HYDERABAD. Tata Lockheed Martin Aerostructures Limited (TLMAL) achieved a significant milestone with the recent delivery of the 200th C-130J Super Hercules empennage.
TLMAL — a joint venture between Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics [NYSE: LMT] — was established in 2010 in Adibatla, Hyderabad. TLMAL exemplifies the Make in India initiative and has the distinction of being the single global source of C-130J empennage assemblies that are installed on all new Super Hercules aircraft produced in Marietta, Georgia, in the United States.
An empennage is the tail structure located at the rear of an aircraft. Empennage assemblies produced by TLMAL include the aircraft’s horizontal and vertical stabilizers along with leading edges and tip assemblies. The TLMAL team also previously manufactured center wing box components for legacy C-130 model aircraft, and introduced a new cutting-edge 4,700 square-meter metal-to-metal bonding facility in April 2018. TLMAL currently employs 650 people.
In March of this year, Lockheed Martin and Tata Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding to begin the implementation of fighter wing production after the team at TLMAL demonstrated the capability to produce one of the most technologically complex aerostructures — a fuel-carrying 9G, 12,000 hour, interchangeable/replaceable fighter wing. This effort not only strengthens Lockheed Martin’s partnership with India but also demonstrates to India, and to the world, the degree of confidence that exists in our F-21 offering for procurement of 114 new fighter aircraft — exclusively for India and the Indian Air Force — by proving additional indigenous production capability.
“The C-130J is known as the world’s workhorse not just for its large global presence, but also for its international supply chain partners including TLMAL,” said Rod McLean, vice president and general manager of the Air Mobility & Maritime Missions line of business at Lockheed Martin. “Each TLMAL-produced empennage literally helps the mighty Super Hercules take flight to support critical missions that impact lives and make history. While it takes many parts and pieces to build an empennage, it also requires a group of highly dedicated and skilled individuals — traits that are continually exemplified by our TLMAL teammates.”
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.
“Today, we take immense pride in reaching the momentous milestone of producing the 200th empennage for C-130J right here in India. Over the course of more than a decade, this partnership has achieved unrivalled manufacturing and operational excellence,” said Sukaran Singh, CEO and managing director, Tata Advanced Systems Limited.
The C-130J Super Hercules is the proven standard in tactical airlift, providing a unique mix of versatility and performance to complete any mission, anytime, anywhere. It is the current variant of the C-130 Hercules and is the airlifter of choice for 21 nations around the world.