And just like that, we have a new jet
So Lockheed Martin just coughed up an updated F-16 they call the F-21 to pitch to the Indian Air Force, who is shopping hard for a new strike fighter to replace aging Jaguars and MiG-29s. While the current crop of suitors includes the F-16, MiG-35, Dassault Rafale, and Eurofighter Typhoon, the IAF is reportedly not loving the F-16 as it is a more dated design. With that in mind: Boom! Here’s the F-21!
“Specifically configured for the Indian Air Force, the F-21 provides unmatched ‘Make in India’ opportunities and strengthens India’s path to an advanced airpower future,” says Lockheed, hinting it as a stepping stone to get some of that sweet F-35 love.
The move reminds me of that time in 1982 that Northrop took the F-5G and dubbed it– the F-20 Tigershark!
Only 3 Tigersharks were built on spec and, with no sales on the horizon for the upgraded Vietnam-era aircraft, Northrop canned the program in 1986.
Maybe Lockheed will have better luck