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India’s pursuit of advanced fighter jet engines continues, with plans already underway to switch to newer engines after 2040. While General Electric awaits final clearance from the US administration for the transfer of Technology (ToT) to power the Mk II version of the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft, India has set its sights on developing higher-thrust engines for its future fighter programs.

The upcoming engines will be crucial in meeting increased power requirements and accommodating the adoption of new high-energy weapons systems. Although the F414 GE engine deal for local production is significant, India anticipates the eventual transition to a more powerful 110kN thrust engine for the Tejas MkII, TEDBF, and AMCA programs.

India is currently engaged in three concurrent fighter jet programs, two for the Air Force and one for the Navy. While the acquisition of the F414 GE engine would enable local production, sources indicate that a shift to a new 110kN thrust engine is inevitable for both the Tejas MkII and TEDBF programs. The upgrade is necessary to meet the increased power demands resulting from the incorporation of advanced weapons systems in the future stages of these fighter jet programs.

Under the ambitious Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) program, India aims to develop an indigenous fifth-generation fighter aircraft. As part of this program, a new 110-120kN thrust engine is being developed for the AMCA MkII variant.

The production of this engine is expected to commence around 2035, following the scaling of production lines. Once available, it will replace the F414 engines initially in the AMCA MkI and subsequently in the Tejas MkII and TEDBF jets during their respective engine upgrade cycles. This strategic move not only benefits from economies of scale but also ensures the fulfilment of future power requirements for these fighter jet programs.

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