joe DellaVedova, spokesman for the Pentagon’s F-35 program office, and Lockheed spokeswoman Carolyn Nelson did not respond to requests for comment on the new testing office report.

In an earlier statement, Nelson said Lockheed’s 66 F-35 deliveries in 2017 represented “more than a 40 percent increase from 2016, and the F-35 enterprise is prepared to increase production volume year-over-year to hit full rate of approximately 160 aircraft in 2023.”

Host of Issues
Behler’s report lists a host of unresolved issues that will carry over into the F-35’s combat testing unless they’re resolved before its planned start in September:

  • About 1,000 unresolved deficiencies with the aircraft, the latest version of its software, and the primary flight-maintenance system known as ALIS that’s crucial to keep the aircraft flying “will likely have a cumulative effect” on the aircraft’s capacity during the combat testing.
  • The final version of the software known as 3F is likely to have “shortfalls in the capabilities the F-35 needs in combat against current threats.”
  • Aerial refueling will be restricted for the Marines’ F-35B and the Navy’s carrier-based F-35C model.
  • The pilot’s helmet display that depicts vital flight and and targeting information is flawed.
  • Classified “key technical deficiencies” affect the firing of AIM-120 air-to-air missiles, and “system-related deficiencies” mar the dropping of air-to-ground weapons to support ground troops
  • It will be late 2019 before developing, testing, verifying and deployment is complete for all the needed on-board electronic files, or “mission data loads,” that identify the types of Chinese, Russian, Syrian or Iranian radar and air defense systems an F-35 pilot may encounter.
  • The problem of planes waiting for replacement parts is exacerbated by an immature diagnostic system that detects “failures” that “actually have not failed.” The misdiagnosed parts are sent back to the original manufacturer then “returned to the supply chain,” adding to the backlog in “an already overloaded repair system.”
 

aliyah

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india is more interested in its naval version........for air force version it will be 5th generation with Russia so called FGFA with better engine
 

Adioz

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india is more interested in its naval version........for air force version it will be 5th generation with Russia so called FGFA with better engine
But which naval version? F-35B for the four LHD (MRSV)? Or the F-35C for the IAC-2?
  • F-35B would require LHD's flight deck to be hardened to prevent it from being burnt crisp by the downward jet-wash emanating from the F-35B's nozzle.
  • F-35C would compete directly with the AMCA for a place on the IAC-2, making it an unlikely choice in the near future.
I still do not see a future for this aircraft in India.
About the F-35 proposal: any chance of it happening has disappeared with news of talks on the FGFA finally being greenlighted by MoD. That + AMCA makes things very difficult for the F-35. Heck, its not even fully operational, so LM can't make that argument.
True that. I was very relieved to hear the news of Su-57 MKI yesterday. But its still not official. The marriage will only be consummated by 2020. My fingers are crossed.
 

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