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BusinessTLMAL indigenously produces fighter wing at Hyderabad facility

TLMAL indigenously produces fighter wing at Hyderabad facility

Published: 7th Dec 2021 5:09 pm

Hyderabad: Hyderabad’s aerospace and defence ecosystem received a fresh boost as the US-based Lockheed Martin formally recognises Tata Lockheed Martin Aerostructures Limited (TLMAL) as a potential future co-producer of fighter wings. TLMAL’s Hyderabad facility indigenously produced the first fighter wing shipset.

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KT Rama Rao, Minister for Industries and Commerce, Telangana, along with other government officials, Lockheed martin Aeronautics and Global Business Development executives, and Tata Advanced Systems Limited and TLML leadership attended a ceremonial event on Tuesday to mark the production of first fighter wing prototype at the TLMAL facility at Adibatla, Hyderabad.

The fighter wing developed at the Hyderabad facility has been industrialised and qualified. The team (with an average age of 27 years) has built the wing while maintaining safety and surpassing all the challenges during Covid times.

Speaking about the milestone, Lockheed Martin VP Strategy and Business Development Aimee Burnett, said, Lockheed Martin partnered with TLMAL to build one of the most technologically complex aerostructures- interchangeable and replaceable fighter wing.

She added, “Lockheed Martin is one of the only aerospace and defence companies with a complex aerostructure capability for advanced fighters in India.”

Lockheed Martin and TLMAL entered into an agreement to develop F-16 fighter wing prototype in 2018. Through the project, TLMAL demonstrated the capability to perform detailed part manufacturing and delivery of a fully compliant representative fighter aircraft wing shipset, by also creating several new jobs. The project also witnessed high levels of digitisation with suppliers introducing latest technologies.

Sukaran Singh, MD and CEO, Tata Advanced Systems Limited, said, “As part of the project, young colleagues of the company connected directly to the specialised US high technology production team in not just building the product but the culture that enabled this transition. This shows that high level process technology transfer already started to happen in Telangana.”

“Should this wing be produced competitively, it will potentially be part of the US F-16 fleet, replacing wings of hundreds of F-16s. As US sells more and more of F-16s to countries, the wings, subject to commerciality can be produced in this facility in Telangana. We have invested in this facility without any orders being there, shows our confidence to handle ‘hard’ and ‘high impact’ projects,” Singh added.

This achievement will further strengthen Lockheed Martin’s partnership with India and support its F-21 offering for procurement of 114 new fighter aircraft for India and the Indian Air Force.

Also Read: Hyderabad hub for global defence OEMs: KTR

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