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Indigenous Keveri to be tested on a Russian aircraft

Nearly two decades after defence scientists began work on an indigenous fighter engine Kaveri , officials said Kaveri will be tested on a Russian aircraft in the next two months.

Scientists of Gas Turbine and Research Establishment or GTRE, the DRDO unit have integrated the engine, developed in Bengalurum on an Illyushin 78 transport aircraft in Russia.

"In the next one and half months, it will fly," said T Mohana Rao, director of GTRE.

"In ground trials, the engine has performed more than expectations.All issues have been addressed, including the after burner," Rao said.

Kaveri was first conceived as an engine for Tejas, the light combat aircraft developed by Aeronautical Development Agency based in Bengaluru.

Tejas is now being powered by General Electric-404 engines due to delays in development of Kaveri.

India has floated a tender to decide on either an upgraded GE engine on Eurofighter engine for Tejas.

Kaveri be used for future versions of the fighter aircraft.

"Gas turbine engine technology is most complex. that is he reason for the delays" Rao said.

Parallely, GTRE is going with Snecma of France to build more powerful

engines for Tejas.

Now Snecma will bring in the core, called “Eco”for the new engine and integrate with systems developed for Kaveri.

The Kaveri programme has cost the exchequer nerarly Rs 2800 crore.

Aeronautics Research & Development Board (AR&DB) of DRDO has taken a new initiative called “coherent directed research” in the area of gas turbines.

In this top down approach, DRDO, taking into account futuristic national programmes would support, encourage, nurture,monitor and exploit the design, research, development and manufacturing capability of academic institution& R&D establishments, industries and other think tanks to carry out frontline work in

bringing out nextgen gas turbine engine system.

This program called “GATET” envisages about Rs 100 Cr investment in 3 years and participation of 100 R&D centres and as many as 1000 scientists, engineers and technicians.

"In five to six years, we will have a huge talent pool and technologies for Gas turbine through this programme," said Rao

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