General Electric is partnering with India’s Tata Group to manufacture turbofan engine components for the LEAP engine series, and will cooperate to pursue military engine and aircraft system contracts in the India market. The partnership links the GE Aviation business unit with Tata Advanced Systems Ltd., a defense and weapons systems manufacturer.
“Our collaboration in building innovative technologies will support the ‘Make in India’ vision of the Indian government,” said John L. Flannery, Chairman and CEO of GE.
According to the partnership terms, GE Aviation and TASL will manufacture, assemble, and test unspecified components, and will establish a new “Centre of Excellence” in India to develop and promote “a robust ecosystem for aircraft engine manufacturing in India”.
LEAP is a series of high-bypass turbofan engines developed by CFM International, GE Aviation’s joint venture with French manufacturer Safran Aircraft Engines. It is designed with a fully integrated propulsion system (IPS) and a range of other advanced technologies, including 3D-woven carbon-fiber composite fan blades and fan case; a debris rejection system; “fourth-generation, three-dimensional aerodynamic designs; the Twin-Annular, Pre-Swirl (TAPS) combustor, with additive-manufactured fuel nozzles; ceramics-matrix composite shrouds in the high-pressure turbine; and titanium aluminide (Ti-Al) blades in the low-pressure turbine.
GE Aviation and Safran each manufactures and assembles LEAP engines in their respective plants, and supplies them to aircraft OEMs. LEAP engines are in commercial service with more than 26 customers, currently, and over 140 aircraft, including the Airbus A320neo (LEAP-1A) and Boeing 737MAX (LEAP-1B) series jets.
“We look forward to working with GE to build more expertise and strengthen India’s defense manufacturing capabilities,” according to TATA chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran. “Tata group’s partnership with GE will help drive synergies in defense manufacturing and focus on innovation to support our armed forces.”