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Home arrow News arrow Aerospace arrow Indian Railways shows keen interest in DRDO's Kaveri engine
Indian Railways shows keen interest in DRDO's Kaveri engine Print E-mail
Written by Ganesh   
Thursday, 25 August 2011
New Delhi: The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has told a Parliamentary Committee that the Indian Railways has shown keen interest in the Kaveri engine to power its trains. The fighter aircraft engine can also be used on ships and heavy vehicles.

DRDO has plans of producing the Kaveri engine in large numbers in collaboration with Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL). The engine is being developed for the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) and for the future ventures of the DRDO at Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GRTE), in Bangalore.

DRDO is negotiating with Snecma, France for co-development and co-production of Kaveri aero engine for the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas MK-II. The project proposal will be put up for Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) approval after the completion of price negotiation.

Indian Air Force (IAF) has been consulted at every stage and is part of negotiation. IAF has cleared the Kaveri engine co-development proposal with M/s Snecma, France. The draft engine technical specification has been examined and cleared by IAF. IAF has further suggested that the engine design should have minimal impact on the LCA Tejas airframe for future retrofitment.

The engine can easily power unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) because they do not require the kind of thrust needed for the indigenous Tejas LCA. The engine is proven with almost 80 kilonewtons (kN) of thrust now, which is enough for our UCAVs (Tejas requires 90 kN)

The engine recently successfully completed its first test-bed flight test in Russia and has completed other stages of development, including component testing, safety tests, ground based and endurance tests.

Nine prototypes of Kaveri engine and four prototypes of Kaveri Core (Kabini) engines have been developed with over 2,000 hours of testing. The engine has been put through a series of more such tests both in Russia and GTRE facility to prove its reliability, airworthiness and safety.

The Kaveri engine is expected to be fitted on the first 40 LCAs to be supplied to the Indian Air Force (IAF) when they come for upgrades to the DRDO in the latter half of the decade.  Due to the absence of an indigenous engine, the GE-F414 Aviation engines from the US were procured to power the LCAs and earlier this year, another tender was awarded to the American company for supplying 99 engines for the advanced version of Tejas LCA.

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