Lockheed Martin South Asia head named to USIBC board

April 22nd, 2008 - 12:35 pm ICT by admin  

By Arun Kumar
Washington, April 22 (IANS) Richard G. Kirkland, South Asia head of aerospace giant Lockheed Martin Global which has won a $596 million contract for six India bound military transport planes, has been named to the board of the US-India Business Council (USIBC). The US Defence Department has awarded the $41.9 billion company the contract to work on the Super Hercules C-130J planes that India is buying in a $1 billion-plus package deal, its first major military purchase from the US for over 40 years.

New Delhi also has options on another six C-130Js, which will be used to support operations involving its special forces personnel and be equipped with missile and radar warning systems.

“Rick Kirkland’s appointment to the USIBC board represents the manifestation of the US-India Strategic Partnership,” said Indra Nooyi, chairperson of the advocacy group seeking stronger commercial ties between the US and India.

“Lockheed Martin’s recent success on the C-130J aircraft programme for the Indian Air Force and its involvement across several key security programmes is a testament to the company’s global leadership,” added Nooyi, who is also Pepsico chief.

Lockheed Martin is a Chairman’s Circle member of the USIBC, which represents 250 of the largest US companies investing in India and India’s 25 largest global companies.

It has a long engagement in business in India with commercial satellite sales, support for civil government and defence related programmes.

Lockheed Martin, India Private Limited was established to permit full engagement of all the business areas in Lockheed Martin across the entire spectrum of government acquisitions, services and support.

“Rick brings deep expertise and knowledge of the region, having held key positions in the US Government and within Lockheed Martin, especially in the corporation’s international operations,” Nooyi said.

On his appointment to the USIBC Board, Kirkland said, “I believe that the future will be marked by increased interaction between the two governments and among all aspects of US and Indian society.

“I look forward to working with all members of the US India Business Council and playing a small role in developing strong and lasting ties between both great nations.”

Kirkland was named president, South Asia, Lockheed Martin Global, Inc. in June 2007. In this capacity, he is responsible for all Lockheed Martin corporate business and customers in the region that includes India, Australia and Singapore offices.

Previously, he served as vice president, Maritime Surveillance Enterprise for Lockheed Martin Corporation.

Since joining Lockheed Martin, he has been active in furthering the US-India relationship and has been an active member of the Aspen India Dialogue since 2002, USIBC said.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.

The Corporation reported 2007 sales of $41.9 billion. In January 2008, Lockheed announced the opening of its India subsidiary, which markets all its operating systems in the country.

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