Modi in US: GE Aerospace and HAL sign MoU for manufacturing F414 engines for fighter planes in India

Team India Sentinels Thursday 22nd of June 2023 08:28 PM

New Delhi: India and the United States inched closer to an agreement where an US company will set up a base in India to manufacture jet engines together with an Indian company. Moving towards this during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first state visit to the US, American defence major GE Aerospace and state-owned Indian aircraft manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited signed a memorandum of understanding for jointly producing F414 engines in an India facility, on Thursday.

The Cincinnati-headquartered GE Aerospace, which is a subsidiary of General Electric, called the signing of the MoU with the Bengaluru- headquartered HAL a “major milestone” and a “key element” in strengthening defence cooperation between the two countries.

In a statement, GE Aerospace said: “The agreement includes the potential joint production of GE Aerospace’s F414 engines in India, and GE Aerospace continues to work with the US government to receive the necessary export authorization for this.”

The deal will require the final approval from the US Congress. If the deal gets the necessary clearances, it will power the fighter planes that India is indigenously manufacturing under various programmes at this moment, like the Tejas MKII light combat aircraft (LCA) and advanced medium combat aircraft (AMCA) for the Indian Air Force, and the twin-engine deck-based fighter (TEDBF) for the Indian Navy.

Earlier this month, India Sentinels had reported that GE may manufacture engines for fighter jets in India after the US defence secretary, Lloyd Austin, held bilateral talks with the defence minister, Rajnath Singh, in New Delhi.

Read also: GE may manufacture engines for fighter jets in India  

On the signing of the MoU between GE Aerospace and HAL, Henry Lawrence “Larry” Culp, Jr, chairman and CEO of GE and CEO of GE Aerospace said, “This is a historic agreement made possible by our longstanding partnership with India and HAL.”

It may be mentioned that India is already using GE Aerospace’s F404 engine for its LCA Tejas MKI and MKIA, which are lighter than the GE 414 engines. A total of 75 F404 engines have already been delivered to India and another 99 are on order for LCA MKIA. GE Aerospace also delivered eight F414 engines as part of the current LCA Tejas MKII programme.

GE said Thursday’s agreement will advance GE Aerospace’s earlier commitment to build 99 engines for the IAF as part of the LCA MKII programme. It also said the MoU puts the company in a vantage position to create a family of products in India. This includes the F404 engine that currently powers the LCA MKI and LCA MKIA aircraft. GE Aerospace said it is also involved in the selection for the prototype development, testing and certification of the AMCA programme with its F414-INS6 engine.

“In addition, GE will continue to collaborate with the Indian government on the AMCA MKII engine program,” it said.

Currently, GE’s presence in India includes its research and technology centre, the John F Welch Technology Centre at Bengaluru, which opened in 2000. Its multi-modal factory is at Pune, which opened in 2015.


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