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INTERVIEW
 
‘I think That While the Services are Interested in Capabilities, the MoD looks at the Promise of Capabilities’
-Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin India Pvt. Ltd, Roger Rose   

Given the range of programmes that Lockheed is pursuing in India, what are your priorities now?

Our priority is to execute the contracts that we have signed. We have started delivering the C-130J ahead of the schedule and significantly under-budget. The Foreign Military Sales (FMS) is a no-profit, no-loss process. Hence, we originally quoted the price of USD 940 million for the six aircraft, but the actual price turned out to be less. Under FMS, we are not allowed to keep this difference. We have to sell the aircraft to the Indian Air Force at the same price we sell to the US government. I think the Indian ministry of defence is trying to adjust to this new reality, as they are not used to people coming in under budget and showing up early. Certainly not on major acquisitions, if you look at aircraft carriers and submarines.

When are you expecting the follow-on orders to be placed?

It should happen soon. Since it is a follow-on order and will be through the FMS route, I think the MoD is trying to figure out how best to go about it as everything that we have done so far has been the first of its kind. They are also assessing how the offsets played out, considering that we did not have a direct contract with the Indian government. We had a contract with the US government, which had a contract with the Indian government. This methodology will need some getting used to. Our focus has always been to ensure that we perform well on our contracts.

What are the other projects that Lockheed Martin is working in at the moment in India?

Lockheed is part of the Apache team in which Boeing is the lead. We have the mission and missile systems on the platform. We are looking forward to a closure on that contract. We are also part of the team with Raytheon on Javelin missiles. This will be another FMS programme and we are currently at the Letter of Request (LoR) stage. The Indian Army has not only seen the missile firing during Exercise Yudh Abhyaas in which the US Army had brought the Javelin, but also fired it. There is a lot of interest in Javelin in the Indian Army. We find this happening with many of our systems which generate a lot of interest at the service level. However, getting through the procurement process is problematic. I think that while the Services are interested in capabilities, the MoD looks at the promise of capabilities maybe because they think that they could participate in the future development of the programme.
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