Premier defence research agency DRDO plans to commence flight trials for technology demonstration of Kaveri Engine with the Light Combat Aircraft in about three years time, government told theLok Sabha today.
In a written reply to the House, Defence Minister A K Antony said that “DRDO has not fixed any time frame to fully develop the Kaveri Aero Engine for the LCA, Tejas…. It is planned to commence flight trials for technology demonstration of Kaveri engine with LCA Tejas Mk-I in about three years’ time.”
He was asked whether DRDO has fixed any timeframe to fully develop the Kaveri aero engine for the LCA.
“LCA Tejas requires 90 kN thrust class engine to meet its operational requirement, whereas Kaveri engine does not fully meet this requirement. It has been decided to use variants of Kaveri Engine to power Unmanned Air Vehicle and also for marine applications,” Antony said.
Replying to a question on the monetary allocations made to the DRDO in last three years, the Minister tabled a report of the money provided to it under various heads.
Since 2009-10 till 2011-12, government’s budgetary estimate for the DRDO was Rs 28,543.43. The revised estimate for the same period was Rs 28,888.55 crore.
The actual expenditure incurred by the organisation since 2009 till 2011-72 has been Rs 28,485.40 crore.
In reply to a question on delivery of equipment by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju said that the “government has taken cognisance of the complaints of IAF regarding delayed delivery of equipment by HAL.”
There have been delays in some projects due to rework of the Jigs supplied by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) in respect of Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers (AJT), the Minister said.
“Delays were also noticed in establishing the facilities for complex engine components and radar software in respect of SU-30 MKI aircraft and certification of Shakti engine by the OEM in respect of Advance Light Helicopters (ALH),” Raju said.
Changes in Standard of Preparation (SOP) for the LCA and delay in engine development by the OEM in respect of Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT) also caused further time lags in these projects, he said.