The F-16 Gives India Great Leverage In Defence Diplomacy

As Boeing Defence’s former man in India, Dr Vivek Lall was the visible campaign chief for the F/A-18 Super Hornet in India’s erstwhile 126 Medium Multirole Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) jet contest, a contest that spiralled out of existence and resulted in India contracting for 36 Rafale jets with France’s Dassault Aviation. the campaign for the F/A-18 was one of the most aggressive during the contest. But while the Super Hornet didn’t end up making the cut at the time, Dr Lall is still credited with Boeing Defence’s major early successes in India, including contracts for C-17 and P-8I aircraft. After a stint at U.S. firm General Atomics, best known as makers of the Predator family of combat drones, Dr Lall now leads the F-16 campaign at Boeing’s rival, Lockheed-Martin, giving him the unique distinction of having led two separate fighter campaigns in India. Responses from Lockheed-Martin and five other entities are expected to be submitted to the Indian MoD. Lockheed-Martin’s F-16 Block 70 enters a prospective contest against Boeing’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Dassault’s Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon, Saab’s Gripen and Russia’s MiG-35, an identical pack to the earlier contest.


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