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French Aerospace Engine manufacturer Safran has emerged as a key player in the development of advanced engines for India’s next-generation fighter jets. Safran has offered to co-develop a new after-burning turbofan engine for India’s 5th generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) fighter jet. What sets this engine apart is Safran’s claim that it can be upgraded for future platforms without requiring significant changes to the core of the engine.

One of the major advantages of Safran’s proposed engine is its compatibility with future technologies. The company plans to integrate cutting-edge technologies into the engine that would allow for seamless upgrades without the need for extensive modifications to the core structure. This ensures that the engine remains adaptable and can be incorporated into future fighter jet platforms.

Additionally, Safran aims to offer various offshoots of this engine for France’s 6th generation fighter jet program, which it is jointly developing with MTU. These offshoots include advanced thermal signature management systems that can reduce the radar cross-section of the fighter jet without the reliance on thrust vectoring nozzles. This technology enhances the stealth capabilities of the aircraft, providing a significant advantage in modern combat scenarios.

During a briefing with the Indian team from the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and AMCA, Safran emphasized that the engine will be optimized to operate efficiently in the dry and humid conditions prevalent in India. It will maintain its thrust even in the hottest summer conditions while incorporating improved cooling mechanisms to ensure optimal performance at higher thrust levels.

The offered Safran engine boasts an upgrade potential from its initial thrust rating of 110kN to 120kN without requiring major changes to its core. This allows for additional power and flexibility without compromising the engine’s integrity. Furthermore, with significant modifications to the core, the engine’s thrust can be increased up to 130kN, making it suitable for potential future platforms beyond the AMCA.

Notably, the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and the Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) have also expressed interest in developing a high-bypass turbofan engine based on the same 110-120kN engine. This engine variant is expected to find applications in projects like the domestically developed RTA-90 (Regional Transport Aircraft-90) or a proposed transport aircraft based on the RTA platform.

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