Nearly 30 years after India first began a quest for building its own aero-engine for the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft and three years after the project was abandoned, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is all set to revive the programme. Top officials from the Indian defence R&D organisation have confirmed that a call on getting the project revived will be taken at a meeting planned at the end of March, in which all the stakeholders will participate.
This development on India's own aeroengine comes at a time when the confidence among the country's defence scientists is at its peak and they are now sure they can achieve their targets. The top officials said the idea of reviving the Kaveri project for the LCA and attempting to achieve the over 95 kilo Newton thrust that is projected as the requirement for the LCA.
At present, the Kaveri engine that's been developed by India's Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE), a DRDO lab based in Bengaluru, has been seen to achieve 85 kilo Newton that is as good as the LCA Mk1 General Electric F404 engine. But the F404 too is not enough to meet the trusts prescribed for the LCA in its Air Staff Qualitative Requirements, according to officials.
For making progress on the Kaveri, India is expected to take help from France. Safran’s engine division is expected to help India in this regard. There were also reports that this could be the offset offer for the 36 Rafale a