Indian State-owned giant aircraft manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) sealed a landmark contract worth $716 million to buy 99 advanced GE-F404 turbofan engines from US engine maker General Electrics for the upcoming fleet of 83 HAL Tejas Mk1A light combat aircraft, according to The Times of India.
After the Indian Air Force sealed the mega-deal of 83 Tejas Mk1A aircraft with HAL, the new deal established a major milestone in the project with the completion of 83 LCA contracts with IAF, the company said, adding that the co-operation will be further increased with the manufacturing of the upgraded variant known as GE F414 engines in India for the upcoming LCA MkII program.
General Electric Aviation, who held brief meetings and discussions virtually with HAL Chairman, expressed the company is proud of a 16-year-long partnership with HAL. The company said it is joyous to expand the relationship with this new order and will be waiting for further opportunities to participate in such business deals with HAL and IAF.
“F404 family of engines has proven itself in operations all over the world and we have committed to deliver all 99 engines and support services by 2029,” Chris Cyr, vice-president of GE, said during the announcement.
HAL has selected the customized engine with the highest thrust variant in the F404 series of engines. The F404-GE-IN20 features GE’s advanced hot section materials and technologies, as well as FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Control) for sustainable and reliable power output and excellent operational characteristics, allowing it to reach 85kn of maximum thrust impulse, giving the aircraft a stronger push to operate.
The F404 family engines have seen more than 14 million engine flight hours across various platforms since its first variant was introduced in 1978. The release added that they have powered 15 different productions and prototype aircraft.
Today’s largest fleet of F/A-18 super hornets is powered by F404 engines in the United States and its different variants in the foreign air force, making it one of the most reliable turbofan engines today.