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May 22, 2012

IAF To Go With Honeywell Engine For Jaguar?

On April 11, India's Parliamentary consultative committee on defence visited HAL's Engine Division hangars in Bangalore as part of an introduction to the company's facilities, current work and future plans. On display for the visiting group, which includes members of India's Parliament, was a mock-up Honeywell F125 IN turbofan, under the section "Future Engine Programmes". The F125 IN, as you know, is on offer as a replacement engine for the IAF's Jaguar deep penetration strike aircraft fleet.

Last year, the Indian government scrapped the Jaguar re-engine effort after Rolls-Royce pulled out, leaving a single-vendor situation -- an unviable position in competitive contracting. While HAL has been known to jump the gun before, it is possible that the government is negotiating a foreign military sales (FMS) contract for the new Honeywell engines, and sidestepping another competition. Last year, the IAF had ruled out the proposition of an engine upgrade (which is what Rolls-Royce's offer effectively was), leaving only Honeywell in the reckoning. I'll get more details on this.

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