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Indigenous Tejas to be powered by foreign engines


A file photo of Tejas light combat aircraft.

NEW DELHI (BNS): The Defence Ministry has asked two global aeroengine manufacturers – General Electric and Eurojet Turbo GmbH – to place their bids before it within three months to supply 99 engines for the Mark-II version of indigenous Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA).

Of the two engines India seeks – GE F-414 INS5 and EJ-200 – eight will be bought from the manufacturers while 91 others will be produced at home under transfer of technology, according to a report in The Times of India.

This decision comes after the indigenous Kaveri engine failed to power the LCAs. DRDO, which was developing Kaveri had contended that the modified engines would provide “comparable thrust throughout the flight envelope of Tejas”.

“IAF, however, has suggested a proven engine that is already in production and flight-worthy for meeting immediate requirements. The RFP (request for proposal) has been issued to reputed engine manufacturers,” Defence Minister A K Antony told the Parliament on Monday.

Incidentally, two global fighter jets – American F/A-18 and Eurofighter – which have been in race for the big ticket MMRCA deal India is going to finalise, have been fitted with the GE F-414 INS5 and EJ-200 engines.

The Indian Air Force is banking on Tejas to plug the light-weight fighter gap in its combat fleet, the report added.

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