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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is about to ink a final contract with the Indian Air Force (IAF) for the purchase of 83 Upgraded Tejas Mk1ALFA fighter jets soon and soon after HAL also place fresh orders for additional 100+ F404-GE-IN20 afterburning engines to power upgraded jet and deal is likely to be concluded somewhere later in 2021. The value of the order is more than $600 million and follows an initial 2004 purchase of 17 F404-GE-IN20 that was followed by a 2007 purchase of 24 F404-GE-IN20 engines to power a limited series of operational production aircraft, naval prototypes, and IOC and FOC aircraft.

India in the Pre-Pokhran-II Nuclear Test era had acquired 11 F404-F2J3 engines that were the predecessor of the F404-GE-IN20 engines and were initially used on the TD and Prototypes of the LCA-Tejas aircraft. Sometime after 2010, Unverified reports also say that HAL had placed orders for 7 more additional F404-GE-IN20 engines for the first 40 aircraft that will enter in service with IAF but these original contracts had not factored in larger follow-up orders since F414-GE-INS6 were to be equipped on Tejas Mk2 that used the same airframe as Mk1.

idrw.org has been informed that once the contract is inked, General Electric will deliver the first batches of engines within 24 months of the contract and the later ones might be manufactured in India under transfer of technology arrangements. F404-GE-IN20 engines will also get minor refinements based on the feedback received from the Indian Air Force that has already inducted them.

HAL proposed Lead-in Fighter Trainer (LIFT) based on the LCA-Tejas Trainer version will also see the use of the same F404-GE-IN20 engine and it is likely that the new contract will address this issue and will have follow on order clause for additional engines in the future.

In 2010, General Electric also had won a contract for 99 F414-GE-INS6 engines to replace F404-GE-IN20 engines on the Tejas Mk2 variant instead later Tejas Mk1A with the same F404-GE-IN20 engines were proposed and approved while F414-GE-INS6 engines will now be used on proposed MWF-Mk2, TEDBF, and AMCA Mk1 jets.

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