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SOURCE: RAJESH AHUJA / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

It seemed for a while that French Safran was in talks with India’s GTRE to jointly develop a 125 kN thrust class engine for the AMCA program but recent joint statements after the visit of the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to India, talked about a joint venture for the development of new engine but again it is still not clear with whom India will be developing a new engine for the AMCA program.

Both Safran and Rolls-Royce have been assigned to develop next-generation fighter jet engines for the 6th gen fighter jet programs that are been divided into two groups in the European Union that are both working in separate 6th gen programs called FCAS program that involves Spain, Germany, and France, while the Tempest team consists of the United Kingdom, Italy, and Sweden.

Both programs will require next-gen engines that can generate thrust range from 120-145kN with an afterburner engaged, while specifications for the engine are yet to be made public, but both companies have revealed plans to develop a radical state-of-the-art jet engine that will feature an electrical starter-generator that was fully embedded in the core of a gas turbine engine to meet power demand and thermal loads since 6th gen jets are likely to carry lasers and other energy weapons, advanced sensors and avionics, and swarming technologies.

Dr. AK GHOSH Project Director (Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft), Aeronautical Development Agency recently confirmed that talks are being held with prospective partners that have offered joint venture, and once the contract is signed a new engine will be ready in 7-8 years. With full Transfer of Technology, the engine will be used not only for the AMCA program but also on the Navy’s TEDBF program and even on Tejas Mk2 aircraft when it is due for a new engine.

It is expected that the contract might be signed in 2023 so that a workable engine is ready by 2031 when the AMCA Mk2 program will be under development that will feature new high thrust engines. Since both Safran and Rolls-Royce are already working on the next-gen engines for their respective 6th gen fighter jet programs, It will be interesting to see what core tech will be used as a base for the development of a new engine for the AMCA program.

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