A joint venture between TATA and Lockheed could produce the Iconic SR-76 military chopper | So Good News


Leading American defense contractor Lockheed Martin and Indian conglomerate TATA Group have entered into talks to manufacture flagship military helicopters in India, according to Indian media reports.

According to India’s Now, New Delhi is also in the loop on efforts to boost defense manufacturing in the country. If an agreement is signed, it will be a significant milestone in India’s defense and aerospace manufacturing.

As for Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer has marketed its SR-76 Sikorsky chopper to the entire world.

If the Indian defense manufacturer starts production of the helicopter. It is for India’s idea of ​​’Make in India, for the World’ that the top officials of the Narendra Modi government have been continuously pushing.

Sikorsky S-76® Helicopter |  Lockham Martin
Sikorsky S-76® Helicopter | Lockham Martin

Talks are reportedly at a very nascent stage, but both sides will eventually try to figure out the number and costs of producing choppers in India. If such an agreement is concluded; A substantial amount of indigenous content is expected to support small component manufacturers.

Negotiations between Lockheed Martin and TATA for the SR-76 Sikorsky come days after Tata Advanced Systems (TASL) and Airbus tied up in India to produce 40 Airbus C295 military transport aircraft.

After Tata-Abus starts production of military transport aircraft by 2026, India’s dependence on defense imports will be significantly reduced. 96% of these works will now be completed in the Indian factory, supporting ‘Made in India’; The aircraft will be completed between 2026 and 2031.

TATA has emerged as a very important defense manufacturer with a wide reach and deep engagement with international defense manufacturers. TATA has a working relationship with Lockheed Martin and is a party to two manufacturing programs with the giant.

If the Sikorsky deal is completed; It would significantly strengthen India’s flagship self-reliance agenda and diversify New Delhi’s options in the face of limited and strained military imports from Russia due to war and supply chain issues.

The United States is making a case for India to reduce its military dependence on Moscow. It is noteworthy that although the helicopter in discussion was the SR-76, the Lockheed Martin Sikorsky S92 helicopter, which participated in trials for India’s heavy helicopter requirements, did not enter the competition with a formal bid.

Back of Make-In-India Push Riding TATA

TATA currently manufactures parts for the C-130 transport aircraft and wings for the F-16 fighter jet.

The C-130J Super Hercules is Lockheed Martin’s second largest program in India and represents the first military contract between the US and India in more than 40 years. All C-130Js supplied to customers worldwide contain critical avionics components built in India.

Lockheed Martin India for its global cockpit supply for the S-92 helicopter Tata Sikorsky Aerospace Ltd., a joint venture between Hyderabad-based Lockheed subsidiary Sikorsky and TATA. Depends on (TSAL).

TSAL has shipped 154 cabins to Sikorsky’s S-92 assembly facility in the US since production began in 2010. TSAL currently provides 100% indigenous Indian manufacturing of over 5,000 precision components that go into each S-92 cabin.

Apart from Sirosky helicopters, Lockheed Martin has also sent its F-21 fighter jets to the Indian Air Force.

Under MMRCA 2.0, if the IAF orders 114 jets worth $18 billion, the F-21 fighter jets will not be sold to other countries and maintenance, It promised to establish a repair and overhaul (MRO) facility.

Lockheed Martin F-21
Concept of the Lockheed Martin F-21.

Late last year, William Blair, vice president and chief executive of Lockheed Martin’s India business, fielded the F-21 fighter jet and said the organization would develop unmanned platforms, artificial intelligence, It said it is in a perfect position to work with Indian players in industries like quantum. Computing and machine learning, he added.

Many businesses in India are attracted by significant capital expenditure on the country’s defense and face threats on its two borders. Many countries are lining up to partner with emerging homegrown companies in India to participate in India’s defense output.

India’s policy of defense neutrality prevents foreign companies from manufacturing defense; research Need to collaborate with local vendors for design and manufacturing. In addition, Early partnerships help companies win contracts because their operational performance is more attuned to the minute details of the process.


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