SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK (INN)
Under Defence Technology and Trade Initiative, (DTTI) talks Washington has agreed to assist Delhi in sharing, designing and developing jet engines for aircraft.
New engine most likely will be for Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) which is a single-seat, twin-engine fifth-generation stealth multirole fighter which will be developed by India. Final design work of AMCA has been completed and final design model of the aircraft will be showcased in soon to be held Aero India 2015 this month after which Government of India will officially grant funds for the project .
According to DRDO Two 110 kN thrust class engines will be adequate enough to power AMCA but DRDO to be on a safer side will actually demand engine which can produce thrust of 115-120 kN to leave sufficient margins for possible weight gain or possible changes later asked by User in the aircraft and its ability to meet ASR (Air Staff Requirements ) issued by Indian Air Force for AMCA requirements .
India already has contracted US’s General Electric Aviation a world’s leading manufacturer of jet engines to supply F414-INS6 jet engine which can produce thrust in class of 98kN to power MKII version of the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft. GE already has supplied F404-GE-IN20 which can produce thrust in class of 84 kN which currently powers Tejas MK-1 variants.
US and India likely jointly will develop an Enhanced Engine variant of original F414 which will incorporate additional technical advancements which will see significant reduction in ownership costs, and up to 20 percent increase in thrust which will also see improved fuel consumption.
GE on its table will have two proposals one being that of F414-EDE (Enhanced Durability Engine) which will generate up to 20% more thrust by increasing fan airflow with the EDE hardware configuration engine will also have 6 stages, down from 7.
General Electric is also working on new F414-EPE (Enhanced Performance Engine) which will have a new core and a redesigned fan and compressor. Enhanced engine will offer up to a 20 percent thrust boost, increasing it to 26,400 pounds (120 kN).
Partial Transfer of Technology (TOT)?
US likely will agree on 50 % TOT which means Core technology of the new engine will remain with them and other components will be produced by Indian companies and final assembly will be allowed to take place in India. India will ask for “hot-engine technology.” technology which allows fighter jets to operate in hot weather conditions like in deserts without any possibility of an engine failure. India will also contribute to redesign air intakes of the engine to minimise radar reflection from the compression fan, reducing the radar cross section and make it suitable for a stealth fighter jet.
India’s plans to pull in French Engine major Snecma to develop New engine few years back fell through due to High cost involved in the Joint Venture and Order commitment asked by France for the engines. TOT level offered by France for engine which was to be developed based on Snecma M88-2 core was similar to what India will get from US with lower investment said sources close to idrw.org. While India and US are still discussing level of TOT which will be involved it will very difficult for India to get the same level of TOT which it was able to get from Russia on AL-31F engines which powers Sukhoi-Su-30. aircrafts.
While Both parties are engaged in initial talks with each other, India will have to get maximum TOT for engine technology from US, we might not get what Russians have offered us in TOT of engine technology, but we are clearly not considering any Russian engine to power AMCA so other offers like that of Eurojet which is also offering further development of EJ-200 engines to India, should be considered and It will be wise to study their proposal before we agree to work with Americans.