Raveen wrote:Sir, the F414 would has more thrust (which is why we are upgrading from the F404 to begin with) and is offering 20% growth potential on top of that and given that the F414 powers more than 1 type of aircraft and that GE is in the business of making and selling engines the F414 is no chump and is not going anywhere either!
In it's current for the EJ200 doesn't meet all the requirements (please refer to Ajai Shukhla's blog post).
actually, the F414 EPE has not yet secured a launch customer, so its not yet in development- its a proposal by GE to increase the thrust by 20%, but it entails changes to the F414 dimensions and that would require another study to check whether or not its still as compatible as it was before. even if it is chosen, GE has to first get the changes incorporated, productionise it and the contract stipulates that the first engine be delivered within 3 years of contract signature. That may not give GE enough time to develop and then supply the EPE variant. And what it appears is that the F414 is nearing a period where it may not be possible to get any more thrust out of it without doing some major changes. the EJ200 OTOH is just beginning to see widespread service and hasn't yet been tapped fully. There is a possibility that if done correctly, GTRE or HAL could become a partner in some way with Eurojet for future upgrades. I guess I'm being optimistic though, given their performance.
So, as it stands today (not future promises) the F414 meets all requirements and offers more thrust while the EJ200 does not meet all requirements and will require some more development and testing to meet them while providing lower thrust. The F414 is battle tested and tried in all conditions we need it to perform in and is not tied to 1 aircraft type therefore will last long into the future (it helps when the manufacturer's only line of business is to make aircraft engines as is the case with GE Aero, that is thier bread and butter, they exist based on thier ability to sell engines to meet varied requirements). Considering our experience working with the F404 and the fact that more of these engines have been produced the learning curve for designers and users is likely to be flatter and the cost cheaper than the European counterpart which will only meet present requirements sometime into the future (in terms of re-ignition and naval operations).
Ajai Shukla said that it too requires some tweaking to provide adequate power at all points in the flight. the F414 and the F404 both had stellar safety records and so does the EJ200, which AFAIK hasn't yet had a single engine related accident, so neither has any advantage in this area. again, marinising the EJ200 is not that big a deal, and it could be done within the timeline by when they require an engine to test the N-LCA off a carrier.. the N-LCA is not yet ready for tests from any carrier, so the initial prototype can use a regular EJ200. and if Eurojet agrees to provide a marine version at no extra development cost, it should IMO be the preferred option, since it is lighter by a hundred kgs or more, and as it is the marine LCA version will be heavier than the land based one by at least 2-3 hundred if not more, kgs thanks to the much heavier landing gear, the strenghtened undercarriage with arrestor hook and LEVCONs.
anyhow, it appears that the fickle US policy is not a factor determining which engine will be selected, so unless Eurojet looks at the bigger picture, they'll likely lose the deal.