New Delhi: American defence major GE Aerospace will transfer 80 per cent of the technology to India for production of F 414 fighter jet engines under its deal with the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, a senior official said on Friday.
The General Electric (GE) Aerospace inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) on Thursday to jointly produce fighter jet engines for the Indian Air Force (IAF).
The pact was signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s current visit to the United States. “With this deal, we will have 80 per cent transfer of tech in making GE 414 engine, which will enhance the operational performance of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) MKII,” the official said.
“With this deal, we will have 80 per cent transfer of tech in making GE 414 engine, which will enhance the operational performance of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) MKII,” the official said.
“Eighty per cent of the engine will be made in India, except small components,” the official from the Ministry of Defence said.
“We are ready to sign the agreement and within three years, India will have this engine,” he said.
“The significance of the GE-HAL deal lies in the fact the India would get access to cutting-edge technologies,” the official said.
Earlier, India had achieved some successes in getting important technologies from Russia, the UK, France, but the GE-HAL deal is at a “different level and scale”, the senior official said, adding, “such a thing never occurred before in the history of India’s quest for high tech”.
The deal shows the “trust India evoked across the higher echelons in the US”, reflected in the way it received the bipartisan support, he said.
This also showed India’s intellectual capabilities and has proven that the US trusts our IPR regime and that such technology would not fall in wrong hands. The US showed confidence in our military systems also, he said.
As a nation, we have passed the test. India’s integrity has got the nod, the official said.
“With this deal, we will have 80 per cent transfer of technology in making GE 414 engine, which will enhance operational performance of LCA MKII. India will be among the top five countries to have this tech,” he added.
Asked about the number of jet engines under the deal, the official said the IAF has not yet indicated the exact numbers, but it could be a little over 100, adding that the cost is not discussed yet.
Among the critical defence technologies in general are — nuclear tech, jet tech, submarine tech, aircraft carrier tech, and ballistic missiles tech. We could get some of these by the hard work of our scientists and leaders.
For the aircraft engine tech, “lack of funding and encouragement are responsible. Otherwise we could have achieved more,” he said.
Some of the critical technologies to which India will get access are special coatings for corrosion, machining and coating for single crystal for turbine blades, machining and coating of nozzle guide vanes, blisk machining, machining of powder metallurgy discs, machining of thin walled titanium casing, laser drilling technology for combustor, the official said.
Benefits of manufacturing this GE 414 engine in India will include less turnaround time for maintenance, repair and overhaul, he added.