US offers again to jointly develop fifth-generation Indian aircraft engine

The United States has offered to co-develop the 110 kilonewton (kn) engine for India’s Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), Business world reported.

An earlier US bid in 2019 to jointly develop the fighter engine was dropped after disagreements over technology sharing between the two countries. The United States was reluctant to share “core or hot engine technology” with India, the outlet wrote.

Quoting former US Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord, the outlet added that “the two sides could not agree on exportable technologies that would be useful to the ‘India”.

Other offers

The revised offer from the American aircraft engine manufacturer General Electric, meanwhile, follows offers by the French and British engine manufacturers Safran and Rolls Royce. All the offers are being considered, the Indian outlet wrote, citing sources.

India plans to power the second version of the fifth-generation aircraft, the AMCA-II, with the jointly developed engine. Aircraft production is expected to begin around 2035.

The aircraft’s inaugural version and future projects such as the Tejas Mk-2 and the Twin Engine Deck-Based Fighter (TEDBF) will be powered by the GE-F414, which generates 98 knots of thrust. Future versions of TEDBF will be powered by the jointly developed engine.

The outlet added that the recently developed 120 kn GE-F414 enhanced performance engine will be ideal for the aircraft, as the improved power of the engine is without any change in its dimensions, requiring no modifications to the original design of the plane.

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