Monday, June 28, 2010

Lockheed to offer fifth generation F-35 fighters to Indian Navy

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US defence major Lockheed Martin said on Monday that it will offer its latest fifth generation F-35 fighters to meet Indian Navy's requirements for carrier-based combat aircraft.

"We have received the Request for Information (RFI) from the Navy seeking information about the F-35 aircraft, which are capable of taking off from aircraft carriers. We are going to offer our aircraft to them," Lockheed Martin vice president Orville Prins said.

He said presentations had been given to the Indian Navy about both the 'B'and 'C' versions of the aircraft in the recent past.

The B version the F-35 is a short take-off and vertical landing aircraft and the C version is an aircraft carrier-based version.

The Navy, which will acquire the under-construction Indigenous Aircraft Carrier around 2015, is likely to build another larger-size carrier and is looking to procure fighter aircraft for it.

American Boeing, Swedish Saab, European EADS and the French Dassault Aviation are also likely to offer their aircraft to the Navy.

Commenting on other projects of the company in India, Prins said the C-130 J Hercules aircraft are likely to be delivered to the IAF by February next year, two months ahead of the original schedule.

He said IAF is also planning to order six more aircraft as the construction of ground infrastructure is also going on schedule at the Hindan air base near here.

Prins said the IAF has also shown interest in the air to air refuelling tanker-version of the C-130J, which can be offered to it by the company.


Article Source: Times of India

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