US major GE wins engine bid for Indian LCAs

US aircraft engine manufacturer General Electric Aviation won the bid for supplying engines for the Indian Light Combat Aircraft programme and the deal is estimated to be worth over USD 600 million.

Updated: Sep 30, 2010, 17:40 PM IST

New Delhi: US aircraft engine manufacturer
General Electric (GE) Aviation on Thursday won the bid for supplying
engines for the Indian Light Combat Aircraft programme and the
deal is estimated to be worth over USD 600 million.

GE pipped its European competitor Eurojet for the deal
after DRDO, which is developing the LCA`s mark II version,
formally announced that the American major`s was the lowest
bid in the tenders that saw a long-drawn battle for over two
years.

"GE was declared as the lowest bidder" by the Price
Negotiating Committee headed by DRDO Chief Controller for
Aerospace systems Dr Prahlada.

"The Prime Negotiating Committee for the alternate
engine for LCA Mk 2 has finalised the comparative statement of
tenders...After evaluation and acceptance of the technical
offer provided by both Eurojet and GE Aviation, the commercial
quotes were compared in detail and GE Aviation was declared as
the lowest bidder," an official statement from DRDO said here.

The committee also had representatives from Defence
Ministry, Defence Finance, Aeronautical Development Agency,
DRDO, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Indian Air Force and
Indian Navy.

"Further price negotiations and contract finalisation
will follow," the release added.

Though the order could be for 99 engines initially, India
will have the option of order for another 100 engines in the
future.

GE had offered its GE F-414 engine as an alternative
to its GE F-404 engines that are fitted in the first batch of
LCAs that IAF would receive in a couple of years from now.

Eurojet had offered its EJ-200 engines for the LCA Mk II
aircraft that is under development now.

The DRDO announcement comes a day after Defence Minister
A K Antony returned here after a two-day visit to the US and
met American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defence
Secretary Robert Gates among others.

PTI

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