India is ready to sign another major defense agreement with the United States (US), valued at $ 700 million, to acquire the engines that will power the 83 Tejas Mk-1A light combat aircraft, contracted in January from the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
According to sources, all supply-related problems have been resolved and India will soon place an order for 100 of the GE 404 engines.
American engines already power the Mk-1 version of the LCA which is in service with the Indian Air Force and would be a perfect fit for the latest variant of the local fighter.
The contract with GE Aviation is expected to be signed this year, making it the largest defense agreement with the US since February 2020, when India placed orders for MH-60 Sikorsky Romeo multi-role helicopters and helicopters from Apache attack during a visit by then-President Donald Trump.
Based on the F404-GE-402, the F404-GE-IN20 is a model developed according to Indian specifications, for the HAL Tejas program. It equipped the pre-production and test specimens, as well as the previous Mk1 variant as standard.
This F404 model is the most powerful of the family, delivering 84 kn (more than 8,500 kg) of thrust at full post-combustion. It includes a higher airflow, higher thrust fan, a Full Authority Digital Electronic Control (FADEC) system, mono-crystalline turbine blades, and a wide variety of advanced features.
The F404 family of combat engines is one of the most successful in the history of military aviation. More than 4,000 F404 engines power various fighter jets from the United States Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, as well as countries in Europe, Asia and Africa.