India and the US are about to sign a $700 million deal sealing the purchase of GE engines for HAL Tejas fighter jets.
The deal, touted to be a major development in US-India defense cooperation, is centered around the purchase of 100 General Electric F404 engines that would power the latest order of 83 Tejas light fighters placed by the Indian Air Force.
The details of the deal were revealed by the Economic Times, quoting unnamed sources within the Indian military. According to the newspaper, all issues were sorted out and the order for the engines would be placed “shortly”.
India has ordered a large batch of indigenously developed jets in January 2021, following up on other fighter jet purchases, made with France (for Dassault Rafales) and Russia (for MiG-29s). The country has been experiencing shortages of combat aircraft that could be deployed near the contested borders with Pakistan and China.
The General Electric F404, also known as GE 404, is a turbojet engine used in numerous military aircraft, including McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet, KAI T-50 Golden Eagle, and Northrop F-20 Tigershark.
Every variant of the HAL Tejas, including the latest Mark 1A, has been powered by the F404