India plans to buy 270 F-125IN turbofan engines from Honeywell to improve its fleet of Jaguar aircraft, the key strike asset for the Indian air force (IAF).

“The defense ministry on Oct. 15 issued a request for proposal to Honeywell to supply the turbofan engines through the U.S. foreign military sales route,” IAF spokesman Wing Cmdr. Gerard Galway tells Aviation Week.

British engine-maker Rolls-Royce pulled out of a competition to reengine the Jaguars with its Adour Mk821 in March 2011, leaving Honeywell as the sole bidder. Since the existing defense policy of the country does not allow sole-source procurements, New Delhi is proceeding with a government-to-government sale.

The reengining deal is expected to be worth about $700 million, with deliveries to extend through 2023. The existing engines on the aircraft have been deemed underpowered.

According to Honeywell, the F-125IN is a high-performance, low bypass-ratio turbofan engine that meets the most requirements of modern light combat and advanced trainer aircraft. As an “off-the-shelf” engine, the F-125IN is designed to drop-fit into existing Jaguar airframes. Honeywell projects fleet life-cycle savings of more than 70 billion rupees ($1.5 billion) with the new engines.

“The F-125IN powerplant is significantly lighter and much more powerful than the aircraft’s current engine,” the company says. “It has an advanced, dual full-authority digital engine control system, modular construction, integrated engine health monitoring system and best-in-class thrust-to-weight ratio, all designed to give the military the best engine with the lowest operating and maintenance costs.”

In 2007 the F-125IN was demonstrated for the IAF in Bengaluru.

Jaguar photo: IAF