Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s (HAL) commitment to order 99 GE F414 engines for India’s Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) program in 2012 might possibly be left unfulfilled if France’s lucrative offer to invest EUR 1 billion in the indigenous ‘Kaveri’ jet engine project is taken up by the Indian government.
According to a report by Economic Times, France is seeking to revive India's combat jet engine project, proposing a joint development plan that could see the stalled 'Kaveri' gas turbine powering indigenous Tejas fighters by 2020. The investment will come as part of fulfilling offset requirement for the Rafale aircraft purchase in a fly-away condition.
India has already ordered and received 24 GE F 404 engines in February 2007 to power the prototypes and the first two aircraft which joined squadron service last week.
Due to urgent requirements for completing the home-grown LCA Tejas project, the Indian MoD had to stall the Kaveri engine project since the engine test-bed did not achieve the desired results. Instead, the prototype of the aircraft had to be fitted with American GE 404 engines. GE F414 engine features improved Full Authority Digital Electronic Control (FADEC), single Crystal blade design, single engine safety features and other electronic advances.
Last year in an interview with Defenseworld.net, Nalin Jain, CEO of GE Transportation and Aviation briefed on GE aviation’s contracts with the Indian government: “We had collaborated with Aeronautic Development Agency (ADA) for the demonstration program of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), Tejas, started back in 1985”.
Safran is reportedly offering to develop the Kaveri engine technology for free. “India would not need to spend any more developmental money on the project and Safran would take on the investment, committing to make the Kaveri flight-worthy within 18 months,” ET reported.
French firm Safran, which developed the M88 engine that powers the Rafale fighter as well as the Shakti engine for Indian advanced light helicopters. The offer is under discussions with Indian authorities since January, the report said.
But it remains to see if India would take up the French offer and ditch the American engines for its indigenous LCA, considering that a new engine would have to go through the entire gamut of tests before it can be mounted onto the aircraft. This obviously means delay in the program and runs contrary to the Indian MoD’s commitment to induct as many Tejas aircraft as possible to replace the MiG-21s.
Meantime, Saab of Sweden has offered to manufacture its Gripen aircraft in India and is quite buoyed with the offer coming from the topmost. The aircraft comes equipped with the GE F414 engine. If India accepts this offer, then having one engine for both planes would mean economies of scale.
The state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) handed over the first two home-grown aircraft to the Air Force as part of a new squadron. This will be the first version of the jets
The Indian Air Force will induct the first squadron of the indigenously built Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), Tejas, on July 1. This will be the first version of the jets
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has opened talks with Saab to partner it on improving the Indian-made Light Combat Aircraft also called Tejas. Indian news agency PTI said quoting unnamed defence sources that a high-level team from Saab will arrive in India next week to carry forward the discussion
GE Aviation is expecting certification of the F414 engine for the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Mark II fighter by this year-end, Mr Nalin Jain, CEO of GE Transportation and Aviation told Defenseworld.net
India may ink a deal with Safran of France to deploy its M88 engine, which powers the Rafale fighter jet, in the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas. A deal to this effect is expected during the visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to Delhi on March 10, according to French newspaper LA Tribune
An Indo-Russian project to modify Indias Kaveri Jet engine (presumably for the Sukhoi-30MKI fighter aircraft) is about to be completed. “One of the most vivid illustrations (In Indo-Russian scientific partnership) is the KAVERI Indian aircraft engine
France has offered 30 percent out of the 50 percent offsets in the 7.89 billion Euros Rafale fighter deal for research and development programmes in missile and engine technologies in India
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