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F16, Gripen - Make In India Single Engine Aircraft - News and possibilities

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by Averageamerican, Sep 30, 2016.

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  1. dadeechi

    dadeechi Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Lockheed to Move F-16 Production to South Carolina
    [​IMG]
    5:00 AM ET

    The new, smaller line will better suit the dwindling orders for the venerable fighter jet, while freeing up space for F-35 production.

    After building F-16 fighter jets for more than four decades in Texas, Lockheed Martin plans to move the production line to South Carolina, where it will build new versions of the venerable combat aircraft for U.S. allies.

    Lockheed will deliver the last F-16 from its Fort Worth factory in September, then take a two-year break in production to move the line to Greenville, S.C., the head of the firm’s aeronautics sector said Tuesday. Dwindling orders make the break possible.

    Back in Texas, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter assembly line will expand into the vacated space.

    “Recognizing that we’re going to pretty much have a full facility at Fort Worth, we’ve been looking at other alternatives,” Orlando Carvalho, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Aeronautics business area, said in an interview Tuesday.

    Economic factors led Lockheed executives to choose Greenville, a city where the firm already has facilities. Union workers currently build F-16s in Fort Worth, but South Carolina is a right-to-work state.

    “When you restart a line, there’s going to be cost there to get it back up and running again,” Carvalho said. “With the cost structure that we have at Greenville, that’s an enabler for us being able to stand the line up there.”

    F-16s have been built inside Air Force Plant 4, a mile-long factory in Fort Worth, since the 1970s. Even though the U.S. Air Force placed its last order for F-16s in 1999, production there has continued for American allies. But in recent years, the F-16 production line has shrunk as orders have dwindled.

    Over the past decade, the F-35 assembly line has slowly taken over the space where the F-16s were once built. As F-35 production expanded, F-16 production contracted to a small section in the back of the massive factory. The only planes left on the assembly line are for the Iraqi Air Force.

    “The challenge for us was: how do you slow the production rate down and still keep the airplane affordable,” Carvalho said.

    Stopping and starting production usually comes at a cost. Suppliers could charge more for parts and workers could lose experience.

    The F-16 production line in South Carolina will be small, but is still expected to create between 200 and 250 new jobs in Greenville.

    “It’s not a huge footprint,” Carvalho said. “It’s not the mile-long factory you saw with the F-35.”

    In its heyday, Lockheed’s Fort Worth plant was churning out one F-16 a day. Now only a few prospects remain. Bahrain is reported to want as many as 19 jets and additional orders are anticipated from Indonesia and Colombia. Those planes would all be built in Greenville. There’s also a potential order for India, which could lead to an additional F-16 factory overseas.

    Lockheed and rival Boeing are each pitching fighter jets to India, a key U.S. ally that is calling for new fighters to be co-produced locally as part of its Make in India initiative. The Obama administration supported making the planes in India, but President Donald Trump has yet to weigh in.

    Trump has threatened to punish American companies that move manufacturing and jobs from the U.S. to locations overseas. He has praised companies for canceling plans to move business overseas. But for defense firms who are targeting the foreign markets creating indigenous jobs overseas has become the price of doing business. India and Middle Eastern nations are more often calling for co-production as a price of doing business.


    Building the F-16 outside of the U.S. is not a new concept; jets have been made in Europe and Asia over the years while simultaneously being built in Fort Worth.

    “We certainly want the new administration to have an appreciation for how these co-production models work and then what those co-production models mean to an opportunity like the F-16 in India,” Carvalho said.

    “I think right now the administration is taking the time to understand, taking the time to learn, taking the time to get an appreciation of all of this to ultimately arrive at a policy decision,” he said.

    If Lockheed wins the India fighter deal, its first jets would likely be built in Greenville while a factory is stood up in India.


    Lockheed has had a presence in Greenville for more than three decades, performing maintenance work on the P-3 Orion, C-130 cargo planes, KC-10 tankers and the C-9 medical transports.

    Last year, Lockheed announced it would assemble T-50 pilot training jets in Greenville if it wins a multibillion U.S. Air Force deal for 350 planes later this year. The firm is already flight testing two T-50s and is assembling two additional jets in Greenville.

    Shifting F-16 production to Greenville would not eliminate any jobs in Fort Worth as workers are being offered new F-35 manufacturing positions, Carvalho said. In addition to the workers that transition, Lockheed also expects to hire about 1,000 new F-35 workers in Fort Worth.[​IMG]

    • Marcus Weisgerber is the global business editor for Defense One, where he writes about the intersection of business and national security. He has been covering defense and national security issues for more than a decade, previously as Pentagon correspondent for Defense News and chief editor of ... FULL BIO

    http://www.defenseone.com/business/...n-line-south-carolina/136365/?oref=d-mostread
     
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  2. BON PLAN

    BON PLAN Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    I have a better idea : move it to Mexico !
     
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  3. Butter Chicken

    Butter Chicken Captain FULL MEMBER

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    very good news!
     
  4. Sancho

    Sancho Lt. Colonel IDF NewBie

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    Actually they have pretty good future potential simply by the fact that the main competitor, the F16 is at the end of it's life. All countries that can afford better, will go for political / industrial benefits, if not even NG fighters. However there are plenty smaller countries that simply can't afford costly twin engine or stealth fighters and for those the only NATO compatible option is the Gripen E.
    The problem so far was, that Sweden was not funding the E as a fighter, but only tech upgrades for their C/Ds. The Brazil order of the E changed that and now it's a viable option on the export market.
     
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  5. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    Could 'America First' policy upend Lockheed’s F-16 plans in India?
    By: Aaron Mehta, March 23, 2017 (Photo Credit: MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP/Getty Images)
    WASHINGTON – As the Trump administration focuses on a pro-American industrial policy, Lockheed Martin is keeping a close eye on what that might mean for plans to build F-16 fighters in India.

    For now, company officials are staying positive about the chances that they will be allowed to go through with a plan to open a production line for the F-16 in India. But they acknowledge that the change in administration may require a shift in plans.

    “We’re working closely with the administration to understand what is [their] policy towards a program like the Indian fighter recapitalization program,” Orlando Carvalho, executive vice president of the company's aeronautics division, said in an interview Tuesday.

    “The indications we have heard have been positive. From the Defense Department, from the State Department, the indications are that they are supportive of what the Indian government wants to do. But we’re working with the administration to understand that,” Carvalho added.

    John Rood, Lockheed’s international senior vice president, added that the company has briefed the new administration on the potential F-16 plan, but noted that any timeline for a final decision rests with the Indian government more than the U.S. administration.

    And if history is any guide, India’s decision won’t come soon. New Delhi’s hunt for a new fighter aircraft has been legendarily delayed, going back to 2007 when the government kicked off what was known as the Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) program. The MMRCA called for a roughly $12 billion spend for 126 new high-end fighters.

    The F-16 was one of the airplanes considered and then discarded by the government, which in 2011 selected the Dassault Rafale. However, a deal was never consummated, and in July of 2016 the Indian government cancelled the MMRCA program outright and began a series of a government-to-government discussions. That gave new life to the American competitors, at a time when the Obama administration was prioritizing strengthened ties to India.

    In October, India officially re-launched the campaign, with consensus that the two leading candidates are the F-16 and the Saab Gripen. This time around, Lockheed believes it has a strong hand not play, in part because India has purchased Lockheed’s C-130J and in part because the company has ties with the Tata Group, India’s manufacturing giant.

    But Lockheed also looked to up its chances by pledging to open a production line in India for the F-16s. It’s a step up from the usual tech-transfer offer from companies, but it also means creating jobs abroad rather than home – at a time when the rhetoric from the Trump administration is very focused on domestic growth.

    Carvalho acknowledged that with the Trump administration still sorting itself out, there are questions about industrial policy that need to be clarified. But he said he was not concerned about getting guidance today from holdover Obama-era officials that could be overturned in the near future as political appointees arrive at DoD and State.

    “In discussions that we’re having, there is no lack of confidence in the information and in the exchanges that we’re having with the administration,” Carvalho said. “But being a new administration that is looking across all these things and trying to arrive at what their positions are, there is an evolution here.”

    Rood added that the company has to let the administration “mature” a bit before getting a final answer, but also expressed confidence that the Trump team would continue the Obama-era ties to India.

    “We’re very pleased that the Trump administration, in their initial dealings with India, have talked about continuing to build a strategic partnership between the U.S. and India,” Rood said, citing calls between Trump, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and their Indian counterparts. “They’ve reaffirmed that the F-16, or something like that, being part of the Indian defense force would be a major step in the direction of a strategic relationship. So we’re really encouraged that they continue to talk about that.”
     
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  6. Butter Chicken

    Butter Chicken Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Senators push Trump on defense deals with India

    http://thehill.com/policy/defense/325645-senators-push-trump-on-defense-deals-with-india
     
  7. Sancho

    Sancho Lt. Colonel IDF NewBie

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    Well we all know that the F16 will never be bought, unless the PM makes a political procurement, that IAF doesn't want. But then again, the only other alternative seems to be another choice that IAF don't want.
     
  8. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Warplanes: F-16 Production Ended, Or Did ItApril 1, 2017: Production of F-16s, which has been going on since 1973 (with the first prototype) has halted, but it is not yet ended. There is one more possible sale. At the end of 2016 all 36 Iraqi F-16IQs had been built and that was believed to be the last F-16s ever manufactured. Iraq can still get more because older F-16s can be had cheaply and refurbished to the F-16IQ standard. But as the last F-16IQs were being built a possible sale (via licensed production in India) went from long-shot to an idea that was gaining momentum in the U.S. and India. The F-16 Block 70 would be the most advanced model ever. India never seriously considered buying used, but refurbished and upgraded, fighters. Since India won’t make a final decision for a while (as much as another year or so at least) the last F-16 assembly line is being moved from Texas to a smaller plant in South Carolina. The Texas facility, where some 80 percent of all F-16s were built, is now producing F-35s. In South Carolina a smaller plant has been building pre-production models of the T-50A jet trainer, which has not won any major contracts yet. Since the T-50A is based on the F-16 design moving the last F-16 production line to South Caroline makes sense.

    Meanwhile there is the current “last F-16” which, with or without the Indian sale, will always be unique. Iraq began receiving the first F-16IQs in 2014. This is a special version of the Block 52 F-16C and the two-seater F-16D. The F-16IQ is similar to American Block 52 F-16s except they are not equipped to handle AMRAAM (radar guided air-to-air missiles) or JDAM (GPS guided bombs). The F-16IQ can handle laser guided bombs and older radar guided missiles like the AIM-7. The first 18 F-16IQs were ordered in late 2011 and the first arrived in Iraq right about the time ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) seized Mosul in June 2014. Shortly thereafter Iraq ordered another 18 F-16IQs. The Iraqis were eager to buy F-16s partly because neighboring Turkey and Jordan have done well with this model. Iraqis who have studied the F-16 are also aware that another neighbor, Israel, has the largest fleet of F-16s outside of the United States and the most combat experience.

    Meanwhile Israel is staring to move away from the F-16. At the end of 2016 Israel retired the last of its 125 F-16A fighters. The first 70 were acquired in 1980 and 1981 and included 8 two-seater F-16B trainers. One of the F-16As achieved a record by being the single F-16 with the most air-to-air kills (6.5), all achieved in 1982 using three different pilots. Israel received 50 used F-16As in 1994 (including 14 B models) and used these mainly as trainers. Israel may still be able to sell some of these F-16As on the second-hand market, like it did with its older Kfir fighters (retired in the 1990s).

    The F-16As were the first of the nearly 400 F-16s Israel obtained from the United States since 1980. Israeli F-16s have shot down 47 aircraft (out of 67 kills for all 4,588 F-16s built). Israeli F-16As flew 474,000 sorties and spent over 335,000 hours in the air over 35 years. Israel was the most energetic user of the F-16 and also took the lead in developing upgrades and accessories. This could help in selling the older F-16As, but that is a crowded market with more and more of these oldest F-16s being retired rather than upgraded. That is easier to do with the later F-16C models and that what Israel did with all of its F-16Cs.

    Although production of the F-16 has ceased (perhaps permanently) after 44 years the manufacturer (Lockheed Martin or “LockMart”) will continue to do upgrades and refurbishments into the 2020s and beyond. Currently LockMart has orders for over 300 upgrades of late model F-16s to the F-16V standard. This involves replacing the mechanical radar with an AESA (phased array) radar, an upgraded cockpit, a Sniper targeting pod, a Link 16 digital data link and upgraded navigation gear. The new cockpit features a 15cm x 20cm/6x8 inch flat screen display that replaces dozens of gages and switches and makes it much easier to fly the aircraft. AESA and the new fire control system makes it possible to track multiple aircraft at once as well as track vehicles on land or vessels at sea. The targeting pod enables the pilot to confirm (visually) what is on the surface and promptly attack it with smart bombs or missiles. LockMart expects to get orders for at least 700 F-16V upgrades. While that brings in less than $10 million per aircraft, five or ten of these upgrades equals the price of one new F-16.

    The F-16 thus follows the path of previous best selling fighters. During The Cold War (1947-91) Russia built over 10,000 MiG-21s, and the U.S over 5,000 F-4s but since 1991, warplane manufacturing has plummeted about 90 percent. However, the F-16 has been popular enough to keep the production lines going strong until 2016. The U.S. still has about a thousand F-16s in service (about half with reserve units). F-16s built so far went to 27 countries. America has hundreds in storage, available for sale on the used warplane market. The end of the Cold War led to a sharp cut in U.S. Air Force fighter squadrons. Moreover, the new F-35 will be replacing all U.S. F-16s by the late 2020s. So the U.S. has plenty of little-used F-16s sitting around, and many allies in need of low cost jet fighters.

    Since the 1990s most F-16s produced were for export and these cost as much as $70 million each (like the F-16I for Israel). Some nations, like South Korea, built the F-16 under license. The 16 ton F-16 also has an admirable combat record, and is very popular with pilots. It has been successful at ground support as well. When equipped with 4-6 smart bombs it is an effective bomber.

    The U.S. F-16 is one of the most modified jet fighters in service. While most are still called the F-16C, there are actually six major mods, identified by block number (32, 40, 42, 50, 52, 60), plus the Israeli F-16I, which is a major modification of the Block 52. The F-16D is a two seat trainer version of F-16Cs. The various block mods included a large variety of new components (five engines, four sets of avionics, five generations of electronic warfare gear, five radars and many other mechanical, software, cockpit and electrical mods.)

    Currently the most advanced F-16 is the F-16 Block 60. The best example of this is a special version of the Block 60 developed for the UAE (United Arab Emirates). The UAE bought 80 "Desert Falcons" (the F-16E) which is optimized for air combat. It is a 22 ton aircraft based on the Block 52 model (which the KF-16 was originally), but with an AESA radar and lots of other additional goodies. The proposed Indian Block 70 would go a bit beyond the Block 60, especially in terms of electronics.
     
  9. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    It was a good plane.
     
  10. PARIKRAMA

    PARIKRAMA Captain IDF NewBie

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    Some news from our reliable friend
    • The true face of USA stands exposed now and also the pay that was distributed among the reporters who tom-tomed F16s
    • The USA wants total control over F16s to be given to India including Software and Hardware level
    • A much more than sophisticated ALIS to shut them down as well as kill hardware support
    • There is no question of any factory in India and all F16s will be made in USA
    • There wont be any integration of Non USA weapons in the F16s no Israeli, no Indian , no russian.. only USA MIC made ones.
    • All deals require India to sign the 2 more foundation agreement and another agreement clearly saying it will be pure conventional use and also the conditions under which such planes are allowed to be used.
    • What was made very categorically clear is the fact that India does not have the same leverage and pull as compared to other so called companions like UK or even Israel.
    Sorry to say, the whole negotiation terms is a tight SLAP to all the folks who kept on saying F16s...

    left in race is Gripen who came out with a astounding idea of
    • twin engined Gripen.. Something which our friend @vstol jockey had proposed and Saab kind of got "inspired"
    • Gripen with TE plans to showcase this bird in IN RFI .. effectively its a pure paper plane .. more so on drawing board ..
    • Gripen will continue to try and project its SE and TE option to kill both the deals of Light, medium and pseudo medium category.
    • Interesting will be what and how USA support Gripen plane and still have control

    Also get ready to be slapped again hard in case of Boeing as well as Trump USA is clear about jobs and control lying with USA only.. So Boeing IN offerring will again face same hurdles and same outcome..

    This is the time for LCA and Rafale to rise forward and take ahead the path discarding all this nonsense... A tight slap for all so called strategic love from USA and never ending issues from Russia..

    A question to all those paid stooges - While you kept on saying French Rafale is costly, how will you explain the slap by USA for F16s and later F18s as well?

    Surely they will make another story.. but fact is fact.. French side is good.. but again @Picdelamirand-oil @halloweene @CNL-PN-AA @Vergennes @BON PLAN - If you folks still cant get Indian deals from IAF and IN with sweetners from your side and good negotiations then i dont knw what more a conducive environment in favour of Rafale could be , ever in its history of sales..

    Tonight i am very happy... @MilSpec your words came true of what you spoke many years back, same like @vstol jockey .. @Abingdonboy @Ankit Kumar 001 you too...

    @Himanshu Pandey @Soumya @kaku @Vyom @Nilgiri @nair @Robinhood Pandey @VCheng @Levina @Agent_47 @Sancho @Gessler @randomradio @Domain @Grevion @Lion of Rajputana @Manmohan Yadav @tunguska @Darth Marr @layman @IndiranChandiran @Pundrick @GuardianRED @Ali Zadi @all others

    Rejoice.. The true face of USA military cooperation is out in open...
     
  11. Soumya

    Soumya Major STAR MEMBER

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    It was expected anyways.

    US of A serves no ones except her interest.
     
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  12. vstol jockey

    vstol jockey Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    Did I not write on every thread that I do not trust Americans? I knew that even for F414INS6, they have put a condition that aircraft equipped with this engine or its derivatives will not be used for nuke bombing. Why must we buy that shit. P-8Is, C-17, C-130 will all turn into junk the day US wants.
     
  13. Agent_47

    Agent_47 Admin - Blog IDF NewBie

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    Remember F-16 lol :LMAO:
     
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  14. VCheng

    VCheng RIDER REGISTERED

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    The true face of USA is never hidden for those who understand that USA pursues its national interests, just like every other sovereign country on Earth. What is the issue here?
     
  15. Grevion

    Grevion Professional Think Troll IDF NewBie

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    That's a lot of tight slaps.:computer1:
    Kind of happy with this development. India in its rightful mind will never compromise it's sovereignty over some vintage planes from the US.
     
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