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  • Writer's pictureRANGAN PAL

US aerospace firm Lockheed Martin Space looking to work with ISRO

American defence-aerospace firm Lockheed Martin's Space division has been in talks with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the emerging Indian private space sector for collaboration, said a top official.

This is a result of India's space sector being reformed to permit private firms to carry out end-to-end space activities and seek government support and authorisation for the same.

Queried about the key areas of interest for Lockheed Martin Space in India, Willaim Blair, CEO, Lockheed Martin, India, told WION that the company has been talking to ISRO and Indian private sector firms in the space domain to explore collaboration opportunities.

"We look at satellites, sensors and payloads, ground stations, mission solutions etc" he listed out the specific areas where the firm looks to collaborate.

Further, it was also mentioned that Lockheed Martin Space has been associated with NASA programmes for a very long time and has contributed to a wide range of space activities, including human spaceflight, deep space exploration, Global Positioning System (GPS), and offering precision navigation services to government and commercial customers.

In terms of aviation platforms, Indian Air Force operates a fleet of Lockheed 'C-130J Hercules' strategic transporter aircraft, whereas the Indian Navy operates the 'MH-60 Romeo' maritime multi-mission helicopter.

Lockheed officials revealed that the company plans to establish their first-ever aircraft heavy maintenance centre in India to bolster the ecosystem of the C130J aircraft. This would also be their first such facility in Asia, whereas their other two facilities are in the UK and Canada.

The company said that there are 40 'C130J' aircraft in the Middle East & North Africa region and establishing a maintenance, repair and overhaul(MRO) facility in India, would be ideal to utilise the country's proven workforce, skills, knowledge, thereby offering a reliable sustainment programme for the aircraft.

Lockheed Martin already manufactures the empennage (tail assembly) of the 'C130J' aircraft in India and also assembles wings of the company's fighter aircraft, and exports them both for final assembly and integration onto the airframe.

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