Lockheed Martin signed a technical assistance agreement with Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) last week that enlists HAL as a potential supplier of P-3C maritime patrol aircraft components for the Indian navy and, potentially, overseas customers. Lockheed is hoping the new partnership with HAL will help seal a deal between the US and Indian navies for up to 12 refurbished P-3Cs. If the deal is completed, the US Navy will tap Lockheed to refurbish the aircraft and supply new wings. Lockheed in turn would use HAL as a subcontractor but the exact scope of work to be carried out in India has not yet been determined.

Appointing HAL as a supplier "will enhance the attractiveness of our products to the government of India, making this a win-win for both companies", says Lockheed Martin Aeronautics regional vice president Dennys Plessas. He says Lockheed already has US government approval to export P-3s to India and the US and Indian navies will further discuss the proposed 8-12 aircraft deal this week. Lockheed also has secured approval to export C-130J transports to India to meet a potential requirement for six to eight special forces aircraft.

Source: Flight International