The Eurojet consortium, which proposed its EJ200 engine during a tender process in 2008, was initially the preferred choice for the Tejas Mk2 program. This was because, even at that time, the EJ200 engine had a lower power output than the F-414 engine (98 kilonewtons). However, the F-414 engine had a larger diameter, which meant that it could potentially require modifications to the fuselage of the aircraft. As a result, the Tejas Mk2 program was considering the EJ200 engine as a viable alternative due to its more compact size.
The EJ200 engine, which incorporates a reheat system, was capable of producing only 90 kilonewtons of thrust. However, it was a lightweight engine that had a sufficient power-to-weight ratio when compared to the earlier version of the Tejas MkII aircraft, which was expected to have a maximum takeoff weight of just 15 tons.
In addition, the EJ200 engine was offered with Transfer of Technology (ToT) to India, allowing for local production. Furthermore, a prospective EJ2x0 Stage 2 engine, with an upgraded core section, was also offered to power India’s Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) fighter jet, with a reheated output of around 120 kN. This would be a significant improvement in power output, making the EJ200 engine a desirable choice for India’s advanced fighter jet program.
The EJ200 engine, while considered a strong contender for India’s Tejas Mk2 program, ultimately lost out to the F-414 engine due to pricing considerations. The Eurojet consortium was aware that their engine would not be the lowest bidder, given the higher price of European engines compared to American engines due to differences in production scale. However, the consortium was willing to match the price if India placed bulk orders.