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Lockheed to offer F-35 fighters to Indian Navy

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



New Delhi: US defence major Lockheed Martin
Monday said 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 here.

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 of 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.

The Lockheed official said that talks are on with
agencies such as the National Disaster Management Authority
(NDMA) for supplying another C-130J variant known as the
`weather-bird` WC-130J, which can be used to study cyclones
and other weather phenomenon.

He said the aircraft might be brought to India for the
next edition of Aero India show in February 2011.

PTI

From Zee News

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