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Lockheed Martin and TASL announce partnership to market F-16 to India
September 22, 2017
Photo credit: Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin and TASL announce partnership to market F-16 to India

Lockheed Martin and Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) have signed an agreement to jointly market and produce Lockheed Martin’s F-16 Block-70 in India.

In its official press release, Lockheed Martin stated that the partnership would support “thousands of Lockheed Martin and F-16 supplier jobs in the U.S., creates new manufacturing jobs in India, and positions Indian industry at the center of the most extensive fighter aircraft supply ecosystem in the world.”

The F-16 Block-70 is the re-branded F-16V, which is based on the F-16C/D Block-52+ airframe with the AN/APG-83 active electronically-scanned array (AESA) radar (and supporting avionics suite and cockpit). Lockheed Martin is aiming to sell 19 F-16V/Block-70s to Bahrain for $2.7 billion U.S.

Notes & Comments:

In October, the Indian government initiated the process of selecting candidates for replacing the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) MiG-21 and MiG-27 fighters. The principal requirement was for a multi-role single-engine fighter, which effectively made the Lockheed Martin F-16 and Saab JAS-39 Gripen the leading candidates.

Like Lockheed Martin, Saab announced (during Aero India) that it was committed to supporting New Delhi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. Saab is also touting a carrier-borne variant for the Indian Navy.

As part of Lockheed Martin’s offset commitments to India, TASL was selected as a components supplier for Lockheed Martin’s C-130J Super Hercules and S-92 helicopter (for which TASL manufactures the cabin).

A joint-venture – known as the Tata Lockheed Martin Aeroframe Corporation (TLMAL) – is responsible for manufacturing empennage assemblies for the C-130J. This includes horizontal and vertical stabilizers as well as leading edge and tip assemblies. TLMAL delivered the 50th empennage in September 2016.

Besides Lockheed Martin, TASL – as well as fellow Tata subsidiary Tata Advanced Materials Limited – have partnerships with Boeing. Tata manufactures interior panels for the Boeing P-8 Poseidon as well as crown and tailcone assembly for the CH-47F Chinook. It will also manufacture Boeing AH-64E fuselages. Like Lockheed Martin, Boeing’s partnerships are borne from offset commitments with New Delhi.

In tandem with the inherent technical merits of each platform, the extent of transfer-of-technology and supply channel workshare will likely factor into India’s final decision as well. In addition to exposing India’s defence suppliers to valuable technology and expertise, offsets would enable India to channel a portion of its purchase costs to the Indian economy. Indian suppliers will also benefit by being a source of some of the production work for third-party sales, including the Middle East, which is poised to finalize a spate of big-ticket sales with Lockheed Martin and Boeing.

  • FAUJI JAT

    IAF plan was to induct 352 SU-30 MKI,80 Rafale, 83 Tejas MK1A,200 F-16 Block 70 by 2025, a total of 715 4++gen combat aircraft and this makes up around 35 squadrons.

    • OSD

      Hahaha. So the IAF took around 20 years to commission only 270 SU-30, 15 years to order the Rafale, more than 30 years to reach the prototype stage of LCA Tejas and has had the MMRCA idea floating around for another 20 years with no action at all, and you are saying that they will analyze, test, select, build and induct 715 new jets of 4 different types in the next 8 years? Lol.

      • Halz

        LMAO I was thinking exactly this!

        • SS_IND

          Yes, there have been delays by previous Govts (which were corrupt). But Modi is not and is very clear about defence modernization…the current deals show unprecedented finishing time the M777 howitzer is already here the chinooks and apaches are on there way. The Rafales and K-9 howitzer are also fast tracked. This is a different India.

          • Steve

            Yup, this is Modi’s India that prioritises shiny Western weapons costly 10’s of billions over improving the lot of their hundreds of millions of people in abject poverty and a nonexistent infrastructure. Hell, even Pakistan has better roads and cleaner cities than India which is drowning in its own filth. Salaam Bombay is a truer depiction of modern India than fake unwatchable Bollywood movies about globe trotting Indians doing weird songs and dances in the West.

          • OSD

            This is the same India but in a different wrapper.

    • Tanveer Khan

      Wrong nos, total 272 su30mki(but of these only 110 or 55% were operationally available due to poor serviceability & serious engines problems) out of 126 only 36 rafales ordered, i hope now india could really make its indigenous tejas awaited since 1983, only 100 f16 block 70 will make in india

      • FAUJI JAT

        In 2002 IAF has promised Russia that it will induct more than 350 Flankers in the long term and the next batch of rafale will consist of 44 extra rafale. Serviceability of Flankers improved by 75% since 2015

      • MT

        The operationability nos have gone up to 63%.
        And i don’t know any aircraft which is more than 75%operational.

        India is manufacturing 8 tejas in 2018 after it built around 4-5tejas in 2017.

        HAL develop, build and test unlike all of your development happens at Chengdu

  • آصف اقبال

    It surprises me why India is going for so many 4th gen jets. I think lack of funds in case of Pakistan or whatever the reason Pakistan is not buying more jets to augment it’s F16s and JF17s will actually prevent them from a stupid purchase and work in their favour.
    Otherwise they make a total of just around 150 aircrafts, which seems less, since other older jets will be retired soon. I wonder how PAF is planning to cope up with such a low number of squadrons.

  • OSD

    Amazing to see that a 50 year old design will still have a chance to be selected for setting up a brand new assembly line and get inducted in an air force as a leading fighter jet. I think the F-16 and the Gripen are nice jets but are only good enough as off-the-shelf options. Countries should have the capability to produce similar platforms themselves by now and this is where Pakistan has taken the lead with the JF-17.

    • MT

      F16 has blocks level improvement and block 70 is competitive with rafale.

      Be assured that TASl Tata will get more work than karma.

      India is making 4 tejas in 2017, 8 in 2018 and it ll be 16 from 2021 with tejas mk1a

      But iaf is to retire 200 fighter over 5 yrs and it needs another assembly of aircraft to keep up with such huge deficit

      • OSD

        Haha. TASI TATA might get more work but the question is whether it will ever be beneficial? India had contracted for T-72 and T-90 tanks to be assembled in India, but they have cost twice as much and India still hasn’t gained a credible ability to build it’s own tanks. It is the same case with the SU-30 production, where the IAF is dependent on Russia for spare parts even after having assembled them for 20 years now. Even the Kaman Ka-226 contract will force India to pay exponentially higher fees for the same helicopters. At the same time, India has not been able to indigenize a significantly higher percentage of the LCA Tejas as compared to the JF-17, with all major components being imported for only assembly in the country. Taking all that together with the fact that the INSAS rifle has failed, the Arjun MBT has been rejected and the LCA Tejas’s lack of production forcing India to spend an extra $20 billion on the procurement of a foreign fighter, I do wonder why you are assuring me of some kind of rest?

        And by the way, 2017 has completed as yet, 2018 hasn’t arrived and 2021 is a long way off, so please don’t hold this up as any type of achievement. Right now, Pakistan has commissioned more than 80 JF-17s and India is only test flying 3 prototypes of the Tejas, and that is the actual score!

        • SS_IND

          This is because India uses its own ability to develop tech…unlike taking cheap Chinese reject weapons. Yes if you produce in your country it is expensive because a complete infrastructure needs to be built ..of course this is expected as economics is not Pakistanis piece of cake. Also the previous deals were done by a corrupt Congress which was only inserted in kickbacks unlike the BJP govt which is focused on defence production. The JF-17 showed its capability when it backed put from the Bahrain Airshow when it was to be faced with the Tejas. It really Pakistani!

  • Shafiq Ahmed

    This should be the reason number 1 for PAF to step aside from F 16 as if the deal goes on, IAF will have more advanced F 16s than PAF latest F 16 fleet.Pakistan should focus on JF 17 block 3
    making it the qualitative driver of PAF.There should be another block 4 perhaps with more advanced configuration by 2025.Pakistan should immediately join TFX and try to share experience with Turkey which has worked on F 35 and try to field an indigenous next gen fighter by late 2020s.There is no need to go after an off shelf 4th generation fighter

    • Muhammad Talha

      India is not buying f 16 they are only producing it as they have already selected rafale for mrcm.

    • SS_IND

      Pakistan did not have the funds to buy just 8 F-16s you expect JF-17 Block 4 and what not !!

      • Kazmi

        Funds is not the issue. The issue is Pentagon’s undertaking with Pakistan to which American congress is not backing. So, this is policy shift on US part. which all the stake holders are negotiating to settle down.

        • MT

          Pak can still buy f16 from its money but USA subsidized aid aka FMS was only denied

          • SS_IND

            If you have the money why do you need aid?? What logic is that ?

    • SS_IND

      Even though the F-16 is a good option but the Gripen would be a better pick as a more modern platform with more capability of upgrades and maybe the most modern network warfare system in the world.

    • Rehan

      Yes I agreed, Pakistan should join TFX program along with continuous modernization of JF-17.

    • bill

      The next era shall be of stealth whether Sea, Air or Land. It is a fact that JF17 has huge potential for improvement but it is also fact that a non stealthy platform can’t be converted in to fully stealthy platform.

      Considering PAF limited number of jets as compared to IAF it is must for Pak to induct a true 5th gen jet in short term. The only viable option in short term is J31 as TFX shall take some Years at least 7-8 Years to be fully operational.

  • Amir Hameed

    This deal will help to fulfill the IAF’s fighter jests deficiency. PAF should have some countermeasure to fulfill advance fighter jet. Upgraded JF 17 block III is good option. PAF also try to built it 5th generation fighter jet.

  • Kazmi

    The old hunter with new trap. This is a big trap for India and Pakistan need not to worry. American history shows that they are friend of non, they only look after their own interests. And here the American interest is to keep the Lock heed Martin assembly line alive which is about to close. American Air force has no further demand for new F.16s and European countries are mostly producing their own birds.However there are few demands from middle east, which are not quite enough to continue the production for the long time. Secondly our Indian Friends should not get much pleased as Americans will never transfer their sophisticated technologies to India. They will never come to save you in case of any conflict with neighbors as they did with Pakistan in 1971.They (Americans) actually want to kill the many birds with one shot i.e to keep India under their political and military influence, to counter the China, to deter the Pakistan and to keep the F.16s production line alive and finally to strengthen their control over Indian Ocean. I am again pessimistic, whether this deal will come to fruition and if so, it may take at least 5 to 7 years to start the production, which India obviously can not afford at all, considering the present number and serviceability of the IAF Fleet. So, to cap it all, its nothing but mere a gambling which both the world players are doing with each other to increase their weightage in the Global coin adjustments and bargains. I just beg pardon if any of my colleague get hurt but I hold my own view point.

    • SS_IND

      First of all India is not Pakistan. US never made Pakistan a major defence partner, they never signed long term agreements like the Civil Nuclear, Logistics deal or Communications deals.
      Next, almost all Europeans (NATO) have signed deals for the F-35 so not all of them are making there own birds as you put it.
      Also, the F-16 is not a fighter which is dying tmr, the maintenance and logistics are the largest in the world and are expected for many years to come. Also, the deal would allow India to upgrade F-16s of other countries (not Pakistan) to the new Block-70 level.
      For your information the US is already very strong in the Indian Ocean region as it has a lot of friends…and full bases in Deigo Garcia, Guam, once Pakistan etc. The middle signed deals worth billions for F-16s and F-15s.
      And dont need the US to save us ….We know how to care of things on our own …history is an example.

      • Kazmi

        Yes, history is an example, if one remembers the history, history tells that East India Company ruled India for almost two hundred years and before that Mughals and other dynasties. What the lesson we have learnt. My friend despite separate geographical identities, we belong to a common region. So, to certain extent we have common interests. My comments are in that context and hoped will be taken in that letter and spirit. The subject deal is not a cause of concern for anybody but the Indians themselves and if you guys are happy and satisfied, then go ahead and enjoy the sweetness of the friendship of Americans and leave the result onto the coming generations.
        Regards

        • Headstrong

          Here we go again….
          Mughals were ‘Indian’ (except for Babur, of course). One understand the predicament of you people, of course. But the fact is that hundreds of millions of Indians and Pakistanis come from the same gene pool – many from the Mughals themselves.
          I think what SS_IND was trying to say is that *recent* history bears witness that Pakistan initiated conflicts in the region expecting US and/ or China to come to its rescue should things go wrong. They didn’t.
          India fought alone and won.

          • Steve

            Haha don’t make me start again, non-Muslim Mughal boy!
            Easier to link to a previous but pertinent conversation. Please look in the comments section.

            http://quwa.org/2017/06/04/turkey-russia-final-stages-s-400-sam-talks/

          • Headstrong

            Yawn. Come on ‘Steve’, you can do better than that! Try refuting rather than name calling. Ad hominem proves both

          • Kazmi

            Yes! India fought alone and won in dreams only….. haha

          • Steve

            Hmm… let’s analyse ‘fought alone’ and ‘won’. In 1948 India fought with the British army of the Raj ‘alone’, with most officers and equipment being British, and our British officers mostly refused to fight, leaving us to rely on tribals. Result: India lost half the state of Jammu and Kashmir they coveted and invaded, and to this day whinge about. In 1965 they lost and gained some territory. Pakistan could not occupy Kashmir and India could not occupy Lahore and Sialkot, with armour loss on both sides. The Air Force by most independent observers blew the IAF out of the skies. Result: most experts say stalemate, Modi only recently says India won, and wants to rewrite history, but that’s Modi lol. In 1971 Pakistan faced a civil war and with a ‘non aligned’ India fighting with huge new Soviet weaponry ‘alone’ using rabid Mukhti Bhani terrorists did defeat the vastly outnumbered and outgunned Pakistanis, we sank the Kukri and they sank the Khyber, and they have never stopped crowing since. In 1999, our forces were evicted from only ONE of 4 held areas and NS agreed to withdrawal. We still hold some peaks. Large numbers of Indians were killed and they lost 3 aircraft. Burka Dutt lifted the veil on it. Result: status quo albeit with major losses on both sides. So my friends ‘fought alone and won’ can be used by the adversary for propaganda which they fancy themselves as experts at, especially when fighting an adversary 5 times smaller, but they too know it’s not the real thing. Peace

          • Kazmi

            Befitting reply, I endorse ! Well done Steve

          • Headstrong

            Yawn. Same old, same old…
            ’48 – Indian Army only entered the picture after half of the state of J&K had fallen. Thereafter, the ‘tribals’ (yeah, right!) were pushed back – WITH the help of Kashmiris – to where the LoC is now.
            ’65 – Pakistan began the war with objectives of taking Kashmir, expecting Kashmiris support. That didn’t happen, but they did achieve surprise. What really was the hostility they faced from Kashmiris! Oh, also the pushback along the IB. The PAF did well – initially. Again, surprise helped. By the end of the war, most of the PAF was safe in Iran. Look it up – it’s well documented.
            ’71 – Nothing to state here. Again Pakistan began the war. It was a rout. And, yes, the PN was so demolished, it is yet to recover. Khyber sunk. Venus Challenger, with ammo for Pakistan forces, sunk. Shahjahan crippled. Minesweeper Muhafiz sunk before it could even send a signal that it had been attacked! Kemari oil storage tanks in karachi port destroyed. All this just in Op Trident, causing PAF to strafe PNS Zulfiqar, causing damage and casualties! The follow up, Op Python, finished off Kemari, tanker PNS Dacca beyond repair and two other foreign ships in Karachi harbour. And don’t forget the unfortunate PNS Ghazi and the bombardment by the aircraft by Vikrant. You people got Khukri, yes.
            ’99 – Kargil. If by ‘still holding peaks’, you mean the hundreds of bodies of ‘tribals’ (again, lol!) lying unclaimed there, ok. Yes, three IAF aircraft (2 fighters, one helo) lost. The Atlantique more than made up for that. Not to forget the international opprobrium you people faced.
            More than anything, you people should be questioning what your leadership achieved in all these wars. Atleast 48, 65 and 71 were wars. Kargil was humiliation. You people abandoned your soldiers. And you feel pride in this?
            The theme of the comment was in the constant anticipation of support you people expected – US and/ or China. The US did make some threatening noises, even sending the Seventh Fleet to the Bay of Bengal in ’71. That’s about it – nothing else. Even from ‘Iron Brother’. This expectation was what emboldened the ‘5 times smaller’ country to try and punch above its weight. Unfortunately, the sugar daddies weren’t listening.
            Peace

          • Steve

            The discussion was about your assertion that India “fought alone and won”. Your version of wars and battles while putting a spin on things confirms my assertions that India did not have a clear “win” despite being 5 times bigger. You also prove that Pakistan was ‘alone’. Everyone noticed that you quickly glossed over the kicking your Air Force got in 1965 as that is a sore point, with the 10:1 ratio proven true lol. You prove that by your desperate post. We are still here and still give you a bloody nose now and then. It’s not a good idea to believe your own propoganda. It’s gives you a warped narrative of history. But you guys are experts at believing your own propaganda lol (no peace until justice).
            Ps. We don’t give a c**p about what others think about us. We have not got a slave mentality, at least most of us lol.

          • Steve

            It is disingenuous to talk about the history of the subcontinent and pretend it is not based on religion. It is also totally relevant today, as Babri mosque/Gujarat massacre clearly showed. I don’t pussyfoot around and say the truth even if Indians find it offensive. Kindly explain how Indian Hindus are from the same ‘gene pool’ as the great Mughals lol.

          • Headstrong

            What is really disingenuous is putting words into other’s mouths. Of course religion played a huge role in the history of the Indian subcontinent. The existence of Pakistan alone proves that.
            The point I’m making, one I’ve made before, is that Pakistan cannot claim to be the inheritors of the Mughal Empire. India has as many Muslims as Pakistan, controls the seat of Mughal power, and is widely recognised as the successor state. If you people don’t agree, well, that’s your problem.
            Religion is also relevant today, sadly. However, as a counter, I offer you Bangladesh. Afghanistan. And, increasingly, Iran. Moreover, we also know what the Arab world thinks of you people. These are people you share a religion with.
            But all this is beside the point. I understand that you would want to take the conversation into your favourite hunting ground. This particular thread refers to the role of the US in Pakistan’s wars with India (or rather the absence of the role). Why not try sticking to the topic as you say you don’t pussyfoot around?
            PS – re gene pool, you may want to read The Murder of History by Khursheed Kamal Aziz. He’s one of your own, so you can’t even wish him away. Those textbooks which you read in school – remember them? They’re not entirely accurate.

  • Shafiq Ahmed

    Dear Mr Bilal Khan
    Assalam o Alaikum
    If F 16 manufacturing facility is transferred to India, how is it going to affect PAF F 16 fleet serviceability plus I want to know what role will be played by F 16 v if it is inducted in IAF when it has rafale in pipe line.Are’nt these two aircrafts of the same capability so what special role F 16 v is going to play?????

    • Kazmi

      Brother, Assembling and Manufacturing are two different thing. India will only assemble if agreement comes to fruition. Manufacturing needs a very very huge industrial base and hundreds of companies to produce thousands of parts, which involves most sophisticated technologies, which obviously India can’t accomplish at least in the current century. so, just relax.

  • SS_IND

    The true question is what does the PAF do to from here on in ?? Lack of funds would give very little options and a small period to come up with a solution if any!

    • Kazmi

      Don’t you worry, Pakistan has a smart solution to every Indian Cold or hot start doctrines

      • SS_IND

        Really a bunch of old F-16s, a hand full of Block 50 and the Chinese copy (JF-17) …against the IAF…really smart solution

        • Shafiq Ahmed

          PAF 76 old F 16s are enough to keep 220 IAF SU 30 at bay.Man behind these machines do matter.Since you are a fanboy you dont understand but IAF does after suffering heavily at PAF hands

          • Headstrong

            Is that why the PAF were squirreled away in Iran during previous conflicts?

        • Kazmi

          Agreed but non of them is flying coffin…… and what about IAF?…. a heap of painted scrap that can’t be regarded as a force……Please ask your pilots about the serviceability and reliability of your so called fighters, which is not more than 50% ?????……….Regards

        • Hammad Hassan

          Hey dont count your chickens before they hatch…you are STILL 2 years away from rafales and even with those you cant hope to take PAF on….THIS manifacturing is still a lot of years away buddy!!! MOREOVER, YOUR PRIME MINISTER IS WORKING ON 4+ GEN JETS WHILE PAKISTAN TILL 2019 WILL GET JF THUNDER BLOCK 3 SO THERE GO YOUR RAFALES AND ANY OTHER AIRCRAFT YOU DEEM WORTHY IN A PILE OF ASHES….AND PAF IS WORKING ON FIFTH GEN JETS IN COLLABORATION WITH CHINA AND TURKEY AND IN CASE YOU DID NOT NOTICE TURKEY IS ENVISIONING FOR THE TFX TO BE OPERATIONAL BY 2023 AND WE ALL.KNOW THAT IS POSSIBLE GIVEN THEY ARE GETTING F 35 AND THEVREQUISITE MANTENANCE AND CHINA AS YOU KNOW IS ALREADY TESTING PROTOTYPES OF J20….. SO BEST OF LUCK TRYING TO KEEP UP BUDDY WITH ALL YOUR JETS GROUNDED!!!

          • Headstrong

            Lol! Someone’s feeling the burn…

  • Hammad Hassan

    Bilal please highlight Pakistan’s course of action…although I know there is nothing to worry about!!

    • Kazmi

      Don’t worry brother, JF 17 is as good as F 16 rather better in certain aspects. It is modular, built in blocks , relevant and can be upgraded as per requirement and need of time. Moreover, it is indigenous and cost effective and is effectively serving as working horse and back bone of PAF. As for Pakistan’s course of action is concerned, Pakistan is currently following two tracks. First, swiftly producing the second and third followed by the fourth block of JF 17s to fill the gap of of retiring Chinese F7s and French Mirages. Second, Pakistan is working on 5th generation fighter in collaboration with China and Turkey. In addition to that Pakistan is in Talks with Russia and China to procure SU 35 and J 31 respectively.

  • Steve

    You guys are totally misunderstanding and getting worried over a few paltry Gen 4 F16’s. What India really wants is 200 more Super Su-30, 100 more Rafale, 200 more F-16 Block 80/90, 100 Gripen NNG, 100 PAK-FA, 200 F-35, 400 Tejas, 100 Super Rafale for navy, 10 Excelsior class starships, 10 Galaxy class starships, and for good measure 10 Klingon Vor’cha-class attack cruisers, because the 56’er has got affinity for Klingons. All made indigenously with TOT mind you. Then they might finally have the confidence to really ‘isolate’ and do real ‘surgical strikes’ on Pakistan! ??? sorry mods.?

    • SS_IND

      Such numbers even though fiction of a fools thought could be reality for a 2 Trillion Dollar economy ..not a bankrupt excuse of a nation.

  • Jack

    What is beyond my understanding that tha fighter jets Pakistan can easily buy without any approval from us senate besides development of Jf 17 to counter India, why aren’t we acquiring those?

    To counter this f 16 deal with India we immediately need:

    Minimum 50 j 10 c/ FC20 from China to complement our existing f16 fleet

    Another minimum 50 j11/j16 from china for deep strike air superiority missions

    Jf 17 all upgraded to Block 3 – 250 by 2025

    For navy: 50 Jf 17 with 24 j 11/j16

    Future:

    J 31 – 80

    TFX with turkey – 100

  • John Rue

    Regardless its SAAB or Lockheed Martin or anyone else… this thing is confirmed that India will be manufacturing 200+ jets at home. This will bring investment to local market and also employment and many other benefits. Modi Government has done what others couldn’t. Once India has 200+ modern fighters along with 36 Rafales, 272 SU-30, Mirage 2000s etc… PAF will stand no chance.

    • Kazmi

      PAF will stand no chance, True, Pakistan would have done the needful till the time comes and will take you on. So, be cool and calm and wait……and be ready for the befitting answer …it is not gun but man behind the gun who fights.We are neither sleeping nor dreaming rather brooding on the rapid transitions and transactions in the region and globe at large and are certainly ready to respond any misadventure. Regards

    • Steve

      Do you think there will ever be a full scale war in the subcontinent my friend? Furthermore, you are making a mistake in assuming that PAF will stand still for 8-10 years until you induct more gen 4 fighters.

  • Steve

    A lively debate indeed! Well done Bilal and Abdul for maintaining a great website/forum. Quwa is being quoted in more and more publications and reviews.

    • Abdul Rashid

      Agreed, Quwa sure seems to catching on. Credit is due to Bilal. This is his website and the result of his hard work. It’s a pleasure for me to be involved in some small way on the moderation side.

  • Saptarshi Dasgupta

    F-16s will not be the frontline fighters for india. 265 odd SU-30 upgraded to Super-30 (two seater su-35 like) , 72(36 ordered+ 36 to be ordered)Rafale, 114 FGFA Pak-fa and 57 Naval MMRCA (Rafale/Super hornet) will be the front line fighters. 150-200 F-16s Block 70 /Gripen E and 123 Tejas will form the second tier fighters. Many people in India feel F-16 is ageing but India needs to overcome the shortfall of fighters. With just 123 teajs to be manufactured and close to 200 migs being phased out this single engine requirement is important. This F-16 V Block 70 is an upgradation of Pakistani F-16 Block 52+. It will have the new AESA, JHMCS 2, Ground Collission Avoidance, newer cockpit and Electronic Warfare and can be very nice replacement for migs. But because of IAF, India might go for Gripen E.Moreover Saab will tie up with Reliance and Adani, which have better relations with BJP than TATA so deal might go to SAAB. Only Trump’s pressure and american tech transfer like AESA and Turbofan for future AMCA can win the deal. India has a good record of resisting American pressure. In MMRCA where Rafale was selected we avoided Super Hornet and F-16 BLOCK 60.

  • kalapatapu yaswantha sai phane

    Its a good article and the comment section is more interesting than the article itself.?

    Firstly pak got nothing to do with Indian Fighter acquisition. They are not for pakistan.
    Pak should seriously conserned about India only if it wants to attack India. India will not attack Pak. Its for china which got a robust defence system, in fact we should call it as offensive system. However India changed its strategy now, if pak escalates terror tension for India. India will be left with no other option.

    Coming to F16 .. we can only discuss our own openions and I am writing mine.

    Gripen is a better option for India I believe. Because US will not provide source code of the fighter Like SAAB. One talks about Engine of Gripen which is of US. Yes it is a problem and we must face it. It would be awesome if we can go for Gripen with Kaveri engine. That way we can check US.
    I believe if IAF go for both, it can be considered. By that more jobs can be created, more investments will be there. Two or more production lines can be established. Induction will also be faster..

    • Steve

      Of course we know the India will never attack Pakistan, why would they. They have Kashmir under their boot and will kill another 90,000 to add to the 90,000 they have already reluctantly killed. Of course they very very reluctantly conspired to remove East Pakistan from us. Operation Parakaram was just a collective hallucination by the Pakistanis. Cold Start is the figment of our imagination too. The Atlantic shoot down was a mistake. Heaven forbid kind, spiritual, and gentle India attack anyone. The added benefit of having both fighters is that you can ask both countries not to sell to Pakistan. In fact you probably may want to consider 100 Eurofighters too, for the same reason. In fact the best solution is to have 3 assembly lines for F-16, Eurofighter, and Gripen,100 each. The above benefits will be multiplied. Rafale and Su-30 are already there. Hmmm..only the pesky Chinese left with their J-20 and J-31, and of course the upstart Turks with their TFX. Problem is hugging won’t work with Erdogan, because he may show the middle finger to 56 inch belly. Maybe you can send him to hug Xi, and offer joint production, plus a cameo part in a Bollywood film about wrestling, provided they withdraw help from Pakistan. That may work.

      • kalapatapu yaswantha sai phane

        Steve!!!
        I dont expect more from a Pakistani or a Islamic extremeists even in India. You should learn some actual History.
        Kashmir was independent at the time of partition. It was Pakistan which attacked Kashmir that too using non state actors which forced King to move towards India. Pakistan doesnt have any legislative right on Kashmiri Land. Just google it and you can know it. Problem is that pakistani people is made to read their version of history. How can we blame them afterall they are speaking what they were made to read.
        Kashmiri unrest was never a freedom fight. It was always a religious unrest. Show me one kashmiri pandit with a stone in his hand. Muslims thrown them out of kashmir and started the islamic movement. Even now 10s of thousands of kashmiri youth came forward to join Indian armed forces to give their life for Mother India. Kashmiri youth are attempting Civil services exams, Sports etc.. So called freedom fighter's sons and daighters are in safe places in PAK, UK, US and even in the National capital and  these idiots encourage Students to engage Armed forces.
        It is India went to UN but not pakistan my friend. Very first phase of the plebisite is that Pak should remove all its army and non state actors out of Kashmir and only then second phase will start. But pak is encouraging non state actors in Kashmir and how can u expect a plebisite.
        We have wars between India and pakistan and look into the history, who started those wars? All are started by pak itself, yes including Bangladesh liberation. We did not involve in the struggle in the early stages. Its Pakistani navy which entered Indian waters, planed to mine Vizag port and what ever may be the reason SINKED.
        Comming back to Kashmir issue. Muslims who doesnt follow family planing at all increased their population like ants in kashmir further decreasing the Hindu population percentage. Islamic preaching made the situation more dangerous for Hindus.
        India is helping pak by eleminating non state actors first. If the task is accomplished, then pak need to remove its forces and extremists from POK. Only then there are chances for a plebisite.

        • Steve

          Haha poorly written standard drivel from an Indian. Almost not worth answering. Yup Kashmiris love India that’s why they wave Pakistani flags. That’s also why you jail people for celebrating Pakistan sports wins, for 14 years! Of course the 90,000 dead are also imaginary. I challenge India to make a deal with Pakistan for withdrawal of forces and plebiscite. Of course you don’t want it, because you know you will lose. What’s this dicotomy about what you are saying and all this Atoot Ang propoganda. My ancestors were Kashmiri and I heard history first hand from them not your ‘textbooks’ propoganda. I don’t need lessons in history from a Hindu Indian. Just hear your words, “like ants”. That’s what you think of Kashmiris. There will be no peace until justice prevails, even if it takes centuries.

      • Kazmi

        Excellent comments, I second.

    • Headstrong

      Welcome Sai! Expect many more such petulant/ sour grape-ish responses. Just a couple of months ago, these same people were whingeing that LM/ Trump would never allow this to happen.
      Yours is a sensible view. But don’t forget that F16s (IF contracted for the IAF), would be something of a stop gap measure to arrest the slide in numbers arising from the decommissioning of Mig 21s and 27s. Tejas Mk2 and AMCA would be the way to go for the future.
      Of course, just the setting up of the production line and the ToT (depending on the extent) would infuse technology knowhow/why and generate employment. Next, Thales also doing the same as an offset for the Rafale deal. Dassault in talks with Reliance. Now that the SP chapter of the DPP is out, expect many more such partnerships. Extent of ToT is actually beside the point for now. Just the infusion of tech and generation of employment will be a huge plus.

  • Headstrong

    Interesting how sour the grapes can get when one doesn’t get said grapes…

  • Salman Naveed

    It is a widely held perception among the Indians here in the comments that with India receiving Rafales, Gripens, Super Hornets and God knows what (NONE OF WHICH HAVE BEEN RECEIVED AS YET AND ARE FAR INTO THE FUTURE), its air warfare lead over Pakistan will exponentially increase overnight.
    The reality is quite the opposite. Even after inducting new platforms, it takes YEARS for those platforms to actually become deployable. For example, Pakistan’s first JF-17 squadron stood up in 2011 and it is only now, 6 years later, that the Thunders have become fully operational.
    What no Indian is considering is the fact that with such a wide variety of aircraft in it’s fleet, India will find it extremely difficult to maintain a high serviceability rate in peacetime, let alone in war.
    In an age where even the most advanced countries are moving towards commonality, modularity and ease of maintenance in their combat fleets, India is, due to its sheer ‘greed’, filling up its fleet with platforms that are so drastically different from each other.
    As far as Pakistan is concerned, it is fully aware that when India’s aircraft procurement programs behind to materialize in the 2020s, it would still take India at least a decade to fully integrated the new systems into its combat doctrine and train pilots and maintenance personnel – ample time for Pakistan to come up with a counter in systems and strategy.
    Also, Pakistan likes to keep its cards close to its chest, so the element of surprise is always there. But knowing Pakistan, something greatly innovative should be always expected.

    • Headstrong

      It’s quite common actually to look to the future. Indians look at Rafales, Gripens, F16s, Hornets etc. Pakistan does the same – Block 3, TFX, J11, J20, J31 etc etc. Did you choose not to read that bit – or just not acknowledge it?

  • Headstrong

    You so vividly exhibit the basic issue with you people. Which is, you equate Indian history with ‘Hindu’ history. You people fail to grasp that Indian history encompasses the Mughals and other Muslim kings and rulers too. When I said that millions of Indians descend from the Mughals, you automatically equate it with Hindus and seek proof that Hindus descended from Mughals. Can you even hear how absurd you sound?

    This is where we are so different. When you talk of inheritance, you recognise your Mughal forefathers. When you talk of independence, you talk of independence from India. Everything is communal for you people, everything is Hindu/ Muslim. That is the idea of Pakistan.

    The idea of India is far larger, more encompassing. When we say that we also come from the Mughals, we state it proudly. It doesn’t matter that I may not be Muslim. What matters is that ALL the past is our heritage. Only the weak and insecure hold on to the past, claiming ‘victory’ by calling others progeny of concubines of their own ancestors. You continue to cling on to the idea of ‘serfs’ and the like, and dream about Ghazwa-e-Hind and other ridiculous ideas. There is nothing ‘borrowed’ about India’s glory. It IS India’s glory. Akbar was and is revered, because he is us. Aurangzeb is reviled, because he is us. Mohammed bin Tughlaq is reviled, because he is us. The Peshwas, Cholas, Hoysalas, Guptas, Pallavas…. are all celebrated and mocked at, because they are all us.

    You people cannot get this because you are programmed to think in terms of Hindu and Muslim. You people cannot get over the fact that an equal number of Muslims that populate your land now have flatly rejected you and your theories. That in itself is the failure of your ideology. Bangladesh of course came later.

    This is what KK Aziz tries to tell you. Apparently, he’s a pretty respected historian/ journalist. Yet, the likes of you would dismiss him as a ‘disgruntled nobody’ since his views are anathema to what you were tutored in, not just on your grandparents knees, but from the time you were in the womb. Aziz’s last sentence of his book questions “IS ANYBODY LISTENING?”Evidently not.

    • Steve

      No no you misunderstand. Old Hindustan’s history is OUR history not Hindu history. You have no history you can truly own from 700-1857. You are welcome to take any disgruntled people who support your POV. Take him along with other turncoats like Tariq Fathi or terrorist like Bramdad Bughti. Very touching your owning of India’s history. Along with a clever ruse to divert into all encompassing secular India who loves every community including their history lol. What is not touching is your behaviour with huge number of Muslims killed, raped, burnt alive etc, in countess pogroms you dismiss as ‘riots’ and make victims go to dysfunctional courts to spend years, while you gibber at the world that there is a ‘democratic’ system! Or your vicious coercion of smaller communities and neighbours, and I could not be bothered to give examples. There will be no peace until justice prevails. I’m bored with this conversation. It is clear their is no common ground.

  • RighteousLeft

    Pakistan should pitch JF-17 to India with massively overstated spec…just to mess with them 😛

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