Aircraft Contribute to Cooperation in Asia-Pacific
In the skies above the Singapore Air Show, the most talented pilots from across the Asia-Pacific region perform stunning flight displays showcasing aviation technology from around the world. While the aircraft on static and aerial display represent dozens of different nations, many have a common bond in Lockheed Martin.
Military aircraft play a prominent role in this region focused on industry, security and growth. Lockheed Martin’s industrial partnerships span decades, from cooperative development programs and full assembly lines to aircraft component production and depot centers. Military coalition operations reflect the collaboration on the ground as forces in the region benefit from common capability and technology.
"The United States' commitment to maintaining peace and stability in the vast Asia-Pacific region is demonstrated by the focus on rebalancing to the region and strengthening ties with regional Asia-Pacific partners," said Gary North, vice president, Customer Requirements and a retired U.S. Air Force General, who served as commander, Pacific Air Forces and the Air Component Commander for U.S. Pacific Command. “Lockheed Martin contributes to our international and domestic customers’ needs by proving them an unmatched capability to strengthen alliances and mutual cooperation while deterring aggression. Our aircraft provide advanced technologies, aerial dominance, speed, range and flexibility to ensure regional stability and free access, while defending U.S. and allied partners."
International Cooperation, Collaboration
After 40 years and more than 4,500 aircraft, the F-16 Fighting Falcon program represents the world’s largest and most successful industrial cooperation network. The Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan all fly the multirole F-16, and American Fighting Falcons have deployed to regional bases in Korea, Japan and Guam. Continuous upgrades to F-16’s radar and avionics will secure the fighter’s role as a fixture in regional operations for decades to come.
The C-130 Hercules is another icon in the Asia-Pacific. When Typhoon Haiyan hit the region in November 2013, Hercs from around the world were among the first responders, bringing much needed troops and supplies to affected areas and helping evacuees get to dry land. The Philippines, Singapore, New Zealand, Japan and Malaysia fly legacy C-130 airlifters, and Australia operates the C-130J Super Hercules. South Korea will join the list of Super Hercules operators in 2014. Another exciting addition to the Super Hercules family is the LM-100J, a recently announced variant that is a civil multi-purpose air freighter capable of rapid and efficient transport of cargo.
In the Republic of Korea, Lockheed Martin partnered with Korean Aerospace Industries to develop the T-50 multirole trainer. Korean-built T-50s prepare pilots to fly today’s advanced 4th generation and 5th Generation fighters, and Korea’s F/A-50 light attack version delivers additional capability to the air force. The Republic of Korea Air Force T-50 Golden Eagles demonstration team is a highlight of Asia-Pacific air shows.
Japan’s F-2 Support Fighter is the result of another regional industrial partnership between Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Lockheed Martin. The F-2 is based on the F-16 but is a bit larger and modified to meet the Japan Air Self Defense Force’s air-to-surface mission. Recently, MHI and Lockheed Martin have renewed the industrial partnership to restore Japan’s F-2 fleet that was damaged in the 2011 tsunami.
The F-35 Lightning II represents the future of fighter aircraft in the Asia-Pacific. Production of Australia’s first F-35s is underway with Australian-made components in each jet, and Japan’s first 5th Generation fighters are not far behind. The U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy will also deploy F-35s to the region. An active competition in Korea and other countries’ interest in the F-35 could increase the number of Lightning IIs in the Asia-Pacific to strengthen economies of scale in the supply chain and cooperation in the skies.
February 7, 2014
- Lockheed Martin’s industrial partnerships in the Asia-Pacific region span decades, from cooperative development programs and full assembly lines to aircraft component production and depot centers.
- Our aircraft provide advanced technologies, aerial dominance, speed, range and flexibility to ensure regional stability and free access, while defending U.S. and allied partners.
- This tradition of cooperation is poised to continue for decades to come as the C-130J Super Hercules program builds on its first million hours and the F-35 Lightning II joins the fight.