US-based aerospace and defence manufacturing behemoth Lockheed Martin has announced plans to begin production of the wings of the F-16 fighter jet from a facility it has in Hyderabad, reports Reuters.
The production of the wings will be carried out in a joint venture with Indian firm Tata Advanced Systems. This decision comes at a time when Lockheed Martin is competing with a number of international firms for a $15 billion contract to produce 114 combat jets for the Indian Air Force (IAF).
Vice president of Strategy and Business Development for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Vivek Lall revealed that the company in the future plans to supply the wings for all the F-16s it produces worldwide with wings manufactured in the Hyderabad facility.
"The first wing prototype is being built now. The expectation is we will begin supplying by next year sometime, this will be the sole facility for future F-16 wing production," Lall said.
The Hyderabad facility is in fact already active in manufacturing the empennage of Lockheed’s C-130J transport plane.
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