Michael Kelley, Vice President - India for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Technique and Enterprise Growth and Brett Medlin, the F-21 India Marketing campaign head are at present in India for conferences with the Indian authorities and the Indian Air Force (IAF) on the multi-billion deal that's anticipated to see the IAF procure 114 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA). As per Lockheed Martin, F-21 is specifically configured for the IAFand enables unmatched 'Make in India' industrial opportunities (read AtmanirbharBharat Mission). The F-21 demonstrates Lockheed Martin’s commitment to delivering an advanced, scalable fighter aircraft to the IAF that provides unrivalled opportunities for the development of a domestic aerospace manufacturing ecosystem and accelerates closer India-US cooperation on advanced technologies.
The F-21 features numerous India-specific changes - inside and out - tailored to meet the IAF’s requirements. Innovative technologies derived from Lockheed Martin’s F-22 and F-35 – the world’s only two operational 5th Generation fighters - strengthen India’s path to an advanced airpower future. A F-21 partnership integrates India into the world’s largest fighter aircraft ecosystem with the world’s pre-eminent defence company. Lockheed Martin and Tata Advanced Systems would produce the F-21 in India, exclusively for India. This unprecedented ‘Make in India’ opportunity combines the strength of the world’s largest defence contractor with India’s premier industrial house to deliver a historic win-win for India and the US. The company has also stated that they will not export F-21 to any other country.
On August 11, representatives of the US aerospace firm Lockheed Martin stated they had been open to setting up an upkeep, restore and overhaul (MRO) facility for its F-21 in India in a try to additionally sweeten its bid for 114 fighter plane for the IAF. Lockheed which is providing the F-21 is in competition with Boeing’s F/A-18E/F, Swedish SAAB’s Gripen, Dassault Aviation’s Rafale, EADS’ Eurofighter Hurricane and Russia’s United Plane Company MiG-35.