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GE Aerospace will be providing support for the supply of components for the F-404 engines that will power the Tejas Mk1A fighter jets. As part of this initiative, a dedicated engine test facility will be established at the base depot level to cater to the fleet’s requirements.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the state-owned aerospace company, had previously placed an order for 99 F404-GE-IN20 engines worth $716 million. These engines will be utilized in the production of 83 indigenous LCA Mk1A Tejas light combat aircraft. HAL had previously procured 45 F404 engines from GE and was responsible for providing fleet support to the Indian Air Force (IAF) on behalf of GE.

However, the IAF has now decided to directly engage with GE for procuring spares, and components, and conducting overhaul and maintenance activities for the F-404 engines. The IAF’s decision to bypass HAL stems from its desire to establish a direct relationship with the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). This approach enables better inventory management of spare parts and provides direct access to after-sales support for the engines. Furthermore, as the Tejas Mk1A fleet is expected to expand, with over 50 additional jets planned for procurement, direct dealing with GE allows for streamlined logistical and support arrangements.

It is important to note that the F-404 engines are procured off the shelf, unlike the F-414 engines, which are locally assembled or manufactured in India. The F-404 engines do not come with a transfer of technology (ToT) agreement for the program.

This development marks a shift in the IAF’s procurement and support strategy, emphasizing direct engagement with the OEM for enhanced efficiency and effectiveness in managing the Tejas Mk1A fleet.

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