Biden Sabotage India’s Tejas Fighter Jet

According to Air Marshal M. Matheswaran, the former Deputy Chief of the Integrated Defence Staff, Biden sabotage India’s Tejas Fighter Jet by delaying the delivery of the engines.

biden sabotage tejas 1

In August, General Electric committed to supply 99 F-404 GE-IN20 engines to power LCA Tejas Mk-1A fighter planes. However, it appears that the delivery has been delayed.

According to a retired Air Marshall, the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) “operational readiness” may be impacted by General Electric’s (GE) delays in supplying F-404 engines for India’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas.

Sputnik India contacted an expert to find out why there are delays and if the US is a trustworthy partner.

The delivery of engines is “critical” for the Indian Air Force, according to Air Marshal M. Matheswaran, the former Deputy Chief of the Integrated Defence Staff (DCIDS-Policy, Plans, and Force Development).

The IAF had previously stated that its outdated quadrons would be replaced by the 4.5 generation Tejas Mk-1A and Mk-2 planes. Additionally, New Delhi is buying Sukhoi-30 aircraft from Russia.

The MiG fighter jets have been the backbone of IAF since the 1960s, a role that Tejas jets are expected to play in coming years.

“From the Air Force’s point of view, it is already short of 20 squadrons (a squadron comprises nearly 18 aircraft). The last three squadrons of Mig-21s will be phased out soon,” Matheswaran remarked.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), a state-owned company, delivered its first Tejas LCA Mk-1A aircraft to the Indian Air Force this year. General Electric claims to have previously supplied 120 F404-GE-IN20 engines for the Tejas Mark 1, an earlier model of Mk-1A.

Matheswaran noted that the IAF would be “very concerned” about the delivery time as GE had also been roped in to co-produce engines under ‘Make in India’ scheme for Tejas Mark 2, which is an advanced variant.

In June, an agreement to co-produce engines for Mark 2 jets was finalised.

Nevertheless, the Indian Ministry of Defence was anticipating delays in the MoU’s implementation, according to media reports.

“If these contracts continue getting delayed, then it affects the operational readiness,” the former Indian fighter pilot cautioned.

“This should be a temporary disruption and India should strongly take up this issue during the India-US 2+2 Dialogue,” he opined.

US Prioritizes South Korea over India

General Electric supplied the F-404 GE-IN20 engines for South Korea’s T-50 Golden Eagle fighter jet programme on schedule, according to a report in the Indian media.

“South Korea is a treaty ally of the US and has more longstanding ties with the US than India,” Matheswaran noted.

The Indian expert did, however, note that it was challenging to determine why GE gave Seoul a higher priority than New Delhi, citing possible factors such as the company’s own production capability.

In 1992, Joe Biden blocked the sale of Russian Cryogenic rocket engine technology to India describing it as being “dangerous”.

The fifth 2+2 Dialogue will take place in New Delhi on Friday between Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, hosted by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin.

The two countries would discuss “progress in cross-cutting aspects of defence and security cooperation, technology value chain collaborations, and people-to-people ties” during the meeting, as per a statement released by the Indian Foreign Ministry.

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