In a goodwill gesture of defence co-operation between India and the U.S., the Pentagon has endorsed a proposal to produce F-18 and F-16s fighter jets in India. The proposal was forwarded by the respective defence giants — Boeing, which manufactures F-18s, and Lockheed Martin, which manufactures F-16s — as part of their “Make in India” initiative.
Pentagon’s endorsement to have a production line in India for F-18 and F-16 frontline fighter jets, along with the requisite transfer of technology and licences, was communicated during the recent meeting between Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and U.S. Defence Secretary Ash Carter in Washington D.C., the Hindustan Times reported.
In view of India being designated as a major defence partner of the U.S., an India non-paper on broader export controls was reportedly accepted by the U.S. side.
“Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s visit to the US had significant outcomes with Pentagon agreeing to work on the Indian non-paper for easier export controls,” the news outlet quoted a senior official as saying.
It makes sense for Boeing and Lockheed Martin to open production lines in India as they would have to invest back 50 percent of the total value of the deal. A single piece of the twin engine, twin seater F-18 fighter jets cost about $100 million and the single engine, single seater F-16’s cost comes around $70 million. J.R. Sweezy Authentic Jersey