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Does India Really Want the American-Built F-21 Fighter (With F-35 DNA)?

ejaz007

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Does India Really Want the American-Built F-21 Fighter (With F-35 DNA)?
Peter Suciu
July 5, 2020, 8:00 AM GMT+5


Click here to read the full article.

Key Point: This new plane was created specifically to help India modernize its Air Force. But it is still unclear if India will go for it.

Lockheed Martin describes the F-21 as being "specifically configured for the Indian Air Force," and that it provides unmatched "Made in India" opportunities that could strengthen the nation's path to an advanced airpower future. The fighter program is a joint partnership with Lockheed Martin and Tata, and is aimed at addressing the IAF's unique requirements – while still supporting thousands of U.S. supplier jobs, including U.S.-based Lockheed Martin engineering, program management, sustainment and customer support positions.

It includes "innovative technologies" that Lockheed Martin says were derived from its F-22 and F-35 – the world's only two operational fifth-generation fighters.


The fighter was developed to compete in India's 2019 tender for 110 new warplanes, with a contract estimated at more than $15 billion.

It is officially the F-21, but aviation experts note that it is an advanced version of the F-16 "Fighting Falcon" multirole fighter that includes some technologies developed for the F-22 "Raptor" and F-35 "Lighting II" program.

Last September it was announced that the American aerospace giant would begin supplying wings for its F-16 combat jets from a facility located in southern India. Lockheed Martin had also offered to shift the production of the F-16 line from the United States to India.

This was part of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "Make-in-India" program, whereby global firms—including those in the defense sector—would set up manufacturing centers in India as a way to build a domestic industrial base, as well as to create jobs.

India has the world's largest volunteer military in the world with more than 5.1 million personnel, but the country remains the second-largest arms importer in the world after Saudi Arabia – even as three Indian state-owned companies are among the world's top one hundred arms suppliers. The nation is addressing its failure to build a strong indigenous defense industrial base—and that could include producing the F-21, even if it is really just an improved F-16.

Seven fighters have been vying for contract and this included the F-21 from Lockheed Martin, F-18 and F-15 from Boeing, Gripen from Saab, MiG-35 and Sukhoi-35 from Rosoboronexport and Rafale from Dassault Aviation. And whatever fighter wins – at least 85 percent of the complete fleet of new aircraft will have to be constructed on Indian soil.

"In the competition, there are both single-engine and twin-engine aircraft. We are looking to prepare the qualitative requirement specifications in a way that there is a level-playing field between both the fighters and there can be a fair competition between them," top IAF sources were quoted by Asian News International.

The IAF will shortly decide which plane will best serve its needs to replace its aging fleet of MiG-21 and MiG-27 fighters/strike fighters. After it decides, the decision will then move to the Defence Acquisition Council for the approval of the tender by the Defence Ministry.

Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and website. He is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Amazon.com.

This first appeared in 2020 and is being reposted due to reader interest.

Image: Lockheed Martin.

More From The National Interest:

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Click here to read the full article.


https://www.yahoo.com/news/does-india-really-want-american-030000932.html
 

crankthatskunk

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This article is non-sense.

India produces everything "Indi Genius" it doesn't need Lockheed Martin and their "sub-standard" products.

Why would Indians need F 21 when they have Samosas ready for "Tea" in Pakistan.
 

Armchair

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Thankfully Trump is too busy with elections otherwise if he had gone out of the way to make a deal, it would have hurt Pakistan.
 

RedHulk

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If India getting F18 with this kind of deal why they want to go for f16? May be they are looking for single engine as they have been using double engine jets. Something they want to follow from Pakistan.
 

NAVDEEP DHALIWAL

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If India getting F18 with this kind of deal why they want to go for f16? May be they are looking for single engine as they have been using double engine jets. Something they want to follow from Pakistan.
Nothing to follow here from Pakistan. India or any other country uses heavy and light planes to reduce maintenance daily expenses.
Just imagine if we have to use su30 daily for cap missions. As compared to cap by Tejas or f21 whatever plane India decides on. But my personal view is its going to be tejas only.
Before that India was using mig21 .
 

RedHulk

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Nothing to follow here from Pakistan. India or any other country uses heavy and light planes to reduce maintenance daily expenses.
Just imagine if we have to use su30 daily for cap missions. As compared to cap by Tejas or f21 whatever plane India decides on. But my personal view is its going to be tejas only.
Before that India was using mig21 .
Thats my point. Less expenses with low maintenance. That's what Pakistan been doing as we don't need jets with longer range but India need both. So for future Indian need F18 would be better choice than F16 as most of your dual engine jets will be out of service. You need separate program to fill the gap of single engine jets.
 

Arulmozhi Varman

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As one analyst in Twitter noted last week, this competition has been put in cold storage. However it won't be cancelled until the status of Mk2 development gets clear. If Mk2 development is on track and manages to satisfy the AF requirements, then it will be cancelled. Its possible some aspects of this competition will be modified to suit the Mk2 version with electronics, like an JV. But that's highly speculative as of now.

News coming out, India has started negotiations for 36 Rafales at the same cost as of initial batch. The deal has 18 follow ons at same cost. GoI is looking at 36. Again it all depends upon Mk2 status. If Mk2 is proceeding well, then IAF will order 36 Rafales more and then mk2. If not, no Rafales, then MMRCA + Mk2 (whenever it gets ready).
 

mig25

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Honestly, India may not have the budget to place such a large order along with what else we have on our mind. I do not see the F-21 in our air force any time soon. These are paid articles that crop up now and then.

If anything, Follow on orders of Rafales make more sense.
 

Zapper

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So for future Indian need F18 would be better choice than F16 as most of your dual engine jets will be out of service
Why would IAF want F-18 when Su-30 is literally in the same weight class...and we have enough Su-30s

Does India Really Want the American-Built F-21 Fighter (With F-35 DNA)?
Peter Suciu
July 5, 2020, 8:00 AM GMT+5


Click here to read the full article.

Key Point: This new plane was created specifically to help India modernize its Air Force. But it is still unclear if India will go for it.

Lockheed Martin describes the F-21 as being "specifically configured for the Indian Air Force," and that it provides unmatched "Made in India" opportunities that could strengthen the nation's path to an advanced airpower future. The fighter program is a joint partnership with Lockheed Martin and Tata, and is aimed at addressing the IAF's unique requirements – while still supporting thousands of U.S. supplier jobs, including U.S.-based Lockheed Martin engineering, program management, sustainment and customer support positions.

It includes "innovative technologies" that Lockheed Martin says were derived from its F-22 and F-35 – the world's only two operational fifth-generation fighters.


The fighter was developed to compete in India's 2019 tender for 110 new warplanes, with a contract estimated at more than $15 billion.

It is officially the F-21, but aviation experts note that it is an advanced version of the F-16 "Fighting Falcon" multirole fighter that includes some technologies developed for the F-22 "Raptor" and F-35 "Lighting II" program.

Last September it was announced that the American aerospace giant would begin supplying wings for its F-16 combat jets from a facility located in southern India. Lockheed Martin had also offered to shift the production of the F-16 line from the United States to India.

This was part of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "Make-in-India" program, whereby global firms—including those in the defense sector—would set up manufacturing centers in India as a way to build a domestic industrial base, as well as to create jobs.

India has the world's largest volunteer military in the world with more than 5.1 million personnel, but the country remains the second-largest arms importer in the world after Saudi Arabia – even as three Indian state-owned companies are among the world's top one hundred arms suppliers. The nation is addressing its failure to build a strong indigenous defense industrial base—and that could include producing the F-21, even if it is really just an improved F-16.

Seven fighters have been vying for contract and this included the F-21 from Lockheed Martin, F-18 and F-15 from Boeing, Gripen from Saab, MiG-35 and Sukhoi-35 from Rosoboronexport and Rafale from Dassault Aviation. And whatever fighter wins – at least 85 percent of the complete fleet of new aircraft will have to be constructed on Indian soil.

"In the competition, there are both single-engine and twin-engine aircraft. We are looking to prepare the qualitative requirement specifications in a way that there is a level-playing field between both the fighters and there can be a fair competition between them," top IAF sources were quoted by Asian News International.

The IAF will shortly decide which plane will best serve its needs to replace its aging fleet of MiG-21 and MiG-27 fighters/strike fighters. After it decides, the decision will then move to the Defence Acquisition Council for the approval of the tender by the Defence Ministry.

Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and website. He is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Amazon.com.

This first appeared in 2020 and is being reposted due to reader interest.

Image: Lockheed Martin.

More From The National Interest:

Russia Has Missing Nuclear Weapons Sitting on the Ocean Floor

How China Could Sink a U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier

Where World War III Could Start This Year

Click here to read the full article.


https://www.yahoo.com/news/does-india-really-want-american-030000932.html
Such paid articles pop up every now and thn from US, Russia and Sweden that IAF is favoring their fighters for MMRCA 2.0 but IAF will scrap this tender once and for all since both CDS and IAF chief stated they're looking to induct more LCA's and the upcoming MWF. Also, given the global economic downturn...IAF lacks the funds to place such a large order and have always been apprehensive about inducting US weapons systems given the strings attached
 

jk007

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Why would IAF want F-18 when Su-30 is literally in the same weight class...and we have enough Su-30s


Such paid articles pop up every now and thn from US, Russia and Sweden that IAF is favoring their fighters for MMRCA 2.0 but IAF will scrap this tender once and for all since both CDS and IAF chief stated they're looking to induct more LCA's and the upcoming MWF. Also, given the global economic downturn...IAF lacks the funds to place such a large order and have always been apprehensive about inducting US weapons systems given the strings attached
My 0.0000002 cents.....
The order for mk1a is not released yet. Given the current realization that 2-front war is real. Maybe, IAF is having second thoughts about mk1a???

If F-21 is way cheaper, I wish India buy 100+ f-21 to bolster the numbers.....
 

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