Roll-Royce will not tender in a competition to re-engine the Indian air force's Sepecat Jaguar ground attack aircraft, following a request for proposals that calls for a completely new engine.

"The Indian government, air force and Hindustan Aeronautics have been informed that Rolls-Royce will not be responding to the RFP, and the reasons behind such a decision have been explained," the company says.

India's HAL-produced Jaguars are now powered by R-R Turbomeca Adour 811s. The UK engine maker had proposed upgrading these to the Adour 821 standard. However, the company says that in November 2010 the Indian government issued an RFP to itself and Honeywell calling for a new design.

The other alternative is Honeywell's F125, which is used on Taiwan's F-CK-1 Indigenous Defence Fighter. Honeywell has told the Indian air force that the F125 has the extra thrust needed to cope with HAL's upgrades and to increase the aircraft's strike capability.

The R-R decision could delay the upgrade programme because it creates a single bidder situation that is not allowed under Indian procurement policy.

R-R declines to provide more specifics on its decision not to bid, or on whether it could still propose an alternative to the Adour.

"From the outset of the competition, Rolls-Royce has offered an optimised cost-effective/low-risk Adour 'engine upgrade' to match the air force's technical and improved mission requirements," the company says.

"This upgrade would require minimum aircraft changes and would utilise the existing Adour infrastructure, production and manufacturing experience in HAL."

Source: Flight International