India, US to sign an Air Information Sharing Agreement soon; to jointly manufacture Jet Engines In India

India and the United States (US) are currently working on an Air Information Sharing Agreement between air forces, and which is expected to be finalised very soon. The pact is expected to facilitate sharing of information between the Indian and the US forces apart from cooperation in specific areas.

In addition, the U.S. is considering an application from engine manufacturer General Electric to jointly produce the 110 kN thrust GE-414 jet engines in India to power the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)-Mk2 and the futuristic fifth generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) fighter jet.

However, earlier, owing to US unwillingness to share core or hot engine knowledge, a previous proposal for collaboration on jet engine technology under the India-US Defence Trade and Technology Initiative (DTTI) was suspended in October 2019.

Further, besides the GE proposal, two other bids namely from Safran of France and Rolls Royce of the UK is also being considered for collaboration on the AMCA engine. There are potential alliances among the three competitors. The program is likely to involve a private Indian organization in addition to the principal agency, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Notably, the LCA is powered by the GE-F404 engine while the LCA-Mk2 and AMCA in future will be envisaged to be powered by the more powerful GE-F414 engines.