Lockheed Martin on December 7 formally recognized Tata-Lockheed Martin Aerostructures Limited as a potential future co-producer of fighter wings. A ceremonial event marking the first fighter wing prototype built at the TLMAL facility in Hyderabad was attended by Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development, Industries and Commerce, and Information Technology of Telangana, K.T. Rama Rao along with other government dignitaries, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics and Global Business Development executives and Tata Advanced Systems Limited and TLMAL leadership.
“Lockheed Martin partnered with TLMAL to build one of the most technologically complex aerostructures—a fuel-carrying 9G, 12,000 hour, interchangeable/replaceable fighter wing,” said Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, Lockheed Martin Integrated Fighter Group, Aimee Burnett. “This effort represents Lockheed Martin demonstrating to India, and to the world, the degree of confidence that exists in our relationships with our partners in India. Lockheed Martin is one of the only aerospace and defence companies with a complex aerostructure capability for advanced fighters in India.”
TLMAL—a joint venture between Tata Advanced Systems Limited and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics was established in 2010. TLMAL exemplifies the government of India’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat ‘Make in India’ goals and serves as the single global source of C-130J empennage assemblies that are installed on all new Super Hercules aircraft. TLMAL recently reached the milestone of manufacturing and delivering the 150th C-130J empennage.
Lockheed Martin and TLMAL signed an agreement to develop a fighter wing prototype in 2018. Through this prototype project, TLMAL demonstrated the capability to perform detailed part manufacturing and delivery of a fully compliant representative fighter aircraft wing shipset. This achievement further strengthens Lockheed Martin’s partnership with India; and supports its F-21 offering for procurement of 114 new fighter aircraft — exclusively for India and the Indian Air Force — by proving additional indigenous production capability.
“The successful completion of the fighter wing shipset prototype project is another achievement added to the partnership between Tata Advanced Systems and Lockheed Martin,” said Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Tata Advanced Systems Limited, Sukaran Singh. “With this, TLMAL creates a new benchmark in complex and end-to-end defence manufacturing in India that demands utmost precision and quality in all aspects of the process.”
Lockheed Martin continues to build upon more than seven decades of association and three decades of partnerships with India by nurturing and expanding collaborations with local industry to support the evolution of indigenous defence manufacturing ecosystems, and further advance India’s strategic security and industrial capabilities. These range from transport, maritime and fighter aircraft, to shipborne air and missile defence projects, as well as capabilities in civil sectors including new and renewable energy. Lockheed Martin India’s joint ventures, apprenticeships and founding membership of the India Innovation Growth Program underscore its conviction to Indian industry, talent, and progress.
The TLMAL facility in Hyderabad is spread across 13 acres of land. TLMAL told the visiting journalists that nearly 30 percent of the work force at the factory were women, who were hired from the nearby villages. More than 700 employees worked at the factory.