The 110-kN (kilo Newton) engine will power India’s 5.5-generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) jet and will be jointly developed by French engine giant Safran and India’s Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE).
India will invest nearly €1 billion into the programme but will still end up sharing Joint Intellectual Property (IP) rights with France for the engine.
The main points of dispute in all recent negotiations between Safran and GTRE have been intellectual property (IP) and technology transfer (TOT) for the engine’s core. Safran will continue to hold joint IP rights on the majority of ToT that will occur on the core engine, despite the fact that India has been guaranteed ToT for the Core engine, which includes the right to carry out improvements and upgrades of the critical components throughout engine service life in production.
According to information provided to idrw.org, India will have complete control over export rights and no prior authorization is needed if engines are exported as part of an aircraft deal to any potential customers; however, exports of engines intended to be installed on other aircraft will require permission from Safran.
Safran has been promised that it will serve as the standard consultant for all upcoming engine variations, including the Dry engine programme for UCAV programmes and an upgraded 130kN engine.
When Safran has a pre-production engine in seven years after the contract is signed, it will use the Dassault-owned Rafale fighter jet as a flying testbed for the engine programme. Safran will initially manufacture three core and four prototype engines at its facility in France, where the GTRE team will fill in.
India will make the new 110kN engine the default engine for the AMCA programme, the Tejas Mk2 programme (re-engined from F414), and the Naval TEDBF programme, which could see the manufacturing of nearly 1000 engines in the next 20 to 30 years plus 100 more engine variants for other programmes, in order to make the joint venture profitable and recoup its investment.
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