Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's official visit to United States, military manufacturing giant Lockheed Martin has tied up with TATA to produce F16 fighter planes in India.
Lockheed Martin's F-16 and Saab's Gripen fighter plane from Sweden are regarded as the front-runners in getting a lucrative, multi-billion dollar contract for 200 to 250 jets for the Indian Air Force.
According to sources, the deal has been signed on the sidelines of the Paris Air Show.
In 2016, the Defence Ministry requested foreign manufacturers if they were willing to produce a single-engine combat plane in India in collaboration with a local partner, as part of the government's drive to build a domestic industrial base and reduce imports.
Prime Minister Modi will be on a two-day visit to the U.S. from June 25-26.