Monday, January 25, 2021

Is US Offering F-22 Raptor to India under Make in India Program?

Is the US offering F-22 Raptor Fighter Jet to India under the Make in India program? F-22 Raptor Fighter Jet is a single-seat, single-engine, all-weather, fifth generation, stealth, multi-role fighter which is considered one of the best in the world. The F-22 Raptor’s combination of stealth, aerodynamic performance, gives the fighter jet unmatched fighting capabilities.

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According to Indian Economic Times, Lockheed Martin is ready to provide latest fighter jet expertise to India from both F-35 and F-22 Raptor which includes a target tracking apparatus. US is offering the F-16 fighter jets to the Indian Air Force which would be the most advanced fighter jet of the F-16 series. The variant being pitched to India is the F-16 Block 70.

Lockheed Martin will offer fighter jets outfitted with the sophisticated radar which is incorporated on its fifth-generation combat jet, the F-35, as well as a helmet-mounted tracking system and a new radio data link system, according to Vivek Lall, VP – Strategy and Business Development at Lockheed Martin

The US proposal also comes with an attractive offer to transfer the lone production line for F-16’s from Fort Worth, Texas to India. The F-16’s face tough challenge from other bidders like Saab Gripen and Boeing.

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“There are a lot of technologies that come into the F-16 from F-35 and F-22, including the latest radar” and it is a contemporary, state-of-the-art platform” claimed Lall. Getting advanced fighter jets is critical for Indian PM Narendra Modi’s vision as the nation faces multiple threats from neighbouring Pakistan and China. As part of that plan, India invited bidders from global manufacturers for 110 fighter jets, a deal which is estimated to be worth at least $15 billion.

Similar Deal for Japan?

Lockheed Martin is in discussions with Japan for developing a new fighter jet which will amalgamate the kinematic capabilities of the F-22 Raptor with the advanced sensor and communications capabilities from the F-35 Lightning II.

Reuters has reported the Lockheed Martin has discussed the proposal with Japanese officials, and, subject to approval by the US Government, is formulating to make a formal proposal in response to a Japanese RFI (request for information)

“We look forward to exploring possibilities for replacement of fighter jets for Japan in collaboration with both the Japanese and U.S. governments,” a Lockheed Martin spokeswoman said.


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