Indian ADA to roll Tejas Mark II prototype with F-414 engine by 2024 end | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Indian ADA to roll Tejas Mark II prototype with F-414 engine by 2024 end

Jun 21, 2023 10:34 AM IST

After the GE-HAL MoU is signed tomorrow, the Indian PSU will have to meet the challenge of manufacturing 500 engines for Mark II, AMCA, TEDBF fighters.

On the eve of historic India-US F-414 jet engine deal, both Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) have geared up to produce Tejas Mark II fighter by 2027-28 with the former ready to roll out the GE-414 powered prototype by 2024 end. The GE-414 engine, which will be manufactured in India under 100 per cent transfer of technology (TOT) after approval from US Congress, will power not only Tejas Mark II but twin engine advanced multi-role combat aircraft (AMCA-I) and twin-engine deck based fighter (TEDBF).

This is a model of Tejas Mark II.
This is a model of Tejas Mark II.

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Given that India has plans to produce at least six squadrons of Mark II fighters for the Indian Air Force after 83 F-404 powered Tejas Mark I A have been produced and handed over to the military. With eight F-414 jet engines already procured by the ADA, design frozen, critical design review already approved by the IAF, the agency will roll out the Mark II prototype by 2024 end for testing and operational clearance.

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As PM Narendra Modi and his national security team has been able to deliver on F-414 engine through the “Make in India” route, the HAL has girded up for the upcoming challenge as the PSU will focus only on manufacturing the GE engine as no less that 500 aircraft engines have to be produced in India. It is understood that the HAL Bengaluru division and even the Nashik division may be tasked to take up the job and start production in collaboration with the GE. HAL already has experience in manufacturing aircraft engines as it was assembling AL31 FP afterburning turbofan engines for Russian SU-30 MKI assembly in India.

According to experts, HAL will fully focus on production of Mark II fighter as well as GE-414 engine after the production line of Mark I A tapers off.

The American defence major General Electric and HAL will sign an MoU for manufacture of F-414 engine on July 22 and exchange instruments before Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden in Washington.

While the ADA under the DRDO is confident that it will deliver on Mark II on time, pressure will now be on HAL to energize the workers of PSU to meet the challenge ahead. Even as the engine will have to be produced by GE-HAL, the government may think of a special purpose vehicle to produce Mark II fighters to meet the deadlines of the IAF.

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    Author of Indian Mujahideen: The Enemy Within (2011, Hachette) and Himalayan Face-off: Chinese Assertion and Indian Riposte (2014, Hachette). Awarded K Subrahmanyam Prize for Strategic Studies in 2015 by Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) and the 2011 Ben Gurion Prize by Israel.

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