India to develop jet engines for aircrafts. It will be developed with foreign collaboration

While the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) TEJAS is at present integrated with an imported engine, in future it is proposed to develop indigenous engines for powering aircraft such as TEJAS variants and Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) in association with an International Engine House, the Government informed the Parliament on Monday.

“TEJAS, Flight Operational Clearance (FOC) configuration demands higher thrust than the intended engine requirement. Hence the Kaveri in the present architecture cannot be integrated. In order to induct with TEJAS, a modified engine version is required,” Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha. The technological capabilities built through the Kaveri engine project will be utilised, he stated on the proposed engine development in future.

The TEJAS FOC variant and the MK-1A are powered by the GE-F404 engines while the TEJAS MK-2 and AMCA in future will initially be powered by a more powerful GE-F414 engines.

Project Kaveri

The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) had sanctioned the indigenous Kaveri engine project in 1989. The project which ran for 30 years with an expenditure of ₹2,035.56 crore saw the development of nine full prototype engines and four core engines. A total of 3217 hours of engine testing was conducted and the engine has also completed altitude tests and Flying Test Bed (FTB) trials.

Stating that this is the first time that an indigenously developed military gas turbine engine was flight tested, Mr. Bhatt said that Kaveri engine project has achieved higher Technology Readiness Level (TRL) in many critical technology domains and those technologies are being used in the various engine development programmes of the country. “Further the engines are used as test vehicles for validating next generation technologies.”