French engine giant Safran and India’s Gas Turbine Research Establishment GTRE are giving final touches to the ongoing negotiation, for the joint development of a 110 kilo Newton engine to power India’s 5.5 generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) jet, where India will be investing nearly €1 billion into the program but will still end up sharing Joint Intellectual Property rights with France for the engine.
Intellectual Property and Transfer of technology for the core of the engine have been the bone of contention between Safran and GTRE, in all the talks that have been going on for a while now. While India has been assured ToT for the Core engine, that includes the right to carry out improvements and upgradation of the critical components throughout engine service life in production, Safran will continue to hold Joint Intellectual Property rights on most of the ToT that will happen on the core engine.
India will have full control over export rights, and no prior permission is required if engines are exported as part of the aircraft deal to any prospective clients, but, the export of engines is to be equipped on any other aircraft will require Safran permissions. Safran has been ensured, that it will be the default consultant for all future variants of the engine, that includes an upscaled 130 kilo Newton engine or for the Dry engine program for UCAV programs.
Safran initially will manufacture 3 core and 4 prototype engines at its facility in France, where the GTRE team will depute and will be using the Dassault owned Rafale fighter jet as a Flying Testbed for the engine program, when it has a pre production engine in 7 years after signing of the contract.
To make the joint venture profitable and recover its investment, India will make the new 110 kilo Newton engine become the default engine for not only for the AMCA but also for the Tejas Mk2 program and Naval TEDBF program which could see the manufacturing of nearly 1000 engines in the next 20-30 years plus 100 more engine variants for other programs.