Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has said India is working on a domestic engine for the Tejas fighter jet

“Give us some more time,” he told the media here on Sunday to announce the opening of Aero India-2023 that will kick off on Monday.

Sources say that during the recent visit of National Security Adviser Ajit Doval to the US, General Electric agreed to make its 98 kilonewton capacity GE 414 engine in India in collaboration with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

It is expected to power the Tejas Mark 2 jet, expected to be rolled out by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) in early 2024.

Aero India, which will end on February 17, is looking at connecting industries from across the world with Indian industries to “make in India” and showcase local abilities to the world.

With the import of weapons reducing and industries achieving greater indigenisation, India is now positioning itself as the manufacturing base and supplier of military equipment to smaller countries.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the aero show. The Ministry of Defence said it would be the “biggest aero show” in the country and a “runaway to a billion opportunities”.

It will showcase the growing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) sector and defence space capabilities.

The India Pavilion will have established business organisations to address opportunities for foreign companies in cooperation, R&D, joint ventures, co-production and training, artificial intelligence, cyber and maritime security.

“Termed as ‘wings of the future’, the pavilion will open the world to our emerging capabilities,” the Defence Minister said.

The MoD will host a Chief Executive Officers’ conclave that will be attended by CEOs of 27 foreign companies.

The ‘Bandhan’ ceremony will be an opportunity for foreign manufacturers to discover Indian partners. A business of Rs 75,000 crore is expected.