Phil Shaw, Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin India
: The Indian Air Force continues to seek new fighters to build up much needed combat numbers. Lockheed had indicated a willingness to supply and locally manufacture F-16 Block 70s for this requirement in response to a letter circulated last year. This procurement, however, is yet to be formalised and no formal RFI, RFP or qualitative requirements (QRs) have been circulated. What flexibility does Lockheed have with the offer if, say, RFPs are issued under Chapter 7 (Strategic Partnerships) of the DPP 2016? LM: We are continuing to meet with the appropriate government authorities and we’re currently in the wait-and-see mode in terms of government decision-making. We are encouraged by the dialogue at this stage. We are making our case and waiting for the government to decide how they choose to proceed. : Could you provide an update on the status of the second lot of six C-130J Super Hercules for the Indian Air Force? Also, has the IAF/ MoD approached Lockheed Martin about an attrition replacement for KC3803, which crashed last year?
LM: We continue to deliver C-130Js to the Indian Air Force. Please contact the Indian Air Force with any specifics related to deliveries and acquisitions.
: Tata Advanced Systems Limited ( TASL) is presently manufacturing empennages and centre wing box assemblies for the Super Hercules product line. What proportion of C-130Js produced in a year contain parts from Tata? Are you looking to source more aerostructures from Indian suppliers, across your various product families?
100 percent of all C-130Js produced contain these TLMAL-made parts. We are indeed looking for additional opportunities to partner with Indian suppliers on other Lockheed Martin platforms.
: Could you comment on Lockheed Martin’s plans to fulfil the Indian Navy’s naval multirole helicopter (NMRH) requirement, particularly in regard to the Indian administration’s focus on large-scale military projects needing to have an Indian production element? Would this impact your ability to offer the technologically advanced MH-60R, for instance? LM: Lockheed Martin remains very much engaged in pursuing and winning the Indian Navy’s NMRH contract. We understand that a significant amount of the work would
be performed in India by an Indian prime contractor and that any such agreement must meet the tech transfer requirements of India’s Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP-2016).
VAYU : Does LM subsidiary Sikorsky have a suitable helicopter available to offer for the Navy’s NUH requirement, should that requirement be firmed up around a multirole configuration including radar, sonar and guided/unguided weapons?
LM: Yes. Sikorsky is aware of the NUH programme and we will evaluate those requirements at the appropriate time.
VAYU : The F-35 programme seems to have turned a corner, with the USMC and USAF declaring IOC, and the Israeli Air Force taking delivery of their aircraft and operating them domestically. Full capability, however, is still some time away – could you give a brief update on the programme and the challenges that lie ahead?
LM: The F- 35 programme is proceeding well. The F-35 fleet recently exceeded 100,000 flight hours while the F- 35 Integrated Test Force teams are completing the remaining requirements in the programme’s System Development and Demonstration ( SDD) phase. The remaining development flight testing includes validating the final release of 3F software, F-35B ski jump testing, F-35B austere site operations, high-Mach Loads testing for both the F-35B and F-35C, and completion of the remaining weapons delivery accuracy tests.
VAYU : Lockheed made a relatively quiet and low profile entry into the Indian simulation market with FSTC, based in Gurgaon. Could you comment on further plans in this sector, and opportunities both civil and military?
LM: We are proud of our successful partnership with Fly wings on the Flight Simulation Training Centre in Gurgaon. We are continuing to evaluate additional opportunities in India’s simulation market.
Lockheed has proposed the F-16 Block 70 for the IAF’s single-engine
An F-35B development aircraft carries out ski-jump testing with external stores, as required by the UK customer (photo: Arnel Parker)