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Significance of the deal between Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and General Electrics (GE)

In Modi’s state visit to the USA. India is awarded many deals in defence, science and technology, Superconductor chip and many more.

The deal which is catching attention is the deal between HAL   Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd and GE General Electrics, where India would get 11 technologies as per GE- HAL deal.

The most crucial deal between them is to produce jointly produce fighter jet engines for Indian Air Force’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)-Mk-II — Tejas.

 

So here we are going to talk about the significance of the deal between GE and HAL in the context of India-US relations

 

Here we will try to find some basic questions

 

  • History of cooperation between General Electrics and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd
  • What technologies are mentioned in the deal?
  • Features of LCA MKII combat aircraft
  • Importance of F414 engine for Indian Light Combat Aircraft MKII
  • Why this deal is important for India’s Tejas?
  • On what conditions USA agreed to share its most important technology

 

History of Cooperation between General Electrics and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd

 

In 1986, GE began working with the Aeronautical Development Agency and HAL to support the development of India’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) with F404 engines. Subsequently, GE Aerospace’s F404 and F414 have been part of the development and production programs of LCA Mk1 and LCA Mk2 programs. In total, 75 F404 engines have been delivered and another 99 are on order for LCA Mk1A. Eight F414 engines have been provided as part of an ongoing development program for LCA Mk2 as stated in the press release of GE Aerospace

 

Technologies mentioned in the deal

 

There are total 11 technologies which are part of the GE- HAL fighter jet engine deal and these are special coatings for corrosion, erosion and thermal barrier for hot end; machining and coating for single crystal turbine blades; machining and coating of nozzle guide vanes and other hot end parts; blisk machining; machining of powder metallurgy discs for turbine; machining thin-walled titanium casing; friction/inertia welding for fan & afterburner; PMC (polymer matrix composites) for bypass duct; machining & coating of CMC (ceramic matrix composites) for nozzle; laser drilling technology for combustor; and bottle boring of shafts, as per sources said.

 

 

Features of LCA MKII combat aircraft

LCA MK II combat aircraft & F414 engine
LCA MK II combat aircraft

 

A senior official from the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), which comes under the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) mentioned that:

 

  • It can carry capable of carrying eight Beyond-Visual-Range (BVR) missiles along with native all native weapons, as well as a variety of advanced weapons from other countries
  • LCA Mk2 will be able to integrate unique weapons from various countries
  • LCA Mk2 will have a weapon-carrying capacity of 6.5 tonnes,
  • It is  able to carry a mix of weapons, including beyond visual range air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground missiles, heavy precision-guided weapons and conventional bombs
  • It includes features such as include superior radar, enhanced fuel capacity, unified electronic warfare suite, indigenous flight control actuators, improved digital flight control computer and better cockpit displays,

Importance of F414 engines in LCA MKII combat aircraft

LCA MK II combat aircraft & F414 engine
F414

 

 

 

The most important deal is the production of F414 engines for Indian Light Combat Aircraft.

The agreement includes the potential joint production of GE Aerospace’s F414 engines in India and there is a deal regarding 80% of the transfer of production technology.

 

F414 engines are used by the US Navy for more than 30 years. This is very useful as far as various combat missions are concerned. Due to its versatility F414 is regarded as the choice of armed forces around the globe. It is the choice of advanced, next-generation combat aircraft.

The F414-INS6 was selected by India’s Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) to power the MKII version of the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft.

As per the statement of GE Aerospace, this agreement will advance GE Aerospace’s earlier commitment to build 99 engines for the Indian Air Force as part of the LCA Mk2 program.

It puts the company in a strong position to create a family of products in India, including the F404 engine that currently powers the LCA Mk1 and LCA Mk1A aircraft and GE Aerospace’s selection for the prototype development, testing and certification of the AMCA program with our F414-INS6 engine.

 

In addition, GE will continue to collaborate with the Indian government on the AMCA Mk2 engine program.

 

Importance of deal in India’s LCA MKII combat aircraft

India’s aspiration to produce light combat aircraft Tejas since the 1980s has struggled.

In 2000s HAL turned to GE’s F404 engine to power its aircraft. This was the predecessor of F414

India has not mastered the technology and metallurgy that is needed to manufacture the engine which is used to power combat aircraft.

Usually, those who have it are always unwilling to share.

So this deal becomes historic and path-breaking because for the first time, some country is willing to share 80% of technology and also it will be produced in India.

 

Why USA agreed to share F414

To understand this we have to look that how India and USA come closer since the India US  Nuclear deal.

During the cold war relations between India and USA were hostile, the USA objected to India’s nuclear test and also put sanctions.

During the war with Pakistan in 1971 the USA also threatened India.

But gradually India and USA get closer to each other post-1991. To some extent, terrorism also played a role to bring them closer. Both countries were victims of terrorism.

India  and USA’s relationship got pushed when India US Nuclear deal began and here both started to drop their hesitation since then there’s been no comeback

Now the USA  considered India as a major defence partner” in 2016 and New Delhi’s military purchases from the United States passed $20 billion in 2020 from near-zero in 2008.

Since India and USA both considered China as a threat so both have a reason to be closer.

Besides that India is a part of QUAD.  The USA wanted to have India to keep China in check. India and China’s relationship is growing grimmer after the Galwan Valley attack.

Also, India has a long relationship with Moscow but since the war began in Ukraine India never criticized Russia as the West expected and maintained to purchase cheap oil from Russia.

So to bring India into their camp USA is ready to have a seductive deal for India.

 

 

Links:

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-set-to-get-11-key-technologies-as-part-of-fighter-jet-engine-deal-8669804/

 

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/govt-clears-lca-mk2-fighter-s-development-101661969910161.html

 

https://www.geaerospace.com/press-release/military-engines/ge-aerospace-signs-mou-hindustan-aeronautics-limited-produce-fighter

 

https://www.geaerospace.com/

 

https://hal-india.co.in/

 

https://www.geaerospace.com/propulsion/military/f414

 

https://www.businesstoday.in/latest/corporate/story/ge-signs-deal-with-hal-to-produce-fighter-jet-engines-for-indian-air-force-386701-2023-06-22

 

https://www.reuters.com/business/aerospace-defense/why-ge-plan-make-fighter-jet-engines-india-is-big-deal-2023-06-22/

 

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/lca-tejas-mk2-can-carry-8-bvr-missiles-integrate-french-russian-weapons-official-8461499/

 

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/how-to/why-ge-plan-to-make-fighter-jet-engines-in-india-is-a-big-deal/articleshow/101199026.cms?from=mdr

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/explained-why-is-the-us-india-fighter-jet-deal-important/article67006210.ece

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