US-aerospace major Lockheed Martin, which has already formed a joint venture with the Tata group for making aerospace components in India, is exploring further tie-ups with both private and government-owned defence organisations.
Lockheed Martin India Private Limited managing director Jagmohan Singh said the company was looking forward to potential partnerships, including with Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL).
Initially, it would go for production of anti-tank guided missiles, provided it gets clearances from the governments of the US and India. Singh was speaking on the sidelines of a defence and aerospace exhibition being organised here by the National Small Industries Corporation Limited and the Federation of Indian Micro and Small & Medium Enterprises.
“We have sought approval of the US government and are hopeful of receiving it soon. After getting a go ahead from the Indian government, we will start working with local companies to get the production facilities here,” Singh said.
Though the ongoing talks with Indian companies are at initial stages, the company’s focus in Hyderabad would be on missile systems for which it wants to tie up with local industry apart from BDL that makes missiles for the country’s forces. “If given a chance we will associate ourselves with local industry and try to set up production facilities in Hyderabad, Bangalore or Chennai,” he said. Tata Lockheed Martin Aerostructures, the JV between Tata Advanced Systems and Lockheed Martin, will be manufacturing aerostructures for C-130 J aircraft of the latter that was inducted by the defence forces early this month. The JV is one of the three new aerospace units being set up here by the Tata group.
Lockheed Martin is one of the six global aerospace corporations vying for a $10 billion medium multi-role combat aircraft order to be awarded this year by the Indian Air Force.