Defence Rolls Royce or Dassault: Whom DRDO will choose for AMCA engine ?

Rolls Royce or Dassault: Whom DRDO will choose for AMCA engine ?

Whom DRDO will choose for AMCA engine
Photo:- Rolls Royce EJ200

Since CAG in their report, reported that Dassault still not completed the high tech technology transfer as part of the Rafale deal, people started speculating that Dassault is going to help India in making of 110 KN jet engine for AMCA.

Actually in the offset plan of Rafale deal, Dassault promised DRDO that they will help them to revive Kaveri program which will further power India’s fifth generation fighter jet AMCA (Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft).

While on the other hand Rolls Royce has also offered DRDO to jointly co-create a jet engine for India.

In this Article let’s understand whom will DRDO choose as a partner to develop jet engine for AMCA.

Dassault offer to India

Before heading forward we need to understand why Dassault still not completed its offset agreement to help India in developing jet engines for AMCA.

Talks between DRDO and Safran (Rafale Engine Developer) stuck when Safran agrees to invest only a part of offset just over €250 million and the remaining €500 million DRDO had to invest in developing 110 KN engine for AMCA.

Safran also came up with second offer when they said they will replace the core of Kaveri engine after modifying the core of their M88 engine which can produce 110 KN thrust but in this case they are not ready to transfer technology to DRDO neither they are offering IPR (intellectual property rights) to India.

These are the two reasons why talks between DRDO and Safran stuck in between nowhere as both of the offer is not benificial for India.

Rolls Royce Offer to India

Contrary to Safran, Rolls Royce seems liberal in developing jet engines with DRDO for AMCA.

Louise Donaghey Senior Vice President – India and South Asia at Rolls-Royce already confirmed that they are close to an government to government deal to co-create a new jet engine and India will get the IP rights.

They are also ready to give complete Transfer of Technology (ToT) to DRDO for jet engines.

After seeing Dassault as well as Rolls Royce offer, Rolls Royce seems more promising and even benificial for India to develop jet engine for AMCA.

It is quite clear now in between these two Company, India will choose one Company which will offer better deal.

Has Safran offered a compete technology transfer of jet engine to HAL ?

Speculation started building up that Safran has offered a complete ToT to develop the engine and use the offset credits from the Rafale deal by tying up with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) since HAL Chairman R Madhavan made an statement.

R Madhavan said, “We are signing an agreement related to the technology needed for high thrust engine manufacturing. The technology will be common to the Rafale engines that can be supported by us and would also be useful for the 110 kn engine project.”

HAL and Dassault is likely to make an engine complex where they manufacture engines.

According to me i don’t think there’s any ToT going to happen in between Dassault and HAL as Hindustan Aeronautics Limited is just manufacturing body while DRDO is a technology developer.

If any ToT deal will going to happen it will be with DRDO not with HAL.

Probably Dassault is going to set up a manufacturing plant with HAL in India to manufacture higher thrust variant of Safran M88 engine as a part of their offset plan in India.

If HAL manufactures M88 engine in India it will definitely help in 110 KN engine project for AMCA.

Why Kaveri Engine is Myth ?

Again, I don’t think Kaveri engine program is going to revive, even if DRDO makes an agreement with Safran or Rolls Royce.

In a joint venture with foreign partner, DRDO must look forward to develop a complete new engine for AMCA than reviving a failed Kaveri engine.

As reviving a failed engine is much more harder than developing a new one. There are some designs flaw in Kaveri engine and also the core of Kaveri wasn’t able to sustain higher thrust for longer duration.

Aditya Raj
Writer & Co-founder of InfotOnline.

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