Source : Indian Defence Updates (IDU)
|American Lockheed Martin F-35 5th Generation Stealth Fighter
A British Defense Publication has claimed that India will be offered a heavy modified F-35 5thGeneration Stealth fighter jet that will be similar to the Israeli version where extensive involvement of Israeli defense contractor allowed the F-35A to be called as F-35I due to significant country-specific modifications.
The India specific version won’t just be the integration of India developed weapons but also the addition of Indian Electronic Warfare (EW) system and deep access to the avionics modifications including its present software suite that will allow India to upgrade systems and weapons without the need for US permission.
The Publication also claims that India will be supplied F-35 in a complete knockdown state and will get country specific modifications and enhancements by the selected local partner of Lockheed Martin before it is delivered to the Indian Air Force.
Lockheed Martin is trying to hit a base unit cost of $77 million dollars for F-35a that will make it cheaper than many of the 4.5th Generation fighters that have been offered to India under the MRFA tender for 114 fighter jets and it is to be noted that Lockheed Martin has gone silent of its F-16V offer to India under MRFA that points towards targeted lobbying at the International level.