SOURCE: IDRW.ORG TEAM
India is currently facing a critical challenge as it addresses significant delays in the delivery of F404 engines manufactured by General Electric (GE) Aerospace. These engines power the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas-Mk IAs fighter jets, and their timely delivery is essential to meet the delivery schedules of the these indigenous fighter aircraft that will commence from February 2024 onwards.
General Electric (GE) Aerospace has been a longstanding supplier of F404 engines for India’s Tejas program. To date, the company has delivered 75 F404 engines to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the state-owned manufacturer of the Tejas, since start of the Program in late 80’s. However, a critical order for 99 F404-GE-IN20 engines, featuring enhanced thrust, was placed in 2021 Valued at $716 million with deliveries expected to commence from August of the current year, but till November it has happened yet.
The delay in the supply of F404-GE-IN20 engines will be raised by the Indian government at At “2+2” Dialogue. Notably, officials have pointed out that the United States has been supplying South Korea’s demand for the same engines, as demonstrated in their supersonic trainer T-50 Golden Eagle program.
As per the 2021 contractual obligation, HAL was tasked with supplying 83 LCA Mk IAs to the Indian Air Force by 2029. However, due to increased production capacity, the delivery timeline was accelerated. Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, Chief of the Indian Air Force, recently announced the consideration of acquiring an additional 97 Tejas Mk-IAs, highlighting the high demand for these indigenous fighter aircraft. This procurement is estimated to be worth 67,000 crore, underscoring the urgency of expediting engine deliveries.
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