New Delhi: Indian company TATA will soon start making the wings of the fighter jet F-16, said a senior executive of US manufacturing giant Lockheed Martin, which makes the jet.

The contract has been awarded to TATA and is not dependent on us winning the fighter jet contract here, said Vivek Lall, vice-president of Strategy and Business Development, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics.

Addressing media at an event, Lall said: “Lockheed Martin is fully committed to meeting India’s need for advanced, scalable defence capabilities”.

Our partnership with the Indian industry on both the F-21 fighter jets for the IAF and S-76D helicopter for the Indian Navy will put India at the epicentre of world’s largest defence ecosystem and promises export opportunities, he said.

The company co-hosted a suppliers conference with Indian partner TATA Advanced Systems. This meeting was to allow US companies — which are suppliers to Lockheed Martin — to discuss partnership opportunities in India.