Monday, June 18, 2012

India (LCA) Jet Engine Plan

India has abandoned its efforts to build its own engine to power the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Mark-2, according to Indian Defence Ministry sources.

This means the LCA Mark-2 will be powered only by U.S. company General Electric’s GE-414 engine, which was short-listed earlier over Germany’s Eurojet to power the LCA Mark-2. The aircraft, under development at Bangalore’s Aeronautical Development Agency, is expected to be ready around 2017.

India’s Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), the agency that is building the Kaveri, had been in consultation with French company Snecma for the past three years to help complete the engine.

DRDO and Snecma had been negotiating to co-develop and co-produce the engine, but they have yet to sign an agreement, the MoD official said.
 Indian Air Force source said the Kaveri project to power the LCA has been all but abandoned. Beyond powering UAVs, the engine also will be a technology demonstration project.

The Air Force source added that besides the failure to meet the thrust level, the Kaveri also has technical problems with its compressor, turbine and engine control system.

Meanwhile, the LCA Mark-1 is readying for induction by 2014, nearly 15 years behind schedule. It will be powered by the GE-404 engine, also from General Electric.


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