India will make licensed Russia RD-33 aeroengines

India and Russia have signed a $250-million agreement that enables India to manufacture Russian RD-33 aviation engines under a licencing arrangement. Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov signed the agreement in New Delhi today.

Under the deal HAL would manufacture 120 RD33 series three engines at its Koraput plant to upgrade IAFs MiG-29 fighter fleet.

The deal, according to analysts, would help HAL master the assembly of next generation jet engines, including the RD-33MK engines meant for deck-based MiG-29K naval fighters being acquired by the Indian Navy as part of the Gorshkov (INS Vikramaditya) aircraft carrier deal.

The engine deal would also enable HAL to develop thrust-vectoring engines (OVT) for the MiG-35 fighter, which is in contention for the $9 billion dollar IAF MRCA tender.(See: HAL signs deal for local manufacture of MiG-29 RD33 engines)

Ivanov also told journalists that Russia was ready to negotiate with India to participate in developing a Russian fifth generation fighter jet expected in 2009.

Russia is India's biggest military hardware supplier.