As Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on his maiden US State visit, GE Aerospace said Thursday that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to produce fighter jet engines for the Indian Air Force (IAF).

GE Aerospace and HAL have reached an agreement that includes the potential joint production of GE Aerospace’s F414 engines in India. The collaboration is part of the Indian Air Force’s Light Combat Aircraft (LAC) Mk2 program. However, GE Aerospace is currently working with the US government to obtain the necessary export authorization for this endeavor.

“This is a historic agreement made possible by our longstanding partnership with India and HAL,” H Lawrence Culp Jr, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GE and CEO of GE Aerospace said in a press release.

“We are proud to play a role in advancing President Biden and Prime Minister Modi’s vision of closer coordination between the two nations. Our F414 engines are unmatched and will offer important economic and national security benefits for both countries as we help our customers produce the highest quality engines to meet the needs of their military fleet,” he said.

The plans to develop complex jet engine technology in India by Ohio-based GE Aerospace, a subsidiary of GE, has been under discussion for over a year now. ABP Live had earlier reported GE’s plan to manufacture fighter jet engines, a multi-billion dollar government-to-government deal, during US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s visit to India in May.

The MoU between HAL and GE Aerospace represents a significant step forward for GE’s involvement in India. The agreement builds upon GE Aerospace’s previous commitment to manufacturing 99 engines for the IAF under the LCA Mk2 program. This new development positions GE Aerospace favourably to expand its product offerings in India, including the F404 engine currently used in the LCA Mk1 and LCA Mk1A aircraft.

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