Monday 22 July 2019, 06:39 AM
Lockheed's F-16 Is Likely Frontrunner For India's Next Fighter Order
By IANS | Bharat Defence Kavach | Publish Date: 10/14/2016 12:00:00 AM

Lockheed Martin (LMT) lost the first round of India's fighter jet competition to France's Dassault, but its F-16 is likely in India's cross hairs as New Delhi starts another acquisition program.

India is looking to buy single-engine fighters to replace some of its roughly 900 fighters, mostly Russian-built aircraft nearing the end of their service lives. The single-engine jets will replace Russian MiG 21 and MiG 27 aircraft.

"Some overseas participants" were invited to participle in the program, according to a Ministry of Defense official cited by Defense News Wednesday.Saab's Gripen E is also expected to be in the running too, along with a Russian offering.

Lockheed Martin shares closed up 0.4% at 232.99 on the stock market today. The stock has fallen sharply since peaking on Aug. 15, with Lockheed undercutting its 200-day line last week.

Last month, India signed a deal worth nearly $9 billion for 36 Rafale fighter jets, rather than picking Boeing's F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet, Lockheed's F-16 or BAE's Eurofighter.

Analysts predicted that India would launch another acquisition, likely within the year, because the deal was too small to make a dent in India's replacement needs.

Lockheed has offered attractive incentives to New Delhi. In August, Lockheed said it would move its F-16 manufacturing to India. During U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter's visit to India in April, he reportedly pushed for a Boeing (BA) or Lockheed buy.

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Lockheed's F-16 Is Likely Frontrunner For India's Next Fighter Order

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