In an exciting development for the domestic defence industry, GE Aerospace has officially entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to co-produce fighter jet engines in India. This pact aligns with the Indian Air Force’s Light Combat Aircraft Tejas Mk2 program. The landmark deal will allow the joint manufacture of GE Aerospace’s F414 engines for fighter jets of the Indian Air Force. This collaboration marks a significant achievement during the official state visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the United States.
GE Aerospace remains actively engaged with the US government to obtain the essential export authorisation required for this venture, said GE in its statement. “This is a historic agreement made possible by our longstanding partnership with India and HAL,” said H. Lawrence Culp, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GE and CEO of GE Aerospace.
“We are proud to play a role in advancing President Biden and Prime Minister Modi’s vision of closer coordination between the two nations. Our F414 engines are unmatched and will offer important economic and national security benefits for both countries as we help our customers produce the highest quality engines to meet the needs of their military fleet,” he further observed.
Today’s agreement marks a significant step forward for GE Aerospace in fulfilling its pledge to manufacture 99 engines for the Indian Air Force under the LCA Mk2 program, claims the US aerospace company. This achievement positions the company favourably to establish a comprehensive range of products within India, encompassing the renowned F404 engine that presently propels the LCA Mk1 and LCA Mk1A aircraft. Moreover, GE Aerospace has been chosen to lead the prototype development, testing, and certification of the AMCA program, utilising our cutting-edge F414-INS6 engine. Additionally, GE will continue collaborating with the Indian government regarding the AMCA Mk2 engine program, the statement stated.
In 1986, GE joined forces with the Aeronautical Development Agency and HAL to advance India’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) by supplying F404 engines. Over time, GE Aerospace’s F404 and F414 engines have played a vital role in the progression and implementation of the LCA Mk1 and LCA Mk2 programs. 75 F404 engines have already been supplied, and an additional 99 engines have been ordered specifically for the LCA Mk1A. As part of an ongoing development initiative for the LCA Mk2, eight F414 engines have already been delivered, according to the company. GE’s presence in India includes its research and technology centre, the John F Welch Technology Centre at Bengaluru, which opened in 2000 and its Multi-modal Factory at Pune, which opened in 2015.