Tata Lockheed Martin JV delivers 150th Super Hercules empennage

Drone testing corridor on cards in Telangana, says Industries and IT Minister K.T. Rama Rao

September 16, 2021 12:21 am | Updated 12:21 am IST - HYDERABAD

The centre wing box for Lockheed Martin’s C130 Hercules military aircraft.

The centre wing box for Lockheed Martin’s C130 Hercules military aircraft.

Tata Lockheed Martin Aerostructures (TLMAL) on Wednesday said it recently delivered the 150th C-130J Super Hercules empennage from its manufacturing facility located in Adibatla, Hyderabad.

A joint venture between Tata Advanced Systems and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, the firm said it exemplifies the ‘Make in India’ goals and remains the single global source of the C-130J empennage assemblies installed on the Super Hercules aircraft produced in Marietta, Georgia, U.S.

“Many people, thousands of hours and massive amounts of commitment helped the TLMAL team reach this milestone,” COO Kiran Dambala said. TLMAL employs close to 700 people. The empennage assemblies produced by the firm include the aircraft’s horizontal and vertical stabilizers along with leading edges and tip assemblies. Previously, it also manufactured sets of C-130J centre wing box components and introduced a cutting-edge 4,700 square-meter metal-to-metal bonding facility in May 2018.

TLMAL, which was established in 2010 in alignment with the Indian Air Force’s acquisition of its first six C-130J 30 Super Hercules airlifters, said it has increased the indigenisation of C-130 manufacturing by transitioning the production of approximately 2,200 previously imported empennage components to Tata Sikorsky Aerospace (TSAL), Lockheed Martin’s second joint venture with TASL. “Currently, every empennage that is delivered around the world is built in Hyderabad and its components will be further indigenised from 85% to up to more than 95% by Q1 2022,” it said.

TASL MD Managing Director and CEO Sukaran Singh said the TASL-Lockheed Martin partnership is a true demonstration of collaborated workmanship in aerospace and defence manufacturing in India.

Participating in a programme organised by TLMAL to mark the delivery milestone, Industries and IT Minister K.T.Rama Rao said the aerospace defence sector in Telangana has been witnessing a steady and unprecedented growth in the last five years. The growth is a testimony of robust ecosystem in Hyderabad and the policy support provided by the State government.

The State has attracted mega investments in the sector and emerging as an aero engine cluster. In this backdrop, the State government was working with leading firms and academic institutions to create an aerospace and defence university or a centre of excellence in Hyderabad since such a facility would ensure availability of a steady stream of personnel.

Noting that Telangana had recently given wings to a project to deliver medicines and vaccines using drones, the Minister said as a measure to support the booming drone industry, there are plans to establish a drone testing corridor in the State.

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