The simultaneous discussions that India is having with the US and France for the production of engines for fighter jets are for separate requirements that, as per officials, won’t overlap.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will meet his Argentine counterpart Jorge Enrique Taiana for bilateral talks on Tuesday where the sale of Light Combat Aircraft Tejas is expected to come up. The Tejas, already inducted into the IAF, has caught eye of the Argentinians.

The US-origin General Electric (GE) F414 engine is for immediate needs. The Bangalore-headquartered plane manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is set to ramp up the production of its light combat aircraft Tejas.


General Electric: The pact with the US firm is for immediate needs as HAL is set to ramp up the production of light combat aircraft TEJAS.

Safran: The French firm and HAL are to co-produce the powerful 110 kilo newton engine for AMCA MK-2 jets

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) had last month given permission to start testing the prototype of the TEJAS MK-2 jet. GE has already supplied eight engines for the testing process. The deal with the US has been sealed and the two sides have agreed on the level of transfer of technology to India.

GE and HAL last month announced a memorandum of understanding to produce engines for fighter jets. The announcement had come during PM Narendra Modi’s visit to the US. In the case of co-production of French-origin Safran engine, the project is about making a new engine that is aimed to be more powerful than anything being used anywhere in the world, for now. A roadmap for the project is being prepared by Safran and the DRDO and is expected to be ready before the year-end. The engine, 110 kilo newton thrust, is expected to roll out some 10 years down the line.

Sources said the US engine could be put on as many as 360 jets scheduled to be made in India over the next about 15 years. The GE-F414 engine will be used in TEJAS MK-2 jets. Some 120 of these planes are to be made by HAL. The engine is also to be used for the deck-based fighters for the Indian Navy—some 100 such planes have been planned. The same engine is also expected on the advanced medium combat aircraft (AMCA), MK-1, some 40 of these are expected.

Another 80-odd AMCA MK-2 jets are planned and the more powerful engine is needed for this. The Safran-DRDO project is expected to deliver the 110 kilo newton engine. The US firm has promised that “GE will continue to collaborate with Indian government on the AMCA Mark-2 engine program”.