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GE-414 military jet engines set to be manufactured in India


Nov 12, 2022
While the Narendra Modi government is tight-lipped about the entire project, HT learns that the GE-414 engine will be manufactured under terms that include 100% transfer of technology

NSA Ajit Doval (right) with US national security advisor Jake Sullivan at the India House in Washington on Tuesday. (Taranjit Singh Sandhu/ Twitter)

New Delhi: India and US will take their defence cooperation to the next level with the Joe Biden administration giving a green signal to GE, a world leader in military jet engines, to manufacture 98 kilo-newton thrust GE-414 engines in India in collaboration with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and a still-to-be-identified private defence equipment maker. The India specific GE-414 INS6 engine will power the LCA (light combat aircraft) Mark II, which will be rolled out by Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) early next year and take to the skies by the end of 2024, and the under-development twin engine Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft.

While the Narendra Modi government is tight-lipped about the entire project, HT learns that the GE-414 engine will be manufactured under terms that include 100% transfer of technology (ToT), with the deal likely to be sealed during the on-going visit of the high-level delegation led by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval’s visit to the US. Accompanying Doval to the bilateral dialogue on “Critical and Emerging Technologies” with US NSA Jake Sullivan are scientific adviser to Raksha Mantri, Satheesh Reddy, DRDO chief Samir V Kamat, principal scientific adviser Ajay Sood, and secretary (telecom) K Rajaram.

One Monday night, at a dinner hosted by Indian Ambassador Taranjit Sandhu and attended by senior US officials including Sullivan, Doval highlighted the need to convert intentions and ideas into actions and specific deliverables through focused steps in a timebound manner.

The negotiations for 100% local manufacturing of GE-414 engines began when then DRDO chief Satheesh Reddy under instructions of NSA Doval visited US in May 2022 to meet US undersecretary of defence for research and engineering Heidi Shyu, and her colleague Terry Emmert, the principal deputy chief technology officer for mission capabilities.

While GE-404 engine powers 4+ generation LCA Tejas Mark I aircraft, the GE-414 engine will power the 4.5 generation Mark II Tejas, which will carry nearly 6.5 tonnes of missiles and ammunition and will be a replacement for Mirage 2000 and MiG-29 aircraft. The LAC Mark I, which is a replacement for MiG-21, carries only 3.5 tonnes of missiles and ammunition and has half the operational range and war fighting capability of Mark II

India plans to produce more than six squadrons (each squadron has 18 aircraft) of the Mark II aircraft for the Indian Air Force, and will also be exporting the fighter to interested countries.

The GE-414 engine will also power the twin-engine advanced medium combat aircraft (AMCA) under development by ADA, which is the nodal agency under DRDO for the development of LCAs. The fighter is expected to take to the skies at the end of this decade with its naval version operating on aircraft carriers.

With the Biden administration giving permission for 100% manufacturing TOT to GE, this will lay the foundation for future joint design, development, and manufacture of high-powered engines beyond 110 KN thrust between two countries. This will not merely showcase Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Atamanirbhar Bharat’ mission but also make India one of the leading civilian as well as military aircraft manufacturers in the world.

@Skull and Bones @Raj-Hindustani @Hecig @VkdIndian @Paitoo @LakeHawk180 @INDIAPOSITIVE @SeaMermaid
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