Thursday, June 13, 2024

GE Aerospace & HAL Forge Strong Partnership For LCA

By Staff Correspondent

In a statement released today, GE Aerospace has publicised the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to the US, marking a significant step in their defence partnership.

This collaborative pact lays the groundwork for potential co-production of GE Aerospace’s high-performance F414 engines on Indian soil, subject to necessary export permissions from the US government. This move aligns with the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Mark 2 program goals.

H. Lawrence Culp, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GE and CEO of GE Aerospace, described the partnership as “historic”, cemented through many years of mutual trust and collaboration with India and HAL. Culp highlighted the contribution this partnership will make to the shared vision of President Biden and Prime Minister Modi for strengthening ties between the nations. The CEO added that the “unmatched” F414 engines will provide significant economic and national security advantages for both nations, assisting their military customers in manufacturing superior quality engines for their fleet.

Having established a robust presence in India over the past forty years, GE Aerospace has a broad portfolio in the region, including engines, avionics, services, engineering, manufacturing, and local sourcing. Today’s agreement will likely boost the existing workload at various US facilities involved in the F414 engine production.

Since 1986, GE has worked with the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and HAL on India’s LCA program, using F404 engines. GE Aerospace’s F404 and F414 engines have featured prominently in the development and production programs of LCA Mk1 and LCA Mk2. So far, 75 F404 engines have been delivered, with an additional 99 set for the LCA MK1A, along with eight F414 engines delivered for the LCA Mk2 development program.

This new agreement strengthens GE Aerospace’s previous commitment to building 99 engines for the IAF under the LCA Mk2 program, enabling the company to potentially expand its product range in India. It may lead to more orders for the F404 engine that powers the LCA Mk1 and LCA MK1A aircraft. GE Aerospace has also been chosen for the prototype development, testing, and certification of the AMCA program with the F414-INS6 engine. GE will continue working closely with the Indian government on the AMCA Mk2 engine program.

Over five million flight hours and customers from eight different countries underscore the F414 engine’s exceptional reliability and durability. To date, over 1,600 F414 engines have been delivered globally.

GE’s footprint in India extends to the John F Welch Technology Centre in Bengaluru, which has been operational since 2000, and the Multi-modal Factory in Pune, launched in 2015.

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