Lockheed Martin, a global defense and aerospace company, and the TATA Group, from India, have signed a deal to make fighter plane wings at their joint venture, TATA Lockheed Martin Aerostructures Ltd (TLMAL), in Hyderabad.
According to Lockheed Martin, the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) envisions the production of 29 fighter wing shipsets, with an option of additional shipsets, with deliveries commencing in 2025.
Lockheed Martin officially recognized TLMAL as a possible co-producer of fighter wings in October 2021 after TLMAL successfully made and qualified a prototype fighter wing shipset.
Lockheed Martin said on Friday that for this prototype project, TLMAL had to show that it could make detailed parts and deliver a fully compliant, fuel-carrying, 9-g, 12,000-hour, interchangeable/replaceable representative fighter wing.
“This made Lockheed Martin’s relationship with India even stronger. It also helped its F-21 offer to buy 114 new fighter planes for India and the Indian Air Force since it showed that India could make more of them on its own. The India F-21 is a strategic and economic opportunity for the US and India that has never been seen before. It could lead to more advanced technology cooperation in the future, “Says Lockheed Martin.
In 2010, TATA Advanced Systems Limited and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics joined forces to form TLMAL.
TLMAL is the only place in the world that makes C-130J empennage assemblies put on all new Super Hercules planes. TLMAL has made and sent out nearly 200 C-130J empennages so far.
“I’m proud that TATA Group and Lockheed Martin worked together on this important project. I’d like to thank the TLMAL team for industrializing and qualifying the fighter wing despite the fact that it was a very complicated piece of technology.
I’m sure that making fighter wings in India will improve India’s aerospace and defense manufacturing industry, “CEO of TATA Sons Private Limited, N. Chandrasekaran, said.