US-based General Electric and the Tata Group today announced partnership to manufacture components of commercial jet engines in India, saying that they will also look at opportunities to make military engine and aircraft system in the country. In a joint statement, GE and Tatas said they had on November 29 signed an agreement “to manufacture CFM International LEAP engine components in India, for the global supply chain”. The LEAP engine, which powers the next generation of single-aisle commercial jets, was developed by CFM International — a 50-50 joint venture company between GE Aviation and Safran Aircraft Engines of France. The CFM LEAP engine parts manufactured in India will be sourced for GE’s global supply chain, the statement said. “Under the strategic partnership, GE Aviation and Tata Sons’ subsidiary, Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL), will join forces for manufacturing, assembling, integration and testing of aircraft components,” it said.
A new Centre of Excellence (COE) will be established to help develop a robust ecosystem for aircraft engine manufacturing in India, and build related capabilities. The two companies also announced their intention to jointly pursue military engine and aircraft system opportunities for the India market. GE Chairman and CEO John L Flannery said collaboration with Tata Group will support the ‘Make in India’ vision of the Indian government. “We look forward to working with GE to build more expertise and strengthen India’s defence manufacturing capabilities,” said N Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons.
“Tata group’s partnership with GE will help drive synergies in defence manufacturing and focus on innovation to support our armed forces.” GE currently provides the jet engines and marine gas turbines for many Indian military applications including the Air Force Light Combat Aircraft-Tejas Mk 1, Indian Navy P-8I aircraft, and P-17 Shivalik class frigates. Also, several military programmes under development that include the Light Combat Aircraft-Tejas Mk 2, P-17A & P-71 ships, and the AH-64 attack helicopters, will be powered by GE engines. TASL has capabilities throughout the aerospace value chain from design to full aircraft assembly.