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Final negotiations on for co-design & co-development of Kaveri engine Print E-mail
Written by Anand   
Thursday, 24 February 2011
New Delhi: The proposal to co-design & co-develop the production version of the Kaveri engine (K10) with Snecma, France is nearing actualisation. The technical evaluation for this proposal has been completed.

Defense Minister A K Antony said that the Tender Purchase Committee (TPC), with members from DRDO, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Indian Air Force (IAF), Indian Navy (IN) and Integrated Finance (R&D), is negotiating the commercial aspects.

So far, nine prototypes of Kaveri engines and 4 prototypes of Kaveri Core (Kabini) engines have been developed.

About 1975 hours of testing has been conducted on Kaveri and its Core engines at ground and altitude conditions. Kaveri engine prototype (K9) has been integrated with IL-76 Aircraft at Gromov Flight Research Institute, Russia. After adequate Engine Ground Runs, taxi trials, the maiden flight test of Kaveri engine with IL-76 Aircraft for over one hour has been successfully completed on 3rd November 2010 followed by 3 more flight tests. These flight tests covered 6 Km altitude and a speed of 0.6 mach.

The Kaveri engine development project was sanctioned on 30th March 1989 with a Probable Date of Completion (PDC) of December 1996 and a cost of Rs.382.81 crore. The project cost was later revised to Rs.2839.00 crore.

Some of the major reasons for time and cost overruns are ab-initio development of engine, lack of skilled manpower in engine manufacturing, enhancement in the scope of project during development, lack of infrastructure for engine manufacture testing and component/system level testing within the country, Flying Test Bed (FTB) trials was not originally included as a milestone in the project, engine and component failure during testing which is inevitable in this kind of projects resulted in changes in design and material, based on various reviews, less priority from foreign manufacturing agencies in view of Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) vis-a-vis the production order quantity from other engine houses and US sanctions imposed during 1998 affected the delivery of critical systems and components.

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