Lockheed Martin selects Raytheon for F-16 protection suite

February 11th, 2009 - 9:38 pm ICT by IANS  

F-16Bangalore, Feb 11 (IANS) The race for an Indian Air Force (IAF) order for 126 combat jets just got hotter with US defence major Lockheed Martin opting to equip its F-16IN Super Viper with electronics giant Raytheon’s protection suite, which the company described as the “world’s most advanced electronic warfare system”.
The two companies announced the tie-up on the sidelines of the seventh edition of the Aero India international air show that opened here Wednesday.

The advanced counter measures electronic system (ACES) comprises a radar-scanning receiver, a jammer and a chaff and flare dispenser, as well as a decoy that is towed behind the aircraft.

“It is pretty exciting that Lockheed Martin has taken us for the entire system. What we offer is the world’s most advanced electronic warfare system,” Mike Henchey, Raytheon’s vice president for Space and Airborne Systems, told IANS.

“Wonderful things are happening for India. This shows India has the opportunity to come to Raytheon for the most advanced systems to meet its needs,” he added.

According to Orville Prins, Lockheed Martin’s vice president for business development in India, Raytheon’s electronic warfare systems “represent the latest technology and the best value solution for India.

“The Raytheon aircraft self-protection equipment helps make Lockheed’s Super Viper the right solution for India’s air force,” he added.

The F-16 is one of the six aircraft in the fray for the IAF order. The others are the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, the French Rafale, the Swedish Gripen, the Russian MiG-35 and the Eurofighter Typhoon built by a four-nation European conglomerate.

The tender was floated in 2007 and the bids were opened last April.

The field trials of the six aircraft are to begin soon and slated to last for a year as the jets have to be tested in a variety of climatic conditions ranging from the deserts of Rajasthan to the icy heights of Leh in Jammu and Kashmir.

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