Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with General Electric chairman H Lawrence Culp Jr in Washington during his first official visit, the latter announced that the company has signed a pact with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to produce fighter jet engines for the Indian Air Force.
A press released issued by GE Aerospace said that the agreement includes the potential joint production of GE Aerospace’s F414 engines in India, and GE Aerospace continues to work with the U.S. government to receive the necessary export authorization for this. The effort is part of the Indian Air Force’s Light Combat Aircraft Mk2 program.
It further said that the its Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is "a major milestone" amid Prime Minister Modi's state visit to the US and a "key element in strengthening defense cooperation between the two countries".
GE Aerospace operations in India
GE Aerospace has operated in India for more than four decades with wide engagement in the industry including engines, avionics, services, engineering, manufacturing, and local sourcing.
"In addition to potential new work in India, a number of U.S. facilities that currently support work on the F414 engine will see additional volume as a result of today’s announcement," the press release said.
The GE began working with the Aeronautical Development Agency and HAL in 1989 to support the development of India's Light Combat Aircraft with F404 engines.
"Today’s agreement will advance GE Aerospace’s earlier commitment to build 99 engines for the Indian Air Force as part of the LCA Mk2 program," the announcement read.