US defence firm Lockheed Martin has hinted that it may take a fresh look at its India F-16 fighter jet plan.
With no more orders for the F-16 fighter jets from the Pentagon, Lockheed plan wants to use its Forth Worth Texas plant instead to produce the fifth generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter that the United States Air Force is transitioning to.
Lockheed would switch F-16s production to India, as long as the Indian government agrees to order hundreds of the planes that its air force desperately needs.
India is expected to spend $250 billion on defence modernisation over the next decade, analysts say, and there is concern that a veto on making the F-16s in India would not only hit Lockheed, but also threaten other military contracts to come up in India for Boeing, Northrop and Raytheon.
Lockheed has said that moving F-16s assembly to India would create 200 engineering jobs in the United States to help support the production line in India.
It has also said that about 800 workers in the United States making the non-Lockheed parts for the F-16s would keep their jobs if construction shifts to India.