Tata-Lockheed Martin JV delivers 200thC-130J Super Hercules empennage - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Wednesday 9 August 2023

Tata-Lockheed Martin JV delivers 200thC-130J Super Hercules empennage

The TLMAL team, which was established in 2010 in Hyderabad, currently employs 650 people


By Ajai Shukla

Business Standard, 10th August 23


Tata Lockheed Martin Aerostructures Limited (TLMAL), a defence-oriented joint venture between Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) and Lockheed Martin, has achieved a significant milestone with the delivery of its 200th C-130J Super Hercules empennage, a Lockheed Martin media release stated on Thursday.


An empennage is the tail structure located at the rear of an aircraft.

TLMAL has the distinction of being the global single source of empennage assemblies installed on all new C-130J Super Hercules aircraft produced in Marietta, Georgia, in the United States.


Empennage assemblies produced by TLMAL include the aircraft’s horizontal and vertical stabilizers along with leading edges and tip assemblies. 


The TLMAL team, which was established in 2010 in Hyderabad, currently employs 650 people. It previously manufactured center wing box components for legacy C-130 aircraft. It introduced a new cutting-edge, 4,700 square metre, metal-to-metal bonding facility in April 2018. 


“The C-130J Super Hercules is the current variant of the C-130 Hercules, which is the airlifter of choice for 21 nations around the world,” said Lockheed Martin. 


TLMAL empennages are included in C-130Js operated by seven nations, including India. These C-130Js support critical worldwide search and rescue, peacekeeping, combat delivery, maritime patrol, special operations, aerial refueling, commercial cargo transport, medevac and humanitarian response missions.


In March, Lockheed Martin and Tata Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding to begin the production of wings for the F-16 fighter aircraft that Lockheed Martin assembled at its production line in the US.


To qualify for that order, TLMAL had to demonstrate its capability to produce one of the most technologically complex aerostructures — a fuel-carrying, interchangeable, replaceable fighter wing that can withstand forces of 9G (nine times the force of gravity) and operate for a service lifetime of 12,000 hours. 


Lockheed Martin said this demonstrated Lockheed Martin’s confidence in offering 114 new F-21 fighters for the Indian Air Force, including the provision of additional indigenous production capability.


Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is the world’s largest defence aerospace company. It employs approximately 116,000 people worldwide for designing developing and manufacturing advanced technology systems and services.


Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Sons, and spearheads the Tata Group’s initiatives in aerospace and defence. TASL says it is equipped to deliver end-to-end solutions throughout the aerospace value chain and in particular in the fields of missiles, radars, unmanned aerial systems, artillery guns, command and control systems, optronics, homeland security and land systems. 

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