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Military

F404-GE-IN20 Powers Tejas Aircraft to Successful First Flight

June 20, 2008

LYNN, MA -- The F404-GE-IN20 engine took to the skies, marking the start of flight-testing on India's Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) for the Indian Air Force. During the 44- minute flight, the F404-GE-IN20 engine demonstrated full aircraft system and instrumentation functionality, climbed to numerous mission altitudes, achieved Mach 1.1 speed and established the engine performance baseline for future flight-testing.

"The engine has performed extremely well during all phases of testing, and we look forward to delivering the benefits of -IN20 power throughout the remainder of the rigorous program," said Tony Mathis, general manager of the F404/F414 program.

Testing is expected to continue into 2009 under the direction of the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), with three aircraft scheduled for flight in the third quarter of 2008. Testing will involve approximately 250 flights and assess aircraft systems and engine functionality. Delivery of initial production engines is earmarked to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) later this year, where they will be prepped for aircraft installation.

HAL ordered an additional 24 F404-GE-IN20 afterburning engines to power the first operational squadron of Tejas fighter aircraft for the IAF in February 2007. This order, valued in excess of $100 million, followed an initial 2004 purchase of 17 F404-GE-IN20 engines to power a limited series of operational production aircraft and naval prototypes.

Flight testing follows a rigorous series of evaluations, culminating in generation of more than 19,000 pounds (84 kN) uninstalled thrust and completion of 330 hours of Accelerated Mission testing - the equivalent of 1,000 hours of flight operation.

Based on the F404-GE-402, the F404-GE-IN20 is the highest-rated F404 model and includes a higher-flow fan, increased thrust, a Full Authority Digital Electronic Control (FADEC) system, single-crystal turbine blades and a variety of single-engine features. The F404-GE-IN20 succeeds F404-F2J3 development engines used for nearly 900 flights, cumulatively covering nine engines.

The F404 fighter engine family is one of the most successful in military aviation history. More than 4,000 F404 engines power a number of combat aircraft flown by the United States Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, plus countries throughout Europe, Asia and Africa.

GE Aviation, an operating unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), is a world-leading provider of commercial and military jet engines and components as well as integrated digital, electric power, and mechanical systems for aircraft. GE Aviation also has a global service network to support these offerings.



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