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US, India agree on F414 engine co-production

GE Aerospace is working with the US government to secure the necessary export authorisation for the joint production of its F414-INS6 engine with India. (GE Aerospace)

The leaders of the United States and India have announced agreements to accelerate defence industrial co-operation including the potential joint production of General Electric (GE) F414 engines for future combat aircraft.

The agreements were made following discussions between US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Washington on 22 June.

A keystone of the accords is a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) between GE Aerospace and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to produce fighter jet engines for the Indian Air Force (IAF). The US also confirmed New Delhi's plans to procure General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) MQ-9B high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

GE Aerospace said the MOU is a “major milestone” of Modi's visit to the US and a “key element in strengthening defence co-operation” between the two countries. According to the company, the agreement includes the “potential joint production” of GE Aerospace's 98 kN F414-INS6 engines in India.

“GE Aerospace continues to work with the US government to receive the necessary export authorisation for this,” the company said. It added that the agreement will “advance” its earlier commitment to build 99 F414-INS6 engines for the IAF for the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas Mk 2 programme.

GE Aerospace added that the MOU will also support the selection of the F414-INS6 for the prototype development, testing, and certification of India's fifth-generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) project. “GE will continue to collaborate with the Indian government on the AMCA Mk 2 engine programme,” the company said.

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