GE Aviation engine bid lowest for India’s jet fighter


Bangalore : General Electric’s subsidiary GE Aviation was declared the lowest bidder for supplying engines to power India’s second generation Tejas fighters, the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Mark-2, a senior official said Thursday.

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“GE Aviation emerged as the lowest bidder for supplying about 100 engines (GE-414) to fit into the LCA Mk-2,” Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Chief Controller (R&D) Prahlada told IANS here.

Europe’s Eurojet, a sister concern of Eurofighter that manufactures jet engines for its Typhoon fighter, was the other bidder short-listed for the multi-billion rupee tender after the global tender that was was floated in 2009 by the Indian defence ministry.

“Price negotiations and contract finalisation will be worked in the next two months,” Prahlada said. “GE Aviation will deliver 20 GE-414 engines from 2014 and the rest will be manufactured in India under transfer of technology to our defence establishments.”

According to a statement by the state-run DRDO, the price negotiating committee for the alternate engine declared GE Aviation the lowest bidder after commercial quotes of both the bidders were compared following evaluation and acceptance of their technical offer.

“We have decided to go for a new engine for the LCA Mk-2 after the Indian Air Force (IAF) sought a better engine with higher rate of performance in terms of speed, thrust and vector than GE-404 engines being used in LCA Mark-1,” Prahlada pointed out.

The IAF has placed an order with the defence behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) to supply 40 Tejas fighters.

“The GE-414 engines will be developed by the Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) in Bangalore in collaboration with other DRDO agencies such as Aeronautical Development Agency and HAL,” Prahlada said.

The Kaveri engine, which is in the advance stage of development at GTRE, will be fitted in the first generation LCA Mk-1.