American aerospace and defence major Lockheed Martin has welcomed India’s mega procurement initiative for fighter jets worth over USD 15 billion and said that it looks forward to responding to the initial tender. India yesterday began the process to acquire a fleet of around 110 fighter jets in one of the biggest such procurements in recent years globally which could be worth over USD 15 billion.
At least 85 per cent of the aircraft will have to be made in India while 15 per cent of them can be in a flyaway condition. An RFI (Request for Information) or initial tender for the mega-deal was issued by the Indian Air Force and the procurement will be in sync with the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative in the defence sector, officials said.
“Lockheed Martin welcomes India’s fighter aircraft Request for Information (RFI) and we look forward to responding to it,” said Dr Vivek Lall, vice president, strategy and business development at Lockheed Martin. “The F-16 remains the only aircraft programme in this competition with the proven performance and industrial scale to meet India’s operational needs and ‘Make in India’ priorities including unmatched export opportunities,” he said.
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