India, France to ink deal to develop 125KN engine for indigenous fighter soon
- India and France are close to concluding a deal for the joint development of a 125 KN engine for the indigenous fifth generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA).
- The collaboration is between the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and French engine maker Safran.
- Last year, the government informed Parliament that it is proposing to develop indigenous engines for powering aircraft such as the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) variants and AMCA in association with an international engine house.
- The initial design of the AMCA started way back in 2009 and is envisaged as a twin engine stealth aircraft with internal weapons bay , which has been developed for the first time and for which the design is complete.
- It will be a 25 tonne aircraft with internal carriage of 1,500 kg of payload and 5,500 kg external payload with 6,500 kg of internal fuel.
- The manufacturing and production of the aircraft is planned through a Special Purpose Vehicle, which will also involve private industry.
- India has in the past unsuccessfully attempted to indigenously design and develop a jet engine for the LCA under the Kaveri programme sanctioned in 1989.
- The project, which ran for 30 years, saw the development of nine full prototype engines and four core engines.
- The Shakti engine, which powers the indigenous Advanced Light Helicopter and its later variants, is a joint development between Safran and HAL.
Defence Sector Reforms Under Atma Nirbhar Abhiyan
- Revision of FDI Limit: The FDI limit in defense manufacturing under automatic route is raised from 49% to 74%.
- Project Management Unit (PMU): The government is expected to begin time-bound defense procurement and faster decision making by setting up a Project Management Unit (for contract management purposes).
- Reduction in Defense Import Bill: The government will notify a list of weapons/platforms banned for imports and thus such items can only be purchased from the domestic market.
- Separate budget provision for domestic capital procurement.
- Corporatisation of the Ordnance Factory Board: It will include a public listing of some units, ensuring a more efficient interface of the manufacturer with the designer and end-user.