In a very significant move, the United States government has given all necessary permissions to India for the joint manufacturing of General Electric (GE) F-414 jet engines for Tejas Mk2 and Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) Mk-1 fighter jets.
India has earlier selected GE F-414 engines for powering Tejas Mk2 and the first two squadrons of AMCA Mk-1 fighter jets.
In a statement to ANI, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chairman Dr. Samir V. Kamat said that India will jointly co-manufacture these engines with GE for Tejas Mk2 and the first two squadrons of AMCA, as all the clearances have been received from the US.
Just five months ago, in June 2023, when Prime Minister Modi visited the US, India signed a deal to co-produce GE F-414 engines in India.
Under the deal, these jet engines will be manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in collaboration with GE, with close to eighty percent transfer of technology (ToT).
In August, the US Congress also gave approval for this joint deal.
With this approval given by the US government, all decks have been cleared for the joint production of this engine by HAL. This joint production will transfer several crucial aspects of manufacturing jet engines to India.
These includes special coating for erosion and corrosion, repair technology for turbines, compression disc and blades, coating and machining of single crystal turbine blades, machining and coating of hot end parts, complete tech transfer for blisk machining, machining of powder metallurgy, polymer matrix composite, laser drilling for combustion, and bottle boring of shafts.
This will also mark the beginning of a new chapter in India-US defence relations as the US government has never shared this level of technology with any other nation, not even with its treaty allies like the UK, France, and Australia.
The GE F-414 engines produce 98 kN of thrust and will allow the in-development Tejas Mk2 to lift heavier payloads to longer ranges, increasing its combat potential.
GE's F-404 engines already power Tejas Mk-1 and Tejas Mk-1A jets.
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