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The deal to jointly manufacture the potent GE F414-INS6 aero-engine in India for an upgraded version of India’s indigenous Tejas MkII fighter aircraft is inching closer to its conclusion. New details are emerging, shedding light on the level of Transfer of Technology (ToT) and the specific areas that will be covered by this agreement.

The Transfer of Technology for the F414 engine to India is expected to be around 78-80 per cent initially, with the potential to reach 100 per cent over the next decade or more. This progression will depend on the requirements of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s (HAL) ability to assimilate the advanced technology.

GE has provided a breakdown of the areas that will be covered under the Transfer of Technology for the F414 engine. This includes coating and machining of single crystal turbine blades, machining and coating of hot end parts, complete tech transfer for blisk machining, machining of powder metallurgy, polymer matrix composites, and laser drilling for combustion.

While HAL will have the opportunity to manufacture the engines, it is important to note that GE will retain the intellectual property rights (IPR) of the engine. Each engine produced by HAL will require pre-approval from GE. India is prohibited from making unauthorized modifications to the engine, but there is scope for collaboration to carry out further engine advancements that align with India’s specific requirements.

This collaboration marks a significant milestone in India’s efforts to enhance its indigenous defence capabilities. The GE F414-INS6 engine, with its advanced features and performance capabilities, will contribute to the improved operational capabilities of the Tejas MkII aircraft. The ToT component of the deal will not only boost India’s defence manufacturing capabilities but also foster technological self-reliance in the long run.

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