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The race for India’s next-generation fighter jet engine has intensified as French aerospace giant Safran has upped its offer. Following their proposal for complete technology transfer (ToT) for the joint development of an engine for the Indian Multi-Role Helicopter (IMRH) program, Safran has extended the same offer for the much-anticipated 5th generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) program.

This move by Safran positions them as a frontrunner in the competition, which also includes established names like General Electric (US) and Rolls-Royce (UK). The key differentiator is the 100% ToT, including Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), offered by France.

With full technology transfer, India’s Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) and its domestic engine partners will gain the expertise to manufacture the jet engine entirely within the country. India will have the liberty to modify and improve engine components without seeking permission from Safran. This fosters long-term self-reliance and the ability to adapt the engine to future needs.

Safran has proposed co-development of a new 6th generation engine specifically designed for the AMCA, not based on existing models like the M-88 used in Rafale jets. This ensures access to cutting-edge technology.

The desired engine specifications are ambitious. India seeks an engine with 75kN of dry thrust and a staggering 110-130kN of wet thrust. This powerful engine could not only power the AMCA MkII and potential 6th generation fighter jets but also be a future upgrade option for existing aircraft like the Tejas MkII and Rafale.

Safran’s comprehensive ToT offer is a strategic move, aiming to establish a long-term partnership with India. By enabling India to achieve self-reliance in jet engine technology, Safran positions itself as a preferred supplier for future Indian fighter jet programs.

While Safran’s offer is undoubtedly enticing, India will likely evaluate proposals from all contenders before making a final decision. Factors like cost, engine performance, and the experience of each manufacturer will be carefully considered.

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