Lockheed Martin, the American aerospace specialist on Monday said the F-16 aircraft being offered India would be “much more advanced” than the fighters provided to Pakistan.
Speaking to visiting Indian journalists in Dallas, Texas, Orville Prins, Vice-President, Business Development (India) said, “I can assure you, the Super Viper is much more advanced in all aspects than the F-16s being given to Pakistan.”
Mr. Prins' assurance comes in the wake of reports that India was concerned over the U.S. providing Pakistan with a new set of F-16 aircraft, a decision which could be a crucial geopolitical factor when the Indian Air Force (IAF) decides on the $10-billion Medium Multi-role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) tender, described as “mother of all deals.”
According to a statement by Lockheed Martin, the F-16IN Super Viper is the “ultimate fourth generation fighter” and is tailored exclusively to meet or exceed all of India's Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) requirements.
The company said the aircraft is “the right choice for the Indian Air Force (IAF) and is ready for integration into India's infrastructure and operations now.” Evolutionary integration of fifth generation technologies makes the F-16IN the most advanced fourth generation fighter in the world today, said the company.
However, Mr. Prins declined to discuss details regarding the company's dealings with Pakistan, adding that Lockheed Martin was not the firm that was selling anything to any country, but was simply partnering with the U.S. Air Force.
Mr. Prins pointed out that it was not only Lockheed Martin that was supplying to Islamabad, but there were six other contenders in the MMRCA race, including the U.S.'s Boeing, the French D'Assault, the Swedish Gripen, the European consortium EADS, and the Russian MiG.
(With inputs from PTI)