June 19, 2012
As the requirement to get the additional six C130Js from Lockheed Martin gets imminent, the Indian government seems to have got embroiled in a mesh that involves crossing its Ts and dotting its Is.
Since the lead time for delivery is around three years, the need to make a decision seems all the more urgent.
The heart of the matter may be the contract itself which India holds rigidly close to its heart. Meanwhile though the US has strict laws, it does leave space for flexibility. Delays like this have already resulted in losing the technology edge that India swears it needs.
Aerospace Diary learns an offset program for RFID that was to be executed in India could not be initiated fast enough by BEL and a private company as bureaucratic processes got in the way. With no moves on it for two years, the projected was abandoned since technology had moved on. The cost of entry for the new technology , being too high, has resulted in the OEM now scouting for another partner.
Even Lockheed Martin’s JV with the Tata Group to set up an aerostructures facility –a showcase project- signed four years ago is only just seeing the light of the day, due to delay in processes.
"If we’re going to be in the technology business, speed is as critical as is decisioning…The more hi-tech you get, the faster the need for speed to reach an agreement,” says Rick Kirlkand of LM here.