New/Old Lockheed F-21/F-16 Block 70/71

Lockheed has pitched this and may well have a possible deal with India to co-produce the Lockheed F-21 with Tata in India. It might even mean no longer building F-16’s in the US and using that area for increasing production area for the F-35 production.
Lockheed unveils new F-21 fighter jet configured for India | Reuters

The idea seem to be that this newest iteration of the F-16 would be built in India with its new name to try and shed the image that it is simply an updated old model of the F-16 which has been around a while. It has a number of significant upgrades and new items not yet on any presently serving in various airforces.

India has been looking to update and improve their airforce and has not been entirely happy with their joint projects with Russia. They have been looking at various late model aircraft and the PAK-50 was dropped a while back with even Russia’s appetite for it not that keen.

It would be a potentially huge deal for both sides and improve relations with India, which has recently been ordering US equipment, while US/Pakistan’s relations have slightly soured of late, however it should be remembered that any deal with India tends to be complex, fraught with difficulties, and tend to go on for much longer than expected.

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F-16 is still a very capable aircraft albeit not in terms of stealth.

I'm sure that an updated version would make good sense for many smaller nations who can't afford / don't have the technology for 5th Gen stealth designs.
It’s a bit cheeky using the F-21 designation; that was officially assigned to Kfir C2s operated by the USN and USMC in the Aggressor role between 1984 and 1989.

The jets are now operated in a similar role by ATAC.



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It'll be interesting to see, if it happens, if build quality holds up.

If memory serves, didn't the Indians want to build Rafale in India, and then hold the French responsible for any shortcomings?

One can see why the French had an attack of 'not very keen'.
Re; the video - was that a towed sonar array at one point?
It’s a towed radar decoy; Typhoon and several other types have them.

The latest little spat between the two may well sharpen India’s mind in regard to the upgrading of it’s Air Force and LM recent pitch for the F-21. This in addition to alerting us all that even a limited low grade nuclear exchange between these two could change the world as we know it.

In the recent IAF Bison shootdown Pakistan has strenuously claimed that it was not an F-16 that did the deed. But IAF Indian Air Force Air Vice Marshal R.G.K. Kapoor presented a piece of AIM-120 missile at a joint press conference He also stated there is enough evidences through electronic signatures that an F-16 was used, and parts of AMRAAM air-to-air missile carried only by PAF F-16’s, was recovered within Indian territory in Jammu and Kashmir.

Pakistan has a fleet of F-16’s acquired from the United States and from second-hand sources. It has also received AIM-120C-5 missiles to go along with them while India does not use any variant of the AIM-120. A US-made plane firing an US-made missile could have political ramifications as the United States has been drifting away from its historical relationship with Pakistan, and improving its ties, especially military-to-military with India.

F-16 sales to Pakistan were controversial from the first examples in the 1980s. In 1990, Congress put measures into place to halt economic and military cooperation with Pakistan over its development of nuclear weapons, which blocked further Viper deliveries for a time. In 2005, the United States approved F-16 sales to Pakistan, as well as allow the country to upgrade its existing aircraft, but with heavy export controls.

In 2016, American legislators held up Viper sales over Pakistan's unwillingness to tackle terrorist groups including those conducting attacks on U.S. forces and their allies in Afghanistan. With the U.S. now in a major push to expand relations with India and increase shared military activities with India’s forces in South Asia and beyond, Congress could see the latest exchange as a further reason to limit future military aid to Pakistan.

If the United States ends support for the Vipers and blocks third parties from supplying parts and services, it could ground Pakistan's most capable combat aircraft in a very short of time. Perhaps why Pakistan has been so keen to deny that their F-16s were involved in any counter-attack on Indian incursions.

Pakistan has struggled to acquire new F-16s, while Lockheed Martin has just pitched advanced models to the Indian Air Force. LM is trying to sell a rebranded advanced F-12/F-16, to India and possibly move significant portions of the production line to the country, a move that would make it even more difficult for Pakistan to obtain or even support the jets it has in the future. This together with the vague possibility of possible future sales of the F-35 to India.
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