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In this photo from September 2022, Rajnath Singh observes the Helwan 300 fighter jet during his visit to the Egyptian Air Force Museum in Cairo. The fighter jet was a joint development project between India and Egypt.

On this picture from September 2022, Rajnath Singh observes the Helwan 300 fighter jet throughout his go to to the Egyptian Air Drive Museum in Cairo. The fighter jet was a joint growth challenge between India and Egypt.
| Picture Credit score: Defence Ministry/Twitter

Throughout a two-day go to to Egypt in September 2022, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh visited the Egyptian Air Drive Museum in Cairo and witnessed the Helwan 300 fighter jet, which was collectively developed by India and Egypt, an effort lengthy earlier than ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ got here into vogue.

This week, as Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi is about to witness India’s indigenous army {hardware} roll down Kartavya Path as a part of the Republic Day parade, the 2 international locations need to deepen defence industrial cooperation. Cairo is contemplating a variety of Indian {hardware} for its forces.

Throughout Mr. Singh’s go to final yr, India and Egypt had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to additional improve bilateral defence cooperation. The 2 sides agreed to give attention to “joint training, defence co-production and maintenance of equipment”.

India’s participation in Egypt’s plane trade within the Sixties was the direct results of an in depth understanding between Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, wrote Group Captain Kapil Bhargava (retd), who as a Squadron Chief in June 1963 was deputed by the Indian Air Drive to work as a take a look at pilot within the Egyptian Plane Manufacturing unit 36 at Helwan. He has the excellence of enterprise the primary flight of the Helwan HA-300 fighter jet, designed by Willy Messerschmitt. The primary flight of the HA-300 was undertaken on March 7, 1964 and lasted 12½ minutes, he wrote in a protracted account on bharat-rakshak.com.

India’s curiosity was in creating the E-300 turbojet engine for its personal indigenous HF-24 Marut fighter designed by one other German — Kurt Tank. In depth testing was finished with two prototypes and the third prototype was simply starting taxi testing when the challenge was scrapped in 1969 for a wide range of causes: monetary issues, Egypt’s defeat within the 1967 conflict and the Soviet Union providing its fighter jets to India.

In line with info on globalsecurity.org, a contract between India and Egypt was signed in September 1964 for the engine and India helped fund growth of the E-300 engine. The E-300 engine was finally used within the Indian HF-24 Marut fighter. Two Egyptian pilots got here to India in 1964 and attended the Indian Air Drive take a look at pilot faculty to arrange for the HA-300 flight growth. India additionally supplied a Marut fighter for the E-300 challenge.

Elaborating on the explanations for the challenge falling behind, Group Capt. Bhargava notes that Indian policymakers, together with the Chief of Air Employees, have been fairly confused about collaboration with Egypt. In line with them each international locations would use the HF-24 fitted with the E-300 engine. “The Indian authorities had not realised that the Egyptians were not interested in the HF-24,” he wrote. “When this became clear, official Indian enthusiasm for the E-300 also disappeared. This was the death knell of the HA-300 project. Foreign experts working at Helwan began to drift away. The Egyptians also ran out of patience and money, and closed the project in May 1969.”

Quick ahead to 2023, and Egypt is actively contemplating India’s indigenous Mild Fight Plane (LAC) Tejas, additionally being actively thought-about by Argentina and Malaysia. Each Indian and Egyptian Air Forces additionally function the French-origin Rafale multi-role fighter.

Egypt has expressed curiosity in buying a variety of army {hardware} together with the Superior Mild Helicopter, Mild Fight Helicopter and Akash floor to air missile programs, amongst others. To sweeten the supply on LCA, HAL is even contemplating a upkeep facility in Egypt which may additionally cater to its potential market in Africa and Center East, it has been learnt.

India has provided help to Egypt in creating its personal home defence manufacturing base, officers stated, noting the shut and historic ties between the 2 international locations.

Apparently, India, after making a number of failed makes an attempt at creating an indigenous fighter engine, is now contemplating proposals from three international engine producers — Basic Electrical, Rolls Royce and Safran — for co-developing an engine for its future fighters.

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