India’s Tata group has partnered with America’s General Electric to manufacture CFM International LEAP engine components in India. The manufacturing unit to be set up in India for the purpose will help develop the ecosystem and build related capabilities for the India-US joint venture to eventually start manufacturing aircraft engines including those for military aircraft.
This development is significant as several of India’s critical defense projects including the light combat aircraft-Tejas Mk 2, the P-17A & P-71 ships, and the AH-64 attack helicopters are to be powered by GE engines.
“Tata group’s partnership with GE will help drive synergies in defense manufacturing and focus on innovation to support our armed forces. We look forward to working with GE to build more expertise and strengthen India’s defense manufacturing capabilities,” N Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons said in a statement.
The indigenously developed light combat aircraft Tejas MK1 to be soon inducted into the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy’s P-8I aircraft and the P-17 Shivalik class frigates are already using GE engines.
The LEAP engine, which powers the next generation single-aisle commercial jets, was developed by CFM International — a 50-50 joint venture company between GE Aviation of the US and Safran Aircraft Engines of France. Last year, the company had bagged a record order of 1801 LEAP engines. With growing demand, the company is looking at doubling the production of the high-bypass turbo engines in 2018.