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Project BRF: India's Kaveri Engine Saga

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Re: Project BRF: India's Kaveri Engine Saga

Postby srai » 30 Sep 2014 20:19

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Re: Project BRF: India's Kaveri Engine Saga

Postby udy » 16 Oct 2014 20:23

Dr. Saraswat's talk at IITB (Future Challenges of Aerospace Research in India: A Perspective by Dr. Vijay K. Saraswat). Just after the hour mark he talks about the LCA, and Kaveri(Current and Next Generation).

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Re: Project BRF: India's Kaveri Engine Saga

Postby srai » 01 Dec 2014 04:55

OneIndia Exclusive: DRDO to abandon indigenous fighter jet engine Kaveri project
Written by: Dr Anantha Krishnan M Updated: Wednesday, November 19, 2014, 15:51 [IST]

Bengaluru, Nov 18: The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has decided to wind up the Kaveri engine (GTX-35VS ) programme, signaling an end to a desi dream of equipping its own fighter jet with a home-grown power plant.

Sources in the Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed to OneIndia on Tuesday that the DRDO has already moved a file recently seeking the closure of the ambitious engine development project undertaken by Bengaluru-based Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE).

The proposal now needs to get the approval of the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and finally the clearance from the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) - a process expected to take at least a year. The Kaveri project, which began in the mid-80s, was aimed at powering the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas.

GTRE has spent so far Rs 2,106 crore on the project so far and could only fly the engine for 73 hours on the IL-76 Flying Test Bed (FTB) in Russia. The delay in the project saw DRDO choosing the GE 404 engine for Tejas Mk-1 and GE 414 for Tejas Mk-II.

GTRE gets additional funds
Sources said that the DRDO has sanctioned Rs 300 crore for GTRE to take up future projects. "The lab is gearing up to take up some futuristic projects and the sanctions have been already given. Another additional sanction of Rs 700 crore is on its way to help realize these gen-next technologies," an official said.

Sources confirm that a separate proposal of Rs 2,600 crore to develop engines for an ‘ambitious project' is under consideration now. The lab has been given another Rs 70 crore for a strategic programme.

Part of DRDO's bold decision, confirms DG
Refusing to divulge the finer details, Dr K Tamilmani, Director-General (Aero), DRDO, confirmed to OneIndia that the Kaveri project will be scrapped. "Yes. These are part of the bold stand being taken by DRDO. Whereever we have found bottlenecks for long time, with no realistic solutions, it's better to move on. It is an honest stand we are taking," Tamilmani said.

When asked whether the decision was a fall out of the recent remarks made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking DRDO to come out of the delay trap, the senior official refused to make a direct comment. "If you are fit to run only for 50 km, why attempt 100 km? DRDO has realized its mistakes of the past and we have no hesitation in taking some bold steps," he said.

Sources said that the MoF has sought some clarifications from DRDO on the Kaveri project, before the matter could finally reach the CCS.

Years of hard work won't go waste: GTRE Director
Dr C P Ramanarayanan, Director, GTRE, said that the DRDO decision might not be final. Leading a team of 900-plus staff at GTRE, Dr Ramanarayanan is now left with the task of inspiring the team to launch future projects.

"This is not the end of the road. We have identified some 12 core areas of technologies and various teams are already at it. Years of hard work put in by the team won't go waste either," Dr Ramanarayanan, a torpedo specialist, told OneIndia.

He said world over not many countries have progressed ahead in making engines. "We have made a good start and despite the delays, proved our capabilities to our best of abilities. The lessons learnt will not go down the drain. India must become self sufficient in making aero engines and our efforts will continue," he added.

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Re: Project BRF: India's Kaveri Engine Saga

Postby arijitkm » 09 Dec 2014 14:57

Jet engine lag By Ajit K. Dubey, THE WEEK

Four years ago, when Indian aero-engineers walked into the Gromov Flight Research Institute in Moscow, they were shocked to see Chinese engineers there. The Indians had come to flight-test Kaveri, India's first indigenous jet engine. The Chinese, too, had come on a similar mission. And, the Indian engineers were worried whether the Chinese would beat them to it.

Worry was understandable, because jet-engine technology is even more exclusive than nuclear know-how. Only a few countries in the world know how to make jet engines. The market for tens of thousands of engines that power fighter planes owned by air forces across the globe is controlled by just a handful of companies—GE and Pratt & Whitney of the United States, NPO Saturn of Russia, Rolls-Royce of the UK, Snecma of France and Eurojet of Germany. The dominance of these companies is almost complete, evident from the fact that even though Rolls-Royce admitted to have paid commission to agents in dealing with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, the defence ministry could not do much because if Rolls-Royce stopped supplying engines, it would affect HAL's production of Jaguar fighter bombers.

Kaveri, which was developed at the Bengaluru-based Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE), a lab under the Defence Research and Development Organisation, successfully completed the sub-sonic test in Moscow by flying a giant Ilyushin-76 aircraft. The Chinese test was a failure. Four years later, however, it seems the Kaveri story is going to have a sad end, while the Chinese are making steady progress with their project.

Back from Russia, lack of funds significantly slowed down Kaveri's progress. "We have shortage of funds to even run the five prototype engines which have been produced so far. It is difficult to procure fuel for the engines," says GTRE director C.P. Ramanarayanan. The Chinese story, on the other hand, turned out to be completely different. After their engineers returned with the failed engine, the Chinese government opened its purse-strings and invested more than $60 billion for developing its aerospace sector of which a significant portion was spent on the jet engine programme. China has "gone crazy for making aircraft," says a recent white paper prepared by renowned aerospace scientist Roddam Narasimha.

Flush with funds, the Chinese burnt the midnight jet-fuel and put their WS-10 turbofan engine on a few prototypes of their J-10 fighters, and flew them. "But they are still far from developing the engine for squadron service," says a GTRE scientist. "We can also fly Kaveri suboptimally, as the Chinese are doing, but we don't have test aircraft for that. We are waiting for just one old MiG-29 for testing."

Anyway, Narasimha's paper, prepared last year, had some effect on the Manmohan Singh government. When GTRE asked for half a million dollars in the budget, the babus returned the request, saying it was "suboptimal", and with the advice to ask for more. This gave them hope. "The Chinese haven't yet succeeded in finalising the engine for squadron service. We can still catch up, because we have already addressed the issues on making the engine supersonic. We needed only funds to test," says the scientist.

But now, a move by the Narendra Modi government to scrap all DRDO development programmes that face significant delays could end India's Kaveri dreams. DRDO's Director-General (Aero) K. Tamilmani has reportedly described it as a bold move, saying the agency has realised its old mistakes and is taking steps to address them.

GTRE scientists, who made the engine, disagree. Indeed, the Kaveri programme has taken long. The defence ministry recently told Parliament that the project was sanctioned in March 1989 at a cost of Rs382.8 crore, to be completed by December 1996. This was revised (in 2005) to December 2009. But GTRE scientists say similar engines produced by global manufacturers will cost almost three to four times. With Rs2,105 crore having been spent on the programme so far and with over two decades of experience in the field and the programme on the verge of successful completion, Ramanarayanan feels it would not be wise to scrap it. The lessons learnt will "go down the drain".

The fate of Kaveri will now be decided by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), which has sought some clarifications from GTRE. According to GTRE scientists, Kaveri now needs to cover just the last mile. According to defence ministry estimates, India would be spending a whopping Rs3.5 lakh crore for its aircraft fleet, including the fifth generation fighter aircraft and the French Rafale combat aircraft, in the next 10 to 15 years, of which the cost of the engines would be around Rs74,500 crore. Engines for the Su-30MKI fleet would require another Rs70,000 crore. "Most of the money that we are planning to spend on these engines is likely to go to foreign countries, but if we allow programmes such as Kaveri to continue and succeed, this will help us in saving at least 30 to 40 per cent of the funds," says Ramanarayanan.

Scientists deny that India had to buy GE engines to power Tejas, India's first light combat aircraft, because of the delay in Kaveri. "Nobody in the world puts an untested engine in an untested aircraft," says a scientist. "Even if Kaveri was ready by now, we would have put some other engine in Tejas. It is always like that. The first engines are always put in proven aircraft and untested aircraft are always powered with proven engines." The first 40 LCAs are being powered by GE-404 engine whereas the DRDO has placed orders for more than 200 GE-414 engines for the LCA-MKII, which are scheduled to be ready by 2017.

There are unconfirmed reports that Kaveri is being designed also to power India's top secret unmanned combat aerial vehicle. Since India has not signed the Missile Technology Control Regime, no country would supply engines for UCAVs that fly longer than 300km. "Since the UCAV would be a lighter plane, the present power of the Kaveri engine would be enough for powering it," says a DRDO scientist. The UCAV programme, being worked on by DRDO and HAL, has been sanctioned Rs7,000 crore.

Scientists working on Kaveri say they have tackled all technical issues in making the engine supersonic. "We need to test it on a fighter such as MiG-29 or a SU-30MKI." They are confident that Kaveri has hit the home stretch. It just needs an aircraft, a few more months, some more money and little more patience to secure India's entry into the exclusive fighter jet engine club.


Beneath the wings
GE and Pratt & Whitney of the United States and Rolls-Royce of the United Kingdom are the world's leading fighter-jet engine manufacturers. Other prominent engine makers include NPO Saturn and Klimov of Russia, Snecma of France and Eurojet Turbo GmbH based in Germany, run by a consortium of Rolls-Royce, Avio (Italy), ITP (Spain) and MTU (Germany).

Some of the leading engines and the fighters they power:

The F110 family: Powers F-15 and F-16 fighter aircraft of many countries
The F404 family: Used in the world's first stealth fighter, the F-117. Also powers Korean T-50s, Boeing F/A-18C/D Hornets, Saab Gripen multi-role fighters
The F414 family: Powers Boeing Super Hornets and Growlers, MKII version of the Tejas light combat aircraft, Saab's next generation Gripen aircraft

The F119 family: Powers the US Air Force's F-22 Raptors
The F135 family: Used in the F-35 Lightning IIs, all of the US Air Force's F-15 Eagles and the majority of the world's F-16 Fighting Falcons
The F100 family: Powers various aircraft of 23 air forces around the world

RB199: Tornado multi-role aircraft operated by the UK, Germany, Italy and Saudi Arabia
Adour: SEPECAT Jaguars, Mitsubishi T-2s and F-1s, BAE Systems Hawk
Spey: AMX strike aircraft

AL-21: Powers Sukhoi Su-17s, Su-24s, Sukhoi T-10s and MiG-23s
AL-31: All Su-27 derivatives and China's Chengdu J-10 multi-role fighters
AL-31F: Su-35BM and PAK FA

M88: Multi-role combat aircraft Rafale from Dassault Aviation
M 53: Mirage 2000-9s
Atar: Mirage F1s and 50s

EJ200: Eurofighter Typhoons

RD-33 Series: MiG-35s and Mig29Ks
SMR-95 Series: Super Mirage F-1s, Super Cheetah D-2s

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Re: Project BRF: India's Kaveri Engine Saga

Postby udy » 09 Mar 2015 19:45

Not Kaveri but still relevant.

The core of the 25kn engine (being built by HAL) will have 3d printed blades /parts.

Ref: 2nd speaker from HAL at AI seminar 2015 on the last day (theme - Propulsion).

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Re: Project BRF: India's Kaveri Engine Saga

Postby Arunkumar » 14 Jun 2015 17:55

Today Sunday Times of India carried a expression of interest (EOI) from GTRE for manufacture and assembly of 80KN thrust engine from private/public companies. GTRE is looking to manufacture 20 engines within a period of 3-4 years.

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Re: Project BRF: India's Kaveri Engine Saga

Postby ragupta » 10 Jul 2015 10:40

arvin wrote:Today Sunday Times of India carried a expression of interest (EOI) from GTRE for manufacture and assembly of 80KN thrust engine from private/public companies. GTRE is looking to manufacture 20 engines within a period of 3-4 years.

Good news, Kalyani should work with GTRE to make different versions and capacity and find alternative use for the engines. Not sure which other company has this capability.

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Re: Project BRF: India's Kaveri Engine Saga

Postby shiv » 31 Jul 2015 21:12

Cross post
If true this is the happiest news I have read in recent days ... -aircraft/
After having failed to achieve the required thrust to power Light Combat Aircraft, the indigenously developed Kaveri engine will now be used to power Indian Unmanned Combat Aircraft, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has said.

In a written reply to Rajya Sabha, Parrikar said the total expenditure incurred on development of Kaveri engine so far is Rs 2,101 crore.

“Aero engine developed by DRDO has not achieved the required thrust to power Light Combat Aircraft (LCA). Therefore, it has been decided to use Kaveri derivative engine (“dry” engine) for powering Indian Unmanned Combat Aircraft,” he said.

The project for development of Kaveri engine was sanctioned in 1989 with probable date of completion in 1996, which was extended to 2009. Government has further approved its continuation within the cost ceiling.

The major reasons for non-completion of project within the time-schedule were technological difficulties faced due to complexities of engine system, non-availability of raw materials, critical components, lack of infrastructure, manufacturing and test facilities within the country, Parrikar said.

Non-availability of skilled or technical manpower in the field of aero-engine technology and increase in scope during development were also some of the reasons, he said. can confirm following milestones were achieved from Kaveri engine Project

Successful completion of 73 hours High Altitude testing and 57 hours trial on Flying Test Bed have proved level of technological capability and maturity.

> Full Authority Digital Engine Control System has been designed, developed and qualified indigenously.

> Twelve materials have been indigenously developed and type certified.

> Total of 9 Kaveri prototypes and 4 Kaveri Core Engine prototypes have been developed and accumulated more than 2550 hours of engine testing.

> Kaveri Engine was integrated with IL-76 Aircraft and flight tested.

> Tacit knowledge acquired by the scientists are being applied in aerospace technology and other disciplines.

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Re: Project BRF: India's Kaveri Engine Saga

Postby SaiK » 15 Aug 2015 22:26

failure is perspective driven., especially when a product performs optimal given requirements.
for example one may think failure when you want to deploy GSLV payload using vikas engines.
vikas engines made so many successful runs.. but i am sure it would fail GSLV mission.

these are simple learning onlee..

failures for meeting requirements
success for meeting objectives

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Re: Project BRF: India's Kaveri Engine Saga

Postby SaiK » 19 Aug 2015 17:15 ... 3489968128
is he saying the same thing or has some real good news coming this way?

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Re: Project BRF: India's Kaveri Engine Saga

Postby SaiK » 15 Oct 2015 15:47

this is a nice to read news.. they could also add the 120kN or 135kN line. it could be just the mindsets and funds.

How 3D Printing is helping India fast track its Indigenous jet engine programs.

Earlier this year on display at the HAL pavilion for the tenth edition of Aero India was cutaway model of a preliminary design of new 25kN jet engine which for the first time used a 3D printing equipment and its very first visitor was none other then Prime minister of India who was given detail explanation on development of the new engine .

HAL plans to develop most of the Components for the new engine and assembly of the engine in next two years and is all set to tap 3D printing technology to manufacture components for its Rs 458-crore 25-kN (kilonewton) aircraft engine project.

Sources close to also have confirmed that GTRE too has acquired 3D printing technology and have used to print ABS Plastic Quality Kaveri engine components so that its developers can study it in details.

3D Printing technology allowed engineers to literally 3D Print thousands of components which go into Kaveri engine in just 4 weeks and assembly of engine was completed in another two weeks and in 6 weeks we had a complete model of Kaveri engine which allowed us to study in detail various components and technical anomaly or flaws in them which we could not have found in computer aided designs explained the same source .

Earlier an engineering model of Kaveri engine developed using real components could require up to a year to manufacture thousands of its components and then for its complete assembly which also was very expensive method but with 3D Printing we are saving nearly 40 % in terms of cost and nearly 10 months in preparation and assembly revealed the same source .

GTRE is currently working on a Dry version of Kaveri engine which will be producing 40kN of thrust for India’s UCAV program, a follow-up program to Kaveri engine which will produce 80kN of thrust and a small turbofan concept Laghu Shakti producing 20kN of thrust. HAL on another hand is developing a new 25kN jet engine which can power small business jet or trainer jet and is also reportedly working on a new 8kN jet engine which will be used for Medium class UAV

Acceptance of 3D Printing technology by Indian developers is clearly helping fast-tracking many of its indigenous jet engine program which country has initiated in last few years and also helping Scientist and engineers to learn quickly from their mistakes in design stage its self which will also reduce cost overruns delays in the programs

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Re: Project BRF: India's Kaveri Engine Saga

Postby vina » 16 Oct 2015 13:01

Pah.. DRDO Bad.GTRE SUX. 30 years to add just one gear to an engine

Shame. Shame. Reliance would do it in 30 minutes.

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Re: Project BRF: India's Kaveri Engine Saga

Postby Indranil » 26 Oct 2015 23:28

People, I have deleted quite a few light posts from this thread. Remember this is a gyan-only thread. I have repeated this many many times now. I am excusing the posters one LAST TIME. The next light post will get you a warning a 7-day leave.

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Re: Project BRF: India's Kaveri Engine Saga

Postby Gyan » 03 Feb 2016 13:11

Can the 8kn turbofan/jet engine being developed by HAL be using the same core (or is related to) 1200-1300kw turboshaft engine?

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Re: Project BRF: India's Kaveri Engine Saga

Postby udy » 23 Mar 2016 09:53

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Re: Project BRF: India's Kaveri Engine Saga

Postby udy » 28 Apr 2016 18:24

IIRC there was a tender from HAL to ARCI for TBC coating of Blades on trial basis for one of their engines.
Some details of the same seems to have been published by ARCI in their Performance Report 2013-14 (Pg 32)

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Re: Project BRF: India's Kaveri Engine Saga

Postby ramana » 07 Dec 2016 00:31


Deficiency in Critical Aerospace Technology

Kaveri engine development was an indigenous effort of Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) for mastering one of the most complex technologies. Altitude Testing and Flying Test Bed trials have been completed which are major milestones in any gas turbine engine development. The other development problems are addressed to make the engine flight worthy through indigenous as well with assistance from abroad Engine Houses.

All efforts have been made by Ministry of Defence (MoD), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Defence public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) & Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) to achieve self-reliance in critical technologies. The self-reliance has to spread across design, materials, manufacturing, testing and certification aspects of aero-engine and considerable progress has been made towards the same through the Kaveri engine development programme.

The following DRDO laboratories are fully dedicated towards aeronautical research.

• Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) – Morphing Aircraft Technologies.

• Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) – Aircraft Design & Development.

• Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) – Gas Turbine Aero Engines.

• Defence Research & Development Laboratory (DRDL) – Hypersonic Propulsion.

• Advanced System Laboratory (ASL) – Solid Propellant Combustion Modelling.

• Centre for Airborne System (CABS) – Design & Development of Airborne Surveillance System.

A dedicated programme on “Gas Turbine Enabling Technology (GATET) has also been sanctioned by DRDO at a cost of Rs. 78 Crore to facilitate academia and research institutions to carry out R&D in aerospace sector.

DRDO has made all efforts to augment aerospace technology capability of the country with dedicated research facilities at Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), located at Mumbai and Chennai by creating ‘Centre of Propulsion Technology (COPT)’; and also at Indian Institute of Science (IISc) through ‘National Centre for Combustion Research & Development’ (NCCRD). Though the manufacturing is not the mandate of DRDO, however, research pertaining to various areas of manufacturing technology such as machining, metal forming, metal joining, etc. are being pursued in recent times through academia and R&D establishments and these are progressing well. Moreover, DRDO has involved academia and private industries right from the inception of project.

This information was given by Minister of State for Defence Dr. Subhash Bhamre in a written reply to Shri Rahul Shewale and others in Lok Sabha today.

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Re: Project BRF: India's Kaveri Engine Saga

Postby SaiK » 12 Feb 2017 00:10

He said the Tejas PV-1 fitted with Kaveri engine will be flying by Aero India 2019. “We are reviving PV-1 to accommodate the Kaveri engine with some changes to the rear fuselage,”......

Read more at: ... -1.1723379
Last edited by Indranil on 21 Feb 2017 01:40, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: This is a gyan-only thread. Not news and discussion thread. This post will self-destruct in due time.

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