Andrew Chuter, Defense News
Rolls-Royce has pulled out of a contest to re-engine Indian Air Force Jaguar strike aircraft according to industry sources attending the Aero India show in Bangalore this week.
The British engine maker had decided not to respond after seeing the terms of a recently released request for proposals from the IAF, said the source.
Only two vendors received the proposal request so Rolls-Royce’s decision to exit the contest leaves the field open to Honeywell with its F-125 engine.
Rolls-Royce declined to comment directly on the claim with a company spokesman at the show saying : “We discussed our position on the request for proposals with the Indian Air Force but can’t reveal the contents of those discussions during the bid process.”
Technical and commercial offers are due to be returned to the Indian Air Force at the end of this month to re-engine an aircraft which has become over weight and under powered since it‘s introduction in India in 1979.
Honeywell and Rolls-Royce have been going head-to-head on the Jaguar update for several years ahead of the request for proposals.
The deal is worth several hundred million dollars to the winner.
The US company is offering the F-125 engine while Rolls-Royce has been bidding an upgraded variant of the existing Adour power plant used on the Jaguar.
The F-125 is already used to power Taiwan’s Indigenous Defense Fighter.
A clue to the reason behind the Rolls-Royce decision to withdraw may have come during the briefing Feb 10 by air force chief Air Chief Marshal PV Naik and other senior officers.
The Jaguar request for proposals was for a new engine not an upgrade of the existing power plant said one of the air force officers.
What ever the reason for the withdrawal a quick look at the exhibition stands of the previously rival bidders told a story of its own.
Honeywell’s stand was dominated by the F-125 engine and a model of the Indian Jaguar while the Rolls-Royce exhibit failed to find room for a single mention of the aircraft program.
Copyright Defense News. Republished with permission.