US General Electric Engineers will be down in Bengaluru mid of next year to assists Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) technicians in the integration of the American supplied F414-INS6 engines for the LCA AF-Mk2 program as part of the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) commitment for the program said informed sources close to HAL plans to roll out the first LCA AF-Mk2 pre-production aircraft by August 2022 that will be followed up with series of ground trials of the aircraft before it is ready for its first flight in 2023.

Integration of the engine will be carried out by the HAL technicians under the supervision of the General Electric Engineers that will arrive from the United States. HAL already has received the first batch of F414-INS6 engine from GE a year ago and the engines have been kept in storage but are grounded tested and serviced at regular intervals as per service manuals of the OEM.

HAL already has started metal cutting exercise for manufacturing of the components for the LCA AF-Mk2 program and also has floated tender for procurement of 20 x 8 multi-touch screen Large Area Display (LAD) for the first two units and also has procured ground tools for assembly of the first aircraft. HAL plans to put the first aircraft on assembly jig in early 2022 and plans to roll out the first aircraft later in the year.

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