Lockheed Martin In Talks To Sell 6 More Hercules Planes To India
NEW DELHI -(Dow Jones)- Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) is in talks with the Indian Air Force to sell an additional six Super Hercules C-130J military transport planes, a senior executive at the company's India unit said Saturday.
"There was an option in the original request for additional six [Hercules planes] and we are in dialogue with the Indian Air Force for the addition of those six," Orville Prins, Lockheed's vice president, business development, in charge of India, told Dow Jones Newswires. "What's the timing of this [order], we don't know yet."
Lockheed Martin is currently implementing a similar order for supplying six Super Hercules planes in a deal worth about $1 billion. The company bagged the order in February 2008.
The company will deliver the first Hercules plane to the Indian Air Force by the end of this year, Prins said.
"We are slightly ahead of the schedule to deliver these planes," Prins said. "Under our contract we had to deliver the first plane by first quarter of 2011. It'll probably be delivered by late this year, maybe by December."
Prins said Lockheed Martin last week completed a third phase of trials of its F-16 Falcon fighter plane, competing for an estimated $10 billion contract from the Indian Air Force to supply 126 combat jets.
"We completed second phase in India last year. Phase-three trials are in the home country of each competitor and we completed those last week in the U.S.," he said.
The F-16 Falcon is competing with Boeing Co.'s (BA) F/A-18, the MIG-35 of Russian Aircraft Corp.'s MiG, Saab AB's (SAAB-B.SK) JAS-39 Gripen, the Eurofighter Typhoon and Dassault Aviation SA's (AM.FR) Rafale for the contract.
India plans to buy the 126 jets, as well as advanced helicopters and other defense equipment, to modernize its mainly Soviet-vintage defense forces. India, which is among the world's top arms importers, has earmarked 1.42 trillion rupees ($30.5 billion) as capital expenditure on defense for the current fiscal year through March 31, up from INR1.06 trillion in the previous year.
Lockheed Martin has responded to an initial request for information from India's federal government for supplying six refueling tankers, Prins said.
He said the company has also received an initial request for information from the Indian Navy for a carrier-based fighter aircraft.
"There's no number to the Indian Navy request as yet," Prins said.
Source: http://www.advfn.com/news_Lockheed-Mart ... 28146.html