Indian American Vivek Lall, Vice President, Strategy and Business Development, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, who is also part of the US Federal Aviation Advisory Committee, shares with BW Businessworld his ideas on building an aerospace ecosystem in India, the role that Lockheed Martin can play in bringing the scale of innovation, technology and capability of the next generation, among other things. Excerpts:
The idea that India will have robust aerospace clusters in a decade seems far-fetched. What is missing here?
India absolutely has the potential to become a major aerospace and defence player. We see tremendous strength and opportunity in India’s defense industry both private and public. We are actively looking for strategic Indian industry partners across the country Indian companies of all sizes, including micro, small & medium enterprises (MSMEs) and suppliers throughout India to collaborate and explore security solutions unique to India.
Our proposed partnerships with Indian industry on the F-21, Naval Utility Helicopter (NUH) and other programs for the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy will put India at the epicentre of the world’s largest defence ecosystem and deliver unmatched defence-industrial opportunities.
Just recently, the DRDO and Indian Navy achieved a major milestone with the successful arrested landing of the indigenously-developed LCA Navy Tejas Mk 1 aboard India’s INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier. We heartily congratulate India on this major achievement.
Lockheed Martin’s unmanned technologies seem to be taking a giant leap. Will AI, quantum computing and advance machine’s autonomous capability redefine the sixth-gen smart fighter jets completely?
Lockheed Martin continues to leverage cutting-edge technologies across its portfolio, including investing in and expanding our AI and autonomy capabilities. AI adds value to almost all our products and systems, supporting both military and commercial customers. Lockheed Martin’s unmatched experience designing, developing, producing and sustaining the world’s most advanced fighter aircraft platforms positions us to play a key part in defining the future of fighter aircraft.
The internal mechanism for such technology adoption in the country is not yet in place. What must GoI do to harness IoBT?
India is indeed a large IT power and it is poised to take the lead as the world’s leading technology innovator. One programme that has been preparing India for this leap is the India Innovation and Growth Program (IIGP), co-sponsored by Lockheed Martin in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology and Tata Trusts.
Becoming a global leader in technological advancement does not happen overnight but India has made incredible progress in recent years.