The Tatas are in talks with Lockheed Martin for manufacturing a Sikorsky S-76 helicopter in India, according to reports. The S-76 is a medium-sized helicopter widely put to both civilian and military use in many countries.
The armed forces of Britain, Japan, Spain, Saudi Arabia and Argentina use (or used earlier) it. Among countries in the neighbourhood, Thailand uses it. Lockheed Martin, one of the world’s biggest defence manufacturers, owns Sikorsky.
It is being seen as part of the Modi government’s Make in India for the World plan. Lockheed Martin and Tatas already are in a contract. The Tatas manufacture the wings for the F-16 fighter aircraft and components for the Lockheed Martin C-130J transport aircraft.
If the deal goes through, it will be one of the biggest milestones for Indian aviation manufacturing. As per various reports, there are plans to sell Sikorsky helicopters not just in India but all over the world. Key aspects such as production numbers and project costs have yet to be worked out.
According to sources cited by Times Now, “there will be a considerable amount of indigenous content that will help smaller manufacturers of components.” It is likely to be a multi-billion dollar deal, the sources added.
Just how many will be made and what the cost of the project will need to be worked out. But there is no doubt that there will be a considerable amount of indigenous content that will help smaller manufacturers of components. Sources said it could be a multi-billion dollar deal.
It may be noted that PM Modi will lay the foundation stone for the much-hyped Tata plant on Sunday in Vadodara. It will make the C-295 transport aircraft.
(With Inputs from Times Now)