British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will travel to India in January, British prime minister hopes the trip will promote his Global Britain agenda after Brexit. While the key focus will remain to boost trade and investment ties. but the Indian defense community back home is buzzed with the possibility of some forward moment or surprise agreement between two governments for co-development of a new jet engine to power India’s 5.5th Generation fighter jet.

Post-Brexit, India and the UK have been exploring several options for jointly collaborating in defence projects and will soon finalise a government to government format for future defence deals. According to the UK Minister for Defence Procurement James Heappey while speaking to media earlier this year had said that “Soon there will be a government to government agreement related to collaboration in developing a jet engine.” Without elaborating further the visiting minister indicated that the announcement will come soon.

Later in the year, Louise Donaghey Senior Vice President – India and South Asia at Rolls-Royce had said that ” The agreement between India and UK government to create a new jet engine in India is likely to conclude soon, We are planning to change the game, close to an agreement between two governments to co-create a new jet engine, India will get the IP (Intellectual property)”.

Both India and the UK in 2017 had agreed to cooperate in the development of advanced defence projects including the gas turbine engine and air defence missile systems. Also, there is a collaborative project between engine maker Rolls Royce and Defence Research and Development Organisation on jet engine technology.

While DRDO and India have not denied such claims in the past nor have clarified on the subject, it has been long rumored and as informed to that, Rolls-Royce has offered to co-develop a new engine core from a new design particularly suited to work in optimal Indian humid conditions without seeing a drop in performance and also offered its thermal reduction technology for the rear stealth aspect. Hot core technology offered is not based on any particular engine technology but will be built on experience Rolls-Royce gained while working on EJ200 and F-135 engines with American partners.

Talks with Ameican General Electric and French Safran for co-development of a jet engine for AMCA was stalled years back without much progress over Transfer of Technology (ToT) and IP (Intellectual property) issues. While Americans are willing to settle for ToT of its F-414 Enhanced performance engine (EPE) but not on IP, While French have offered both but have quoted a very high price for Hot-core technology based on its current M-88-3 Engine while India insisted on a Newer design and had disagreements on Price too.

DRDO has identified that India’s 5.5th Generation AMCA Mk2 will require a jet engine that can produce an afterburner thrust of 110 KN.

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