SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK
India’s plans to develop a 26 tons Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF) for carrier-based operations seems to have caught the attention of the General Electric sales officials as the company gears up in anticipation for fresh orders for its F404-GE-IN20 (84 kN) engines that will be used to power 83 Tejas Mk1A fighter jets that were recently cleared by the Modi Government.
For the TEDBF program too India has decided to use Two F414-INS6 (98 kN) engines, but General Electric sales officials sensing an opportunity are preparing to offer India its F414-GE-400 engines that were previously known as F414 Enhanced Engines. F414-GE-400 engines combine the proven reliability, maintainability, and operability of their successful F414 predecessor and now comes with up to 35 percent more thrust.
F414-GE-400 is a 116 kN Thrust class engine that can provide significant improvements in aircraft performance, survivability, and payload over F414-INS6 (98 kN) engines that India plans to procure for the TEDBF program. US Navy is footing the bill for the development of F414-GE-400 engines for its Super Hornet F/A-18 warfare aircraft, which will be ready for deliveries by 2024 to the US Navy that has already ordered 48 engines.
idrw.org has been informed that F414-GE-400 (116 kN) engines will be Plug and Play for all aircraft that are currently been powered by the F414-INS6 (98 kN) series engines since both the engines will have the same length and diameters and weight, that it doesn’t require any changes to the undercarriage of the aircraft nor its Air-intakes, for it to be integrated. F414-GE-400 also offers same fuel efficacy as F414-INS6 when engine is in normal power mode. In short it will be compatible with engine bay section of Tejas MK2, TEDBF and AMCA Mk1 and Mk2,requering minimum changes to its internals.
General Electric developed F414-INS6 (98 kN) engines already has been selected by India’s Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) to power the 17.5 tons Tejas MK2 version under development and already dozen-plus engines have been shipped to India in last two years. Under Tejas MK2 Program, GE will be able to secure fresh orders for more than 99 engines over the previous order of 99 engines awarded in 2010, as IAF has put requirements of 170 Tejas MK2 when it is ready for production.
India has plans to develop a new engine locally with a 110 kN class thrust for the AMCA Mk2 fighter program that will go into production from 2035 onwards that eventually be replacing GE engines on the Tejas Mk2 and TEDBF Programs in later stages when they’re due for engine replacement after 10 years in operational service. AMCA Mk1 will be powered by F414-INS6 (98 kN) engines, if India agrees to procure F414-GE-400 (116 kN) engines for its TEDBF program, then the same may be used to power AMCA Mk1 fighter jets too that IAF is planning to procure in limited numbers of Two Squadrons.
Each Tejas Mk1/A, Mk2, TEDBF, AMCA Mk1/2 aircraft will require 2.5 engines over its lifetime of 40 years and GE is looking to crack deals worth billions over the lifetime of these jets unless India can develop a local alternative engine for its fighter jets programs. India and UK are having talks with the development of core engine technologies for the development of an engine that can be used to power AMCA Mk2 with the same thrust capabilities as F414-GE-400 (116 kN) engines and informed sources close to idrw.org wonder it could be a ploy by General Electric to offer lucrative deal so as to secure more orders for its engines rather than let India invest in its engine program with aero engine rivals in the segment, specially after talks between India and the United states on co-development of new engine based on baseline GE’s F414 engines were stalled due to Core-engine Transfer of Technology (ToT) disagreements.
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