Lockheed Martin offers re-branded F-16 fighter to India as F-21

The Lockheed Martin-Tata Advanced Systems F-21 fighter offered to the Indian Air Force. Photo c/o Lockheed Martin.

In a bid to differentiate from what Pakistan has in its arsenal, Lockheed Martin re-branded their F-16 Viper fighter aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF), calling it the F-21 and launching it at the recently concluded Aero India 2019 defense exhibition.

While the F-21 is basically an upgraded variant of the F-16, it has several features that can make the aircraft different not just from the F-16s used by arch-rival Pakistan, but also even from the latest F-16 variant being offered by the US globally, the F-16 Block 70/72 Viper.

The F-21 has similar features as the F-16 Block 70/72, including having the APG-83 AESA radar, the Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (AutoGCAS), the use of a Sniper targeting pod, conformal fuel tanks, an advanced helmet mounted cueing system, and the same data fusion capabilities.

But it also have new features including the use of a different and more advanced all-glass cockpit using only 2 screens, triple rail launchers, an Infra-red Seeking Tracker (IRST), a retractable aerial refuelling probe installed on the conformal fuel tanks to allow refuelling from existing drogue-equipped tankers of the IAF, and incorporating Indian-developed or joint US-Indian developed technologies. This is in addition to being made in India under the "Make In India" program of the Indian government, in cooperation with TATA Advanced Systems.

The Lockheed Martin F-21 is competing with other fighter aircraft models, including the Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet Block III, Saab JAS-39E Gripen NG, Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale, UAC MiG-35, and Sukhoi Su-35.

[1] Lockheed Martin
[2] The Economic Times

[3] Aerotime News Hub
[4] The NewsRep

Lockheed Martin offers re-branded F-16 fighter to India as F-21 Lockheed Martin offers re-branded F-16 fighter to India as F-21 Reviewed by Asia Pacific Defense Journal on February 25, 2019 Rating: 5

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