India, France May Jointly Design, Develop Engines for Fighter Jets

Foreign Affairs

New Delhi: Ahead of the Prime Minister Modi’s visit to France, defence major Safran has received the green signal to jointly design, develop, test, manufacture, and finally certify an engine with India that will empower twin-engine advanced multi-role combat aircraft (AMCA) and the twin-engine deck-based fighter for Indian aircraft carriers. According to a media report, officials have confirmed about the 100% transfer of technology offered by Safran.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit France on July 13 to attend the Bastille Day celebrations. He is expected to hold bilateral talks with President Emmanuel Macron on July 13. The Indian Air Force’s Rafale fighter will be participating in the Bastille Day fly-past on July 14.

Recently, on the sidelines of the Paris Air Show 2023, DRDO chief Dr Samir V Kamat paid a special visit to the Safran engine factory and the R&D centre near Paris. The engine proposal has been under discussion between the defence minister and NSA-led strategic dialogue with France.

According to the media report, the French offer includes a completely new engine, new materials, new architecture, with full supply chains, and ancillary manufacturing based in India. Besides, it also includes Safran setting up a centre of excellence in gas turbine technology in India with full design and metallurgical precision software tools.

The offer is synchronised with upcoming Safran’s facility in Hyderabad to maintain repair and overhaul (MRO) LEAP engines for the A320 and Boeing 737 aircraft. The French company is already working on a 125 KN engine for the next-generation fighter jet.

Safran engines power the helicopters made by HAL and the two companies are reported to have agreed to jointly develop the engine for Indian multi-role helicopters.

US-based GE Aerospace signed a memorandum of understanding with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited last week to produce fighter jet engines for the Indian Air Force during PM Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States. As per the new agreement, Aerospace’s F414 engines will be co-produced in India to power the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft Mk2.