F-16 fighter jet manufacture in India; CEO to meet PM

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US-based fighter jet maker Lockheed Martin’s CEO Marillyn Hewson may meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on March 7 or 8 to discuss her company’s future plans, including the proposed manufacture of F-16 aircrafts as part of the ‘Make in India’ initiative.Hewson and her team of top officials will also meet Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The company is said to have big plans for India including manufacture of F-16 fighter jets.

Earlier in February, Lockheed Martin India CEO Phil Shaw told reporters that the company was ready to manufacture F-16 aircrafts here but he did not specify a time-frame. While India’s low-cost capabilities and engineering skills can make the manufacturing of F-16 cost-competitive, Lockheed Martin is reportedly looking for contractual commitment for its fighter jets from the Indian government.

Lockheed Martin, which has been present in India for the last two decades, supplied six C130J Super Hercules military transport aircraft to India in 2011. It is also scheduled to deliver six helicopters in 2017.

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