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The Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Tejas MkII program has an interesting backstory when it comes to its engine selection. While the American-made GE F414IN6 engine is set to power the program, it wasn’t always the IAF’s first choice.

Back in 2010, the Indian Air Force reportedly favored the European Eurojet EJ200 engine, the powerplant behind the formidable Eurofighter Typhoon. This preference stemmed from a desire to reduce dependence on a single foreign supplier, particularly for a critical component like a fighter jet engine.

However, the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), which manages the Tejas program, ultimately chose the GE F414IN6. The deciding factor? Price. The GE engine offered a more cost-effective option, a crucial consideration in large defense procurement projects.

Interestingly, the Tejas MkII program has undergone some changes since the initial engine selection. The aircraft’s weight has increased from 14.5 tons to 17.5 tons. This weight gain could have necessitated a more powerful engine. In this scenario, the additional 8kN of thrust offered by the F414IN6 compared to the EJ200 becomes a significant advantage.

Currently, 16 GE F414IN6 engines are being delivered fully built to propel Tejas MkII prototypes through ground and flight testing. A transfer of technology agreement with GE is also will be in place, paving the way for potential future production of these engines within India.