New Delhi, May 2 (IANS) The India-made aircraft engine Kaveri has successfully completed its first phase of testing at a Russian centre, in a step towards its operationalisation on the indigenous fighter jets.
The engine, integrated on a Russian IL-76 transporter at the Gromov Flight Research Institute in Russia, completed its 11 trials of over 20 hours till April, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRD0) said.
‘Kaveri engine was integrated with IL-76 aircraft, which is a well established flying test bed for engines… Eleven flight tests for about 20 hours duration have been completed till April,’ the DRDO said.
Kaveri was one of four engines on the flying test bed platform. It was flight tested for up to 12 km maximum altitude and a maximum forward speed of 0.7 Mach (0.7 seven times the speed of sound) and engine performance under different operating conditions.
‘With this, the first phase of Kaveri engine flying test bed trials completed successfully,’ a DRDO statement said. ‘Further tests will continue from May.’
Kaveri is being developed for indigenous light combat aircraft at the Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) in Bangalore with the active support of several DRDO labs, academic institutions and industry partners.
During development phase, Kaveri engine has successfully completed various stages of development including component testing, safety tests, ground-based engine tests, and endurance tests.
India has spent over $455 million over two decades to produce the engine that was considered overweight, but failed to provide the desired over 90 kilo Newton of thrust for the Tejas fighter plane.
In October last year, India decided to buy 99 F414-INS6 engines from American firm GE Aviation, which beat the European firm Eurojet, which has offered its EJ2000.
India has already bought 41 less powerful F-404 engines from GE Aviation to power the initial lot of 40 Tejas aircraft for the Indian Air Force’s first two squadrons.