‘GE 414 Jet Engines’: India-US technology Transfer

Table of Contents

Context
During the recent visit of Indian Prime Minister to Unites States (US), both the leaders have signed agreement on defence and security, maritime domain awareness and space among other areas. Bilateral agreement signed:
  • Jet engine tech transfer:
    • Both the countries have announced to sign a MoU for the co-production in India of ‘GE 414 Jet Engines’ for the Tejas Mk2 light combat aircraft.
    • The deal is about manufacturing jet engines in India for Light Combat Aircraft `Tejas’ Mk2 and later for AMCA.
    • The deal was between the US engine manufacturer General Electric and state owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
About the F414-GE-INS6 technology:
  • This is an Indian version of the F414-GE-100 turbofan engine, which is used to power the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.
  • The ‘INS6 variant’ has a number of improvements, including:
    • A higher thrust rating of 22,000 pounds (98 kN)
    • Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) system
The F414-GE-INS6 is being used to power the Indian Air Force’s Tejas Mk2 and it is also being considered for use in the ‘KAI KF-21 Boramae fighter’ jet program.
Key features required for Indian missile needs:
  • Performance: The F414-GE-INS6 is a high-performance engine that provides the Tejas Mk II with the thrust and power it needs to meet India’s demanding Air Force and Naval requirements.
    • It has a thrust-to-weight ratio of 9.4:1, which gives the Tejas Mk II excellent acceleration and climb performance.
    • It also has a high top speed of Mach 2.0 and a range of over 1,000 miles.
  • Reliability: The F414-GE-INS6 has a proven track record of reliability. It has over 10 million hours of flight time accumulated, and it has been used in a variety of military aircraft, including the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the JAS 39 Gripen.
  • Cost: The F414-GE-INS6 is a cost-effective engine. It is priced competitively, and it has low maintenance costs.
Significance:
  • The F414-GE-INS6 is a reliable and powerful engine that is well-suited for use in a variety of fighter aircraft.
  • It is expected to provide the Tejas Mk2 with the performance and operational capability it needs to meet the challenges of modern air combat.
  • The deal will help India to become self-reliant in defense manufacturing.
Tejas-MK2 Light Combat Aircraft (LCA):
  • The Indigenous LCATejas Mk2 is a fighter aircraft developed in India that can carry eight Beyond-Visual-Range (BVR) missiles simultaneously, along with integrating all native weapons and advanced weapons from other countries.
  • The LCA Mk2 is an upgraded version of the LCA Tejas Mk1, which has improved range and mission endurance.
  • Features:
    • Designed to carry a range of air-to-air, air-to-surface, precision-guided, weapons.
    • Air to air refueling capability.
  • Other Variants of Tejas:
    • Tejas Trainer: 2-seater operational conversion trainer for training air force pilots.
    • LCA Navy: Twin- and single-seat carrier-capable for the Indian Navy.

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