Defence News India: Prominent Indian-American defence industry veteran Dr Vivek Lall, who has previously worked with two top US defence giants – Lockheed Martin and Boeing – has been appointed Chief Executive of General Atomics Global Corporation. Dr Vivek Lall, who played key role in several defence deals with Indian and US Governments during his stints with top US defence firms, will be based at the headquarters of General Atomics in San Diego, California.
General Atomics is one of the world’s leading privately held nuclear and defence company and is actively exploring opportunities in India’s defence and nuclear sectors. The company also participated in Defence Expo 2020 held in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh in February this year.
“With Dr Lall’s expertise, GA Global will expand its global footprint for managing sales, service, and international industrial collaboration in strategically important countries like Japan, Australia, the UAE, and others,” General Atomics said.
“Dr Lall’s extensive experience in the US and international markets will strengthen the company’s international growth.”
Dr Vivek Lall left Lockheed Martin in April
In April this year, Dr Vivek Lall had announced his resignation from Lockheed Martin, where he was Vice President of Aeronautics Strategy and Business Development division.
It was an unexpected development as Dr Lall was playing crucial role in Lockheed Martin’s bid to sell an advanced version of legacy combat jet F-16 to India as the country is still looking to procure over 110 medium weight combat jets after scrapping the earlier MMRCA tender for 126 fighters.
It was reported that Dr Vivek Lall left the US defence major Lockheed Martin due to personal reasons as he wanted to spend time with his family.
However, it was seen as some kind of setback to Lockheed Martin’s effort to win the fighter contract as Dr Vivek Lall was a well-known face in the defence circles in the country due to his Indian roots.
He, however, has been roped by another US defence and nuclear sector giant General Atomics within two months of leaving Lockheed Martin.
This is Dr Vivek Lall’s second stint with General Atomics, which produces a series of unmanned aircraft, electro-optical and signal intelligence equipments, radars, and automated airborne surveillance systems.
In his capacity as Chief Executive of Strategic Development at General Atomics from August 2014 to December 2017, Dr Vivek Lall played crucial role in the Trump Administration’s decision to sell category-1 UAVs to India.
These drones are capable of carrying missiles, like hellfire missile.
General Atomics: A leading player in nuclear technology
General Atomics is the principal private sector participant in thermonuclear fusion research through its internationally well recognized DIII-D and inertial confinement programs.
General Atomics is also a leader in development of next-generation nuclear fission and high-temperature materials technologies.
Dr Vivek Lall played crucial role in India-US defence deals
Dr Vivek Lall has been instrumental in major bilateral defence deals worth around $18 billion between India and the USA.
These deals include the procurement of 24 MH-60 Romeo Seahawk multi-role helicopters for the Indian Navy in a deal worth $2.6 billion. Pentagon last month awarded the contract to Sikorsky, a unit of Lockheed Martin.
The deal was signed during US President Donald Trump’s maiden India visit in February this year.
In his capacity as vice-president and country head for India, Boeing Defense Space & Security, Dr Vivek Lall played key role in several multi-billion dollar defence deals with India.
Under his leadership, the US defence giant was able to clinch the deals for supply of C17 strategic lift transport aircraft, P-8I submarine killer long- range maritime patrol aircraft, and Boeing Apache attack helicopters, Chinook heavy lift helicopters and Harpoon missiles among others, in a country that was traditional user of Soviet-Russian defence equipments.