In a major boost for the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative of the Indian government, Rolls Royce has confirmed an export license from the UK government for combat engine technology transfer to India. It’s a big step for India’s AMCA program as the combat engine technology transfer to India by Rolls Royce will be for the purpose of combat engine development with a unique co-creation model.
The Intellectual Property (IP) for this technology will be developed and owned in India for the AMCA (Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft) program.
General Electric Also Wants Export Licence For India
General Electric (GE), which is based in the US, has also requested the US government for an export licence that will fund the joint development of a combat engine for India’s AMCA program.
General Electric (GE) has also gained backing for these programs from several members of the US Congress. But the request is currently awaiting approval of US Government.
Rolls Royce has claimed that even if India receives orders for the AMCA program from other nations, General Electric (GE) will never permit India to retain Intellectual Property (IP) for the engine that it is offering to co-develop for India and will require GE and US administration clearance for export of this engine to other countries.
General Electric (GE) proposes to establish an engine subsidiary in India with a supply chain composed of companies from the private sector.
Technically, it is possible to produce everything totally domestically, but its local engine subsidiary will continue to have the ToT and other Intellectual Property (IP) rights.
Implications For India’s Security Scenario
The AMCA program is intended to enable India to develop a fighter aircraft capable of taking on the PLA Air Force (PLAAF) of China. It is expected to counter the JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft of China, which is also used by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF).
The AMCA program is an crucial step for India in the quest to develop its own fifth generation fighter aircraft.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) is suffering from a worrying shortfall in the number of fighter jet squadrons and an indigenously developed fighter aircraft is expected to fill this gap.
Earlier this year, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) had announced the ‘metal cutting’ for the first prototype of the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA).