The US is anticipated to approve the production of the General Electric (GE) F414 jet engine for the Tejas Mk2 fighter jet in India ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s forthcoming visit to the US.
Earlier, the White House announced the dates of Prime Minister Modi’s first visit to the US during the Biden Administration. Scheduled for 22 June 2023, the visit will include a state dinner.
The US and India will also hold the inaugural session of ‘Strategic Trade Dialogue’ on 4 and 5 June, during which India and the US are expected to expedite outcomes decided in the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET) signed between Indian and US National Security Advisors on 31 January.
According to an HT report, the decision to start this dialogue was taken when US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo visited India on 10 March.
The Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra will hold discussions with the US Under-Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security, Alan Estevez, as part of the dialogue.
The dialogue will include deliberations on removing hurdles under International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and Export Administration Regulations (EAR).
This will make it easy for US companies to jointly produce high-tech military equipment like jet engines, munitions, and drones with Indian companies.
As part of the iCET, GE is also working to shift its F414 manufacturing to India from the European Union. The GE F414 is a low-bypass turbofan engine with a maximum thrust of 98 KN.
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has selected the GE F414 engine to power its new Tejas Mk2 fighter jet. The Tejas Mk2 will be a bigger, heavier, faster, and technically more advanced fighter than the Tejas Mk1a.
Besides the GE jet engines, India is also collaborating to establish resilient supply chains for semiconductors with the US.
Another proposal is to develop advanced intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) technologies for maritime domain awareness in the Indo-Pacific, as part of which India has also leased two MQ-9 Sea Guardian drones from the US.