After Off the shelf F404 Purchase, HAL plans to assemble F414 engines locally


General Electric F414 engine (Representative Image)

General Electric Company (GE) of USA and India’s State-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) recently concluded a contract for procurement of 99 more F404-GE-IN20 turbofan engines for the 73 Tejas Mk1A and 10 Tejas Mk1 Trainer jets that were ordered by the Indian Air Force (IAF) earlier this year at Aero India 2021. HAL also confirmed that it plans to assemble F414-INS6 engines for the LCA-AF MkII program once the program enters the production stage.

In October 2010, General Electric defeated the Eurojet consortium in a contest to provide powerplant for the LCA-AF MkII program. Under the 2010 agreement, GE Aviation was to provide an initial batch of 18 F414-INS6 engines that could come from the US, with the remainder 81 engines to be produced in India. idrw.org has been told, the contract has provision for additional 30 engines but the LCA-AF MkII fleet will be getting an Indigenous 110kN class of thrust engine at a later stage.

HAL already has received the first batch of 8 F414-INS6 engines from General Electric in 2019 and more will be delivered in the next few years, as HAL begins to assemble the first LCA-AF MkII and plans to have its first flight by end of 2023 and enter production in 2028-29. F404-GE-IN20 turbofan engines are already powering 20 IOC and 20 FOC configured Tejas Mk1 jets and IAF has decided to set up its base level service facility for the F404-GE-IN20 engines and not be dependent on the HAL for its maintenance and servicing.

F404-GE-IN20 turbofan engines are capable of delivering a maximum thrust of 98 kN and F404-GE-IN20 turbofan engines are capable of delivering a maximum thrust of 84 kN. India plans to develop a new turbofan engine that is capable of delivering a maximum thrust of 110 kN for the AMCA Mk2 Program and DRDO Chief has confirmed that LCA-AF MkII and TEDBF fleet will also be getting the same engine when they are due for an engine change after 8-10 years after induction into service.

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