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GE Aerospace, a key partner in India’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas program, is gearing up for performance upgrades on the F404-IN20 engines powering the fighter jet. This move aims to enhance operational efficiency and potentially reduce lifecycle costs for the Indian Air Force.

While details remain under wraps, the planned advancements likely involve software upgrades and specific engine tweaks. While any increase in thrust levels can be ruled out. The focus, however, seems to be on optimizing existing functionalities and squeezing out greater efficiency from the F404-IN20.

Reduced lifecycle costs are a significant potential benefit of these upgrades. Improved fuel efficiency could translate into longer range and extended deployment durations for the Tejas, resulting in lower operational expenses. Additionally, optimized maintenance requirements could further contribute to cost savings.

The exact timeline for engine deliveries and upgrade testing remains unclear. Sources indicate major component replacements are unlikely, implying a potentially faster implementation timeframe. However, rigorous testing and validation procedures are inevitable before the upgraded engines see action in the Tejas fleet.

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