The C-130J Super Hercules in IAF colours (above) will be Lockheed Martin's
star product at the show, in addition to the F-16s.
By Anantha Krishnan M
Express News Service
Bangalore: A 20-member team from American plane-maker Lockheed Martin (LM) will touchdown in Bangalore for the Aero India-2013, hoping for new opportunities in aerospace and defence sector. As they get down to business hours in the cozy comforts of air show pavilions, the Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots will take the newly-inducted mammoth LM-built beast – the C-130J Super Hercules turbo-prop military transport aircraft— on a date, displaying its cool flying features.
In an interview to Express on Wednesday, Abhay Paranjape, Director, Business Development, Lockheed Martin National Executive, India, said that this time his team is hitting Bangalore with multiple agenda. “Meeting potential customers, suppliers and expanding our relationship with Indian industries tops our mission. We are definitely looking to expand our presence in India, especially after the induction of C-130Js,” Abhay said. He said the LM team also hopes to establish win-win partnerships, in addition to identifying potential suppliers, to fulfil Ministry of Defence's offset policy.
He confirmed that the talks for the IAF acquiring additional six more C-130Js have reached advanced stages. “The IAF has given a letter of request for additional six aircraft based on which a letter of acceptance was issued. The modalities are being worked out by both Indian and US governments. The discussions are in potentially final stages,” Abhay said. The IAF No 77 Squadron already operates six C-130Js.
For the flying display, there won't be any aircraft from the LM's side this time. However, the US Air Force would be bringing the F-16s. When asked about the slowdown in the aerospace sector, Abhay said: “It is still growing, may be not at the rate it was. We see India as a growing market.”
Wants to work with DRDO on UAVs: Lockheed Martin says it has expressed interest for joining hands with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for India's future unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) programmes. “We have recently exhibited our expertise by joining hands with Delhi Technological University and gave expertise for student to develop a UAV. We are willing to work with DRDO for various urban UAV programmes. If DRDO is desring then we would work together for some really exciting UAV projects,” Abhay said.