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Bangalore, Feb. 6

Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has ordered an additional 24 F404-GE-IN20 afterburning engine for the first operational squadron of the Tejas fighter aircraft. The order is valued at over $100 million (over Rs 450 crore) and follows the 2004 purchase of 17 engines to power the first batch and the naval prototypes, according to a GE release.

Earlier this year, the engine was tested on the Tejas light combat aircraft prior to final evaluations for fight testing, which is slated for mid-2007. The F404-IN-20 engine has completed 330 hours of accelerated mission testing. More than 4,000 of these engines have been fitted on combat aircraft of the US Navy and Marine Corps, in Europe, Asia and Africa, according to GE Aviation.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 7, 2007)
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