DRDO to collaborate with Safran to manufacture engines for India’s 5th gen stealth fighter

According to reports by defence authorities, India is close to finalizing a deal with France for the joint development of a 125KN engine for the indigenous fifth-generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA)-under development.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Safran, a French engine manufacturer, could be working together in the aforementioned deal, the decision of which is expected to go on floors, perhaps within the next two months.

During his visit to Paris last week, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar discussed this subject with French Defense Minister Florence Parly. We anticipate reaching an agreement in the next month or two.

a defence official said
External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar with France Defence Minister Florence Parly, during a meeting in Paris on Feb 21, 2022.
External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar with France Defence Minister Florence Parly, during a meeting in Paris on Feb 21, 2022, | Photo Credit: PTI

Apparently, Mr.Rajnath Singh, the Defence Minister of India, had spoken at an event in December 2021, hinting at the collaboration of a French company with India for the manufacture of aircraft engines.

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Reportedly, the indigenously made engines would be used to power the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) variants and the AMCA.

AMCA-India’s 5th generation stealth fighter

The Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) is an Indian programme to develop fifth-generation fighter aircraft for the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy which will also include sixth-generation niche technologies.

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The initial design conceived way back in 2009, featured a twin-engine stealth aircraft with an internal weapons bay and Diverterless Supersonic Intake. Reportedly, the final design is now complete and from the looks of it, the 25-tonne aircraft will feature an internal carriage of 1,500 kg of payload and 5,500 kg external payload with 6,500 kg of internal fuel.

The AMCA will have stealth and non-stealth configurations, and would be developed in two phases — an AMCA MK1 with existing GE414 engine, and an AMCA Mk2 with an advanced, more powerful engine planned to be jointly developed.

Girish S. Deodhare, Director General, ADA

Once the agreement is through with the French-based company-Safran, development procedures for the aircraft as well as the engine would commence.

Also worth noting, is the fact that the aircraft is planned through a Special Purpose Vehicle, which will also see the involvement of private players from the industry.

Did you know? As of December 2020, the only operational 5th gen fighters are the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II, the Chinese Chengdu J-20 and the Russian Sukhoi Su-57.

SOURCE(s)

COVER: The Economic times

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