By Staff Correspondent
Lockheed Martin and Tata Group have come to an accord to launch the production of fighter wing shipsets at their joint venture, Tata Lockheed Martin Aerostructures Limited (TLMAL) in Hyderabad, India. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) stipulates the delivery of 29 fighter wing shipsets, with an option to produce additional shipsets, commencing in 2025.
TLMAL gained Lockheed Martin’s official recognition as a potential co-producer of fighter wings in October 2021, after successfully producing and qualifying a prototype fighter wing shipset. TLMAL demonstrated the capacity to perform detailed part manufacturing and the delivery of a fully compliant fuel-carrying 9-g, 12,000-hour, interchangeable/replaceable representative fighter wing through this prototype project. This accomplishment furthered Lockheed Martin’s partnership with India, and supports its F-21 offering for procurement of 114 new fighter aircraft, exclusive to India and the Indian Air Force (IAF). The F-21 program represents a historic strategic and economic opportunity for the US-India relationship and acts as a catalyst for future advanced technology cooperation.
“This MoU between Lockheed Martin and Tata Group further exemplifies Lockheed Martin’s commitment to a self-reliant India and the degree of confidence that exists in our relationships with our partners in India,” said James Taiclet, Chairman, President, and CEO of Lockheed Martin. “Lockheed Martin’s 21st Century Security vision aims to deliver integrated mission-focused defence capabilities with innovation and urgency, and with that, we are one of the only aerospace companies with a complex aerostructure capability for advanced fighters in India. This strong partnership embodies our principle of For India, From India, For the World.”
Tata Advanced Systems Limited and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics established TLMAL as a joint venture in 2010. TLMAL adheres to the Government of India’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat ‘Make in India’ and ‘Skills India’ goals and acts as the sole global source of C-130J empennage assemblies installed on all new Super Hercules aircraft. To date, TLMAL has delivered almost 200 C-130J empennages.
“I am proud of the Tata Group’s partnership with Lockheed Martin on this prestigious project. I would like to congratulate the TLMAL team for successfully industrialising and qualifying the fighter wing despite the technological complexity involved. I am confident the initiative of manufacturing fighter wings in India will go a long way in strengthening the aerospace and defence manufacturing ecosystem in India,” said N. Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons Pvt. Ltd.
Lockheed Martin is continuing to expand its collaborations with local industries to bolster the evolution of indigenous defence manufacturing ecosystems and further advance India’s strategic security and industrial capabilities. These initiatives span across transport, maritime, and fighter aircraft, shipborne air and missile defense projects, as well as capabilities in civil sectors, including new and renewable energy. Lockheed Martin India’s joint ventures, apprenticeships, and founding membership of the India Innovation Growth Program underscore its commitment to Indian industry, talent, and progress, building on more than seven decades of association and three decades of partnership with India.