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GE Aerospace is set to increase investments in its F-404 engine production line in anticipation of significant orders from both India and the United States. This move comes as India finalizes a deal for additional Tejas Mk1A fighter jets, each powered by the F404-IN20 engine variant.

The investment will focus on new tooling, refurbishment of existing machinery, and the acquisition of additional equipment. This will specifically target the production of F-404 engine blades and vanes, critical components for achieving optimal engine performance.

The primary driver for this production boost is India’s recent commitment to procure more 97 Tejas Mk1A fighter jets. The Tejas Mk1A relies on the F404-IN20 engine, a powerful variant of the F404 family that delivers 19,000 pounds of thrust. This variant boasts features like a high-flow fan, an advanced FADEC system, and single-crystal turbine blades, putting it at the forefront of jet engine technology.

Previously, production of the F404-IN20 had slowed due to a lack of orders. However, India’s renewed interest has reignited the production line. GE is now playing catch-up, aiming to steadily increase output to meet India’s needs.

Beyond India’s order, GE also anticipates major orders for the F404 engine from the USAF’s Boeing T-7A Red Hawk training program. The T-7A utilizes a variant of the F404 engine, the F404-GE-103, which generates 17,700 pounds of thrust. While offering slightly less thrust compared to the Tejas’ engine, the F404-GE-103 remains a powerful choice for training aircraft.

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