India to Acquire 6 Additional C-130J Aircraft in 2017

Lockheed Martin will deliver the next batch of C-130J transport military aircraft to the Indian Air Force in 2017, Abhay Paranjape, Business Development Director of C-130 said at a press conference on the side lines of DefExpo 2016, the ninth in the series of biennial Land, Naval and Internal Homeland Security Systems Exhibitions, and a very important event in India, that was held in Goa recently.

C-130J Aircraft

C-130J Aircraft

The company is also in discussion with the India Meteorological Department for specially configured C-130J aircraft that fly into  hurricanes to obtain information about major storms far more detailed than is provided by weather satellites, reports Defense World.

Panagarh, an air force base in the eastern state of West Bengal, will be the Indian Air Force’s second hub for these new C-130J Super Hercules aircraft.  The air force will start operating the Super Hercules aircraft beginning May this year and from March 2017 a permanent unit will start.

April 4, 2016   No Comments

Lockheed Martin, Ashok Leyland to Develop Vehicles for Indian Army

India’s Chennai-based Ashok Leyland Defense Systems has entered into an agreement with Lockheed Martin to develop and produce military vehicles for the Indian market. Lockheed Martin’s High Mobility Vehicle or Common Vehicle Next Generation (CVNG) will provide the base platform for this development effort, although there could be “numerous additional opportunities for this development effort” beyond the Indian Light Specialist Vehicles and Light Armored Multipurpose Vehicle projects. The CVNG – described by Lockheed Martin as an armed lightweight military vehicle – is an upgraded version of the company’s High Mobility Transport vehicle in use by U.S. forces.

Lockheed Martin Military Vehicles

Lockheed Martin Military Vehicles

Ashok Leyland will provide a high-quality, cost effective manufacturing hub for global requirements of these vehicles and variants, and as a licensed manufacturer of the CVNG, this opens up a huge opportunity to globally export this vehicle platform and its variants as a “Made in India” product, reports Defense World.

Scott Greene, Vice President of Ground Vehicles for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, said, “Our CVNG is a proven and versatile multi-terrain vehicle currently in service around the world. We are excited about the opportunities that exist to offer the CVNG to India and beyond.”

Nitin Seth, President Light Commercial Vehicles and Defense at Ashok Leyland, said, “We are happy to be working with a major defense company like Lockheed Martin on this development. A combination of their technical expertise and our proven vehicle platforms, will enable us to offer versatile solutions to armed forces across segments.”

March 27, 2016   No Comments

India looks to European and American Companies for a Light Fighter to Replace MiG 21

Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar announced that, in addition to the Rafale, India could buy a second foreign fighter, in the lightweight category, to replace several MiG-21 squadrons that will retire this decade.

MiG 21

Lockheed Martin’s F-16IN Super Hornet, Swedish company Saab’s Gripen NG,  the Russian Yak-13,  may  be contenders for the supply of their aircraft to India.

June 5, 2015   No Comments

India Withdraws Tax and Dutry Exemptions for State-Owned Defense Companies

In a move to encourage foreign defense manufacturing in India, the government has withdrawn the preferential customs and excise duty exemptions that were applicable to products manufactured by the state-owned Ordnance Factories Board and other defense public sector undertakings.

This has been done to level the playing field and neutralize the advantage that the state-owned companies have had when quoting lower rates in open bids, a commerce and industry ministry statement explained.

The move addresses one of the demands of private sector and foreign original equipment manufacturers such as Boeing, Airbus, Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems, which are actively exploring the scope of future investments in India, the statement said. It will also send a positive message to foreign players that India is open to business for defense manufacturing, the notification added.

The Economic Times reports that the withdrawal of exemption will open up possibilities for smaller Indian private players too, who can be sub suppliers and contractors for larger military contracts.

The government has opened up the sector for private investment by raising the cap on foreign direct investment to 49% and rationalizing certain conditions. Almost 60 percent items required for industrial license have now been de-reserved.

June 3, 2015   No Comments

Defense Secretary Ash Carter will visit India in June

During U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter‘s two-day visit to India in early June, he will sign a 10-year Indo-U.S.  Defense Framework Agreement, and focus on major military deals. “We are looking to do more in terms of (military) exercises and joint training and interoperability with our Indian counterparts,” U.S. Ambassador to India Richard Rahul Verma said at the first U.S.-India Think Tank Summit in Delhi on April 28.

U.S. Defense Secy. Ashton "Ash" Carter

U.S. Defense Secy. Ashton “Ash” Carter

Carter is expected to review progress in the four ‘pathfinder’ technologies that the U.S. had agreed to transfer to India under the Defense Trade and Technology Initiative. These include the joint development and manufacture of AeroVironment RQ-11 Raven battlefield unmanned aerial vehicles and roll-on/roll-off ISR modules for the Indian Air Force’s 11 Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 transport aircraft.

Defense World reports that two additional technologies — developing and building mobile electric hybrid power systems, and integrated Protection Ensemble Increment-2 clothing for protection against nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare — will also be transferred.

May 3, 2015   No Comments