Lockheed Martin will submit a "very responsive package" to India's request for a new fleet of 126 medium multirole combat aircraft, says John Larson, the company's vice-president, F-16 programmes, who reveals:"The US government is reviewing the proposals right now."
Responses to India's MMRCA request for proposals are due in early March, and while Larson declines to reveal firm details of Lockheed's offer, he confirms that the company has already chosen between General Electric and Pratt & Whitney to supply the engine for the aircraft, which will draw on technologies developed for Advanced Block 50 and Block 60-series F-16s. Lockheed also "has every intention" of answering New Delhi's call for the selected type to carry an active electronically scanned array radar, he adds.
Lockheed's current order backlog for 107 F-16s will see the type remain in production until 2012, but speaking at the Singapore air show on 19 February, Larson said: "There are a number of government-to-government discussions with follow-on and new customers", which could extend this schedule. Talks between the USA and Morocco over a potentially $2.4 billion sale of 24 F-16C/Ds and associated equipment are now in the final stages, he notes.
Other contenders for the Indian air force's MMRCA requirement are the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon, RSK MiG-35 and Saab Gripen. The bidding companies are scheduled to submit offset proposals in June to total at least 50% of the project's more than $10 billion price tag.