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On June 22, President Joe Biden will welcome Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for an official state visit to the United States. The visit is seen as an opportunity to strengthen Indo-US military ties and reduce India’s dependence on Russian military hardware. One key development that is expected to be discussed during the visit is the clearance of General Electric’s proposed plans to locally manufacture its F414 engines in India.

Last week, it was reported that the US administration had made inquiries to General Electric regarding its plans to manufacture the F414 engine in India. The US government asked about the number of F414-powered fighter jets that India intends to procure and how it plans to enforce its intellectual property rights (IPR) in India, where General Electric has claimed complete transfer of technology (ToT) along with hot engine sections.

The F414 engines will power the Tejas MkII fighter jets that the Indian Air Force (IAF) plans to procure. The Tejas MkII jets will replace the IAF’s ageing fleet of Jaguars, Mig-29s, and Mirage-2000s by 2035. The IAF has committed to initially procuring 108 units of the Tejas MkII, but sources claim that the orders may eventually surpass 170 units in the next decade as the IAF builds up its combat fleet.

The move to locally manufacture the F414 engines in India is a significant step towards reducing India’s reliance on Russian military hardware, which has been a longstanding issue for the country. The proposed local manufacturing of the engines will not only help India build up its defence capabilities but also boost its domestic manufacturing sector.

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