Lockheed Martin is closing in on an international deal for F-16 fighter planes, and has offered to eventually build all the jets at a proposed plant in India if it wins a bigger order to supply the Indian Air Force, a top executive said. The US defence giant and Sweden’s Saab are in a two horse-race to equip the Indian military with at least 100 single-engine jets that have to be produced locally under PM Modi’s ‘Make-in-India’ plan.
Randall L. Howard, who leads F-16 business development, said Lockheed is offering to make India the sole F-16 production centre, so eventually it will make the planes not just for India, but also for other countries.
Lockheed is closing its F-16 production line at Forth Worth, Texas and will supply new orders from a new facility at Greenville, South Carolina. But the plan was to eventually build the planes in India, Howard told Reuters.
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