The Defence Ministry has reportedly asked officials to expedite negotiations with France over the co-development of a new fighter jet engine.
The officials have been told by the ministry that the talks should conclude within a month as the matter has been hanging for a while, mainly due to differences on the financing of research and development costs for a new jet engine, reports Economic Times.
India needs a new 110 kilo Newton (kN) powered engine for the upcoming class of advanced medium combat aircraft (AMCA).
After talks with his French counterpart in December last year, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had said that France has agreed to make a military engine in India under the strategic partnership model.
Discussions have been reportedly underway since 2016 with France to leverage part of the 3.5 billion euro offsets from the Rafale fighter jet deal towards this particular project.
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is leading a new fighter jet complex, with advanced negotiations with the French manufacturer Safran to co-develop a 110 kn jet engine.
Safran has offered a complete technology transfer for the engine development and to use the offset credits from the Rafale deal.
According to the ET report, the negotialtions had hit a deadlock after it emerged in detailed studies that a part of the offsets - just over 250 million Euro - could be utilised for the project while the remaining 500 million euros had to be raised by the government. Efforts are now on to find a way to take the project ahead by reducing the costs.
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