Paths to secure fighter engine supply

Spitfire9

Regular Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2021
Messages
169
Likes
412
Country flag
India plans to produce several hundred Mk1A, MWF, TEDBF, AMCA and possibly ORCA fighters. The Kaveri project has not resulted in an engine suitable for use in the Tejas, so all designs except AMCA Mk2 are planned to be powered by GE404 or GE414 engines giving the following thrusts:

GE404 53.9 kN (12,100 lbf) thrust dry, 90 kN (20,200 lbf) with afterburner
GE414 58.5 kN (13,200 lbf) thrust dry, 98 kN (22,000 lbf) with afterburner

GE engines are subject to the US government approving their export to India. Approval can be suspended or terminated for political or for economic reasons. This puts India in a precarious position.

How can India best find alternatives to using American engines? Current proposed possibilities are:

Collaboration with SAFRAN to complete development of the Kaveri engine
Collaboration with RR to develop an engine to power AMCA

With an increase in wet thrust Kaveri would be suitable for Tejas and Tejas Mk1A but what is the likelihood of it being available before all Mk1A aircraft ordered by IAF have been delivered? If production versions of the engine are too late to use in Tejas Mk1A production, is it worth finishing Kaveri development?

A joint RR/Indian 110kN engine would be suitable for use in AMCA Mk2 and with Mk2 not scheduled for production until the 2030's, it could be available in good time for production.

Should India bite the bullet and invest very heavily in securing the freedom to manufacture and further develop (having IP rights) these engines? What about substitution of GE414 with an Indian engine - should a power boosted Kaveri be developed or a derated version of the proposed new 110kN engine be used?
 

Spitfire9

Regular Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2021
Messages
169
Likes
412
Country flag
In addition, if India owns the engine IP, India can choose to export fighters to states that might be on a US blacklist.
 

Latest Replies

Global Defence

New threads

Articles

Top