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|Posted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 8:09 am Post subject: Pentagon clears proposal to make F-18s, F-16s in India
Pentagon clears proposal to make F-18, F-16 frontline fighter jets in India
September 5, 2016
In a goodwill gesture of defence co-operation between India and the U.S., the Pentagon has endorsed a proposal to produce F-18 and F-16s fighter jets in India. The proposal was forwarded by the respective defence giants -- Boeing, which manufactures F-18s, and Lockheed Martin, which manufactures F-16s -- as part of their "Make in India" initiative.
Pentagon's endorsement to have a production line in India for F-18 and F-16 frontline fighter jets, along with the requisite transfer of technology and licences, was communicated during the recent meeting between Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and U.S. Defence Secretary Ash Carter in Washington D.C., the Hindustan Times reported.
In view of India being designated as a major defence partner of the U.S., an India non-paper on broader export controls was reportedly accepted by the U.S. side.
"Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar's visit to the US had significant outcomes with Pentagon agreeing to work on the Indian non-paper for easier export controls," the news outlet quoted a senior official as saying.
It makes sense for Boeing and Lockheed Martin to open production lines in India as they would have to invest back 50 percent of the total value of the deal. A single piece of the twin engine, twin seater F-18 fighter jets cost about $100 million and the single engine, single seater F-16's cost comes around $70 million.
Lockheed Martin is offering India Block 70 F-16, which is the "newest and most advanced F-16" fighter jet. The F-16 is a 4th Generation multi-role fighter with 28 customers, including India's rival Pakistan, which has around 80 F-16 aircraft.