Abhinav Bindra to fly aboard F-16IN at Aero India-2009February 6th, 2009 - 8:39 pm ICT by IANS
Bangalore, Feb 6 (IANS) Ace Indian shooter and the country’s first Olympics gold medallist Abhinav Bindra will fly aboard Lockheed Martin’s fighter jet F-16IN at the Aero India international air show here Feb 12, it was announced Friday.With this, Bindra enters the exclusive club of personalities including Ratan Tata, who flew the F-16 in 2007, and former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who flew in an Indian fighter, who have had the privilege of flying in a combat jet.
The F-16IN, designated the Super Viper, comes from leading aerospace manufacturer Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, which describes it as the world’s “most capable multi-role fighter with unsurpassed performance and reliability reaffirming the high quality of the aircraft”.
Making the announcement, Orville Prins, vice president (Business Development-India) said: “Lockheed Martin is very pleased to have Abhinav Bindra fly in the F-16IN Super Viper. It is a perfect fit. Lockheed Martin and Abhinav share the same commitment to integrity and the F-16IN and Abhinav have achieved absolute excellence in performance.”
Bindra will be flown by a highly experienced test pilot with Lockheed Martin. The flight will last approximately 45 minutes. He will undergo the mandatory medical fitness test before takeoff and will also get a ground briefing before going on the sortie.
Bindra said: “I was instantly excited when the offer to fly on F16IN came. I have heard about the adrenalin rush when the aircraft sorties in the air and am looking forward to experience it. I guess it will be an encore of what I felt when I hit the target at Olympics. I thank Lockheed Martin for giving me this honour”.
“The F-16IN Super Viper is a unique new fighter sharing a heritage with the world’s only fifth generation fighters - the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter and the F-22 Raptor,” a company statement said.
“Evolutionary integration of fifth generation technologies makes the F-16IN the most advanced fourth generation fighter in the world today,” the statement added.
According to the company, the F-16IN “has been tailored exclusively to meet or exceed all of India’s medium multi role combat aircraft (MMRCA) requirements. The F-16IN is the right choice for the Indian Air Force (IAF) and is ready for integration into India’s infrastructure and operations now.
“The ability of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics to incorporate the latest technologies into the F-16IN is the key to expanding mission roles and improving combat capability, therefore creating the most effective multi role fighter today.
“With a robust upgrade capacity and the continuous insertion of technology, the F-16IN can be readily equipped with emerging capabilities throughout its lifecycle,” the statement said.