The US is anticipated to grant approval for production of the General Electric (GE) F-414 jet engine for the TEJAS MK-2 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 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 NSAs 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 do joint production of 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 F-414 manufacturing to India from the European Union. The GE F-414 is a low-bypass turbofan engine which produces a maximum thrust of 98 KN.
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has selected the GE F-414 engine to power its new TEJAS MK-2 fighter jet. The TEJAS MK-2 will be a bigger, heavier, faster, and technically more advanced fighter than the TEJAS MK-1A.
Apart from 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.
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