Fighter Jet Engines To Be Made In India Now, Mega Agreement With GE Sealed

As part of the Narendra Modi government’s Make In India campaign, General Electric announced today that it will team up with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited to produce fighter jet engines for the Indian Air Force.

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The announcement came hours after Prime Minister Modi met with General Electric chairman H Lawrence Culp Jr. After the meeting, the Prime Minister’s office tweeted photos of him with GE’s chief. @narendramodi and CEO of @generalelectric, H. Lawrence Culp, Jr. discussed GE’s greater technology collaboration to promote manufacturing in India, according to the PMO.

According to GE Aerospace, its Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is “a major milestone” amid Prime Minister Modi’s state visit to the US and “a key element” in strengthening defense cooperation.

According to the statement, GE Aerospace’s F414 engines could be produced jointly in India under the agreement. The effort is part of the Indian Air Force’s Light Combat Aircraft Mk2 program, which GE Aerospace continues to work on with the US government.

GE chief H Lawrence Culp Jr called the agreement “historic”. As a result of our longstanding partnership with India and HAL, this is a historic agreement.

“We are proud to play a role in supporting President Biden and Prime Minister Modi’s vision of closer cooperation between the two nations.” In addition to offering significant economic and national security benefits for both countries, our F414 engines will help our customers produce the best engines to meet the needs of their military fleets,” he said.

Tejas Mk2 will be powered by GE F414 engines, the latest version of India’s indigenous Tejas fighter. Since Tejas’ current variant is powered by F404 engines, the Air Force has had a long-standing relationship with GE.

To what extent will the US allow technology transfer under this defence agreement remains to be seen. Fighter jet engines can operate at very high temperatures and remain fuel-efficient due to single crystal aerofoil technology.

Anyhow, this is one of India’s most important defence agreements.

According to GE Aerospace’s statement, the agreement will advance its previous commitment to build 99 engines for the Indian Air Force’s Light Combat Aircraft Mk2.

The new agreement “puts the company in a strong position to develop a family of products in India”, it said.

Over five million flight hours have been logged by the F414 engines, according to GE Aerospace. Eight nations either fly aircraft powered by these engines or have ordered them. Globally, more than 1,600 F414 engines have been delivered to date.

Its statement noted that GE Aerospace has been operating in India for more than four decades now, offering engines, avionics, services, engineering, manufacturing, and local sourcing.

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