According to reliable industry sources close to, IAF and ADA are discussing the possibility of having a common Non-TVC and TVC Turbofan engine rated at 110kN with afterburner for both platforms to reduce the cost of the new engine development and also lower the cost of each unit due to the higher scale of production.

Initial pre-production Medium weight fighter (MWF) and Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) will be powered by GE Aero Engines-supplied F414-INS6 turbofan rated at 98kN with afterburner but the production variant for AMCA will require higher engine rated at 110kN with an afterburner which India plans to co-develop with foreign assistance based on established product in the near future soon.

Indian and the United States officials had multiple rounds of discussion on co-development of an engine based on the F414-INS6 turbofan engine which can be uprated to higher thrust capacity without much gain in weight and change in dimensions. but the talks stalled due to lack of progress in the transfer of technology (TOT) of Core section of the engine components, India also insists engine will be license assembled in India with Full TOT which US Administration is ok with but wants to hold on to its Intellectual property rights.

India already has received parallel offers from UK’s Rolls-Royce and France Safran and Russia. Rolls-Royce has offered uprated Eurojet engine which currently powers Euro-fighter Typhoon and Safran has offered uprated M-88-3 engine which powers Dassault Rafale fighter jets. Russia is also keen to offer its customized AL-41 engine downgraded to meet AMCA thrust class requirement.

MWF is likely to complete its first flight by 2023-24 and then enter production by 2026-27. New Uprated engine for AMCA will be required from 2025 on wards since by then the program might have moved from the first phase of Technology Demonstration to the second phase of the Prototype stage where all pre-production technologies prior to the production needs to be tested and certified.

AMCA will require two 110kN thrust class engine with Thrust vectoring control (TVC) but MWF will come with Non-TVC engine variant which will be at least 100kgs lighter. This new engine will be based on an established product only uprated to meet specific thrust requirements and can be developed and certified in less than 5 years and will be ready for production initially in the foreign industrial complex before its production moves to Indian facility.

IAF has requirement of nearly 200 MWF fighters which will be replacing bulk of Mig-29, Mirage-2000 and Jaguar fighter fleet from its current Inventory and has requirement for 120 AMCA fighter jets which will be supplementing Sukhoi-30MKI fleet post 2040. Combined engine requirement for both MWF and AMCA is around 1300 engines for their whole life time and each aircraft goes through at-least 3 engine change during its life time.

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