‘Our main fo­cus in Asia is In­dia’: Lock­heed Martin

SP’s M.A.I. caught up with Su­san A. Maraghy, Vice Pres­i­dent, South Asia, Cor­po­rate In­ter­na­tional Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment, Lock­heed Martin, who was in In­dia re­cently to at­tend the “In­vest North—A Con­clave to Show­case In­vest­ment Op­por­tu­ni­ties in North­ern State


SP’s M.A.I. (SP’s): Which are the coun­tries you are fo­cus­ing in South Asia? Su­san A. Maraghy (Maraghy): The US Depart­ment of De­fense is now fo­cus­ing on In­dia, the ten As­so­ci­a­tion of South East Asian (ASEAN) coun­tries, Aus­tralia and New Zealand. In Asia, how­ever, our main fo­cus at present is In­dia. We have been here for more than 20 years al­ready, and I be­lieve we will be in In­dia for times to come. We have a new Chief Ex­ec­u­tive for In­dia. We are thrilled that he will be the stew­ard of our strat­egy here. SP’s: The un­manned aerial sys­tem (UAS) mar­ket is grow­ing and the US has an edge along with Is­rael. How is the money to be shared be­tween the F-35 and the UAS? Maraghy: We are con­tin­u­ing to make progress on the F-35 along with the US Govern­ment and our part­ners. The pro­gramme is go­ing well; cre­at­ing mile­stones to the sat­is­fac­tion of our govern­ment cus­tomers. We are proud of the joint strike fighter and like most of our plat­forms, it too has a long life span, 40 plus years. With re­spect to UAS, that’s a mis­sion. We are con­tin­u­ing with the re­search and de­vel­op­ment of un­manned au­ton­o­mous ve­hi­cles, whether they are for air, land or sub­sea. SP’s What is your next stake for the In­dian Air Force (IAF)? Maraghy: We want to take on our C-130J pro­gramme fur­ther, sell­ing the air­craft for dif­fer­ent mis­sions. By that I mean more air­craft for the IAF and also for the In­dian Coast Guard as well. We have suc­cess with multi-mis­sion ca­pa­bil­i­ties on F-35s—mar­itime and air­borne early warn­ing and con­trol (AEW&C) sys­tem. We have to ex­plore th­ese fea­tures with the IAF. We are very pleased that the US Sec­re­tary of De­fence Chuck Hagel and Deputy Sec­re­tary of De­fence Ash­ton B. Carter are de­vel­op­ing re­la­tion­ships with Govern­ment of In­dia through the De­fence Trade Ini­tia­tive (DTI). Dur­ing his visit to In­dia in mid-Septem­ber, Dr Carter will hold dis­cus­sions with the In­dian Min­istry of De­fence (MoD) on dif­fer­ent of­fers, from pre­ci­sion at­tack to mar­itime so­lu­tions. Lock­heed Martin is in­ter­ested in co-pro­duc­tion, co-man­u­fac­ture and co-de­vel­op­ment in In­dia. We are here to un­der­stand the in­dus­tries we can col­lab­o­rate, in­clud­ing civil and home­land se­cu­rity. Four ar­eas that we are pre­dom­i­nantly look­ing at are bor­der se­cu­rity, crit­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture pro­tec­tion, emer­gency pre­pared­ness and re­sponse, in­for­ma­tion shar­ing and learn­ing. SP’s: Are you talk­ing to any­one in In­dia re­gard­ing de­vel­op­ment of pre­ci­sion weapons, sub­sys­tems, avion­ics, etc? Maraghy: We are ex­plor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties of joint ven­ture (JV) with small and medium en­ter­prises as well. We al­ready have a joint ven- ture with Tata and Fly Wings In­ter­na­tional Pri­vate Limited, Mum­bai. In our JV com­pany with Tata, we are man­u­fac­tur­ing parts for C-130s which would be sup­plied world­wide and if In­dia con­tin­ues to buy, we will be sup­port­ing the air­craft here as well. We need our part­ners to be com­pet­i­tive and have the ca­pa­bil­ity to scale to serve the global mar­ket. SP’s: Which are the sec­tors you are look­ing at in the South Asian re­gion other than de­fence? Maraghy: We are look­ing at of­fer­ing tech­nolo­gies to coun­tries that are look­ing to bol­ster their cyber de­fence. The other area that is very con­sis­tent but has been driven apart be­cause of bud­get con­straints is gov­ern­men­tal op­er­a­tional ef­fi­ciency—IT out­sourc­ing and busi­ness man­age­ment. The con­sis­tent re­gion of growth is cyber and IT. With re­spect to de­fence, it dif­fers from one coun­try to an­other. It could be mar­itime patrol or other ca­pa­bil­i­ties which are a part of their mod­erni­sa­tion plans. SP’s: There has been a be­lief that the tech­nol­ogy In­dia is get­ting from the US is old and not first hand. What is your view? Maraghy: In­dia is get­ting first-hand tech­nol­ogy with the C-130. Dr Carter’s De­fence Trade Ini­tia­tive is the first great pos­i­tive step to break­down the per­spec­tive that In­dia does not get the first tech­nol­ogy. In­dian pri­vate sec­tor com­pa­nies and the DPSUs do have the ca­pa­bil­ity to co-de­velop and co-man­u­fac­ture. SP’s: How do you view In­dia’s de­ci­sion to al­low for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment (FDI) above 26 per cent in de­fence pro­duc­tion on a case-to-case ba­sis? Maraghy: We are very en­cour­aged with the de­ci­sion. This would ben­e­fit busi­ness in de­fence as in other sec­tors. SP’s: Lock­heed Martin has made its pres­ence felt in cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity (CSR), is this global prac­tice of ‘win­ning friends’? Maraghy: CSR is very im­por­tant for us and for the last six years, we are in­volved in the Depart­ment of Science and tech­nol­ogy (DST)Lock­heed Martin In­dia In­no­va­tion Growth Pro­gramme, wherein our core en­gi­neer­ing and de­vel­op­ment team has de­vel­oped a re­la­tion­ship with the In­dian In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy (IIT), Fed­er­a­tion of In­dian Cham­bers of Com­merce and In­dus­try (FICCI) and the Univer­sity of Texas. Stan­ford Univer­sity is also now a part of it. SP’s: What would be your sug­ges­tions to the In­dian pri­vate sec­tor? Maraghy: Be fo­cused, have a vi­sion, in­vest in peo­ple and pro­vide the best tech­nol­ogy. In ev­ery part­ner­ship, you need to com­mu­ni­cate and have pa­tience.

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