Monday, September 20, 2010

Eurojet Bid $666 Million for 99 EJ200 Engines for Tejas

Europe has an edge over the US in the tightly-fought contest to sell India a next-generation engine for the homegrown Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA). Informed sources have told Business Standard that when the bids were opened last week, European consortium Eurojet bid $666 million for 99 EJ200 engines, against US rival General Electric, which quoted $822 million.

Both engines had been earlier adjudged technically suitable to power the Tejas Mark-II. Eurofighter has twin EJ-200 engines, while GE F-414 engines power the US-built F/A-18 and Sweden’s Gripen NG fighters.Furthermore, the order for 99 engines for the Tejas Mark-II is just a foot in the door to the Indian market. Given that each fighter goes through two to three engines during its operational lifetime, the four to five planned squadrons (84-105 fighters) of the Tejas Mark-II would actually need 200-300 new engines.Sources in the Aeronautical Development Agency confirm that both GE and Eurojet engines fully met the technical requirements to power the Tejas Mark-II. The EJ200 — which IAF favours — is the more modern, lighter and flexible engine with greater potential for growth. The GE F-414 is heavier, but provides a little more power.

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