Lockheed Martin, the US-based defence and aerospace giant, and Tata Group, the Indian multinational conglomerate, have signed an agreement to commence production of fighter wing shipsets at their joint venture, Tata Lockheed Martin Aerostructures Limited (TLMAL), located in Hyderabad, India. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) entails the delivery of 29 fighter wing shipsets, with an option to produce additional shipsets, starting in 2025.
This collaboration marks a significant milestone in Lockheed Martin’s partnership with India, as TLMAL received official recognition from Lockheed Martin as a potential co-producer of fighter wings in October 2021. This recognition came after TLMAL successfully produced and qualified a prototype fighter wing shipset, demonstrating its 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.
The partnership between Lockheed Martin and Tata Group supports Lockheed Martin’s F-21 offering for the procurement of 114 new fighter aircraft, exclusively for India and the Indian Air Force (IAF). This program represents a historic strategic and economic opportunity for the US-India relationship, catalysing future advanced technology cooperation.
James Taiclet, Chairman, President, and CEO of Lockheed Martin, expressed the company’s commitment to a self-reliant India and the confidence that exists in its relationships with partners in India. “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,” he said. “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, with TLMAL acting 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.
N. Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons Pvt. Ltd, expressed his pride in the Tata Group’s partnership with Lockheed Martin, stating that he is confident the initiative of manufacturing fighter wings in India will strengthen the aerospace and defence manufacturing ecosystem in India.
Lockheed Martin is committed to expanding its collaborations with local industries to bolster the evolution of indigenous defence manufacturing ecosystems and further advance India’s strategic security and industrial capabilities. Its 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.