French Media:- M88-Kaveri to power India’s LCA-Tejas MK1A
French weekly financial newspaper ” La Tribune ” in its latest report has said that France and India are on track to power the Indian light combat aircraft (LCA) with the M88 as part of the Kaveri program which currently is been resurrected with French help.
La Tribune report says that Major Announcement will be made when Emmanuel Macron is on a trip to India from March 10th onwards.
The Kaveri project – which was abandoned in 2014 as it did not meet the power requirements of the Air Force – is being revived with French help for use on both the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) and a new unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) project.
Under the terms of the partnership finalised late last year, Snecma is working to modify, certify and integrate the Kaveri on a Light Combat Aircraft airframe before 2020. A later phase in the partnership will involve modifications on the Kaveri for a twin configuration on India’s AMCA fifth generation fighter concept and an altered non-reheat version for the Ghatak UCAV. It is not clear if the Snecma partnership will stretch to the concept Manik mini-turbofan being developed for UAVs and cruise missiles. One of the Kaveri specimens was on display at the recent Aero India show.
There are important implications of the Snecma-DRDO partnership on the Kaveri engine. A Kaveri engine sporting potential commonality with the Snecma M88 could be compelling factor in how India chooses its next fighter jets, both for the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy. Those implications, at any rate, would be clearer only once the Kaveri proves itself at every level of performance and envelope. It’s useful to break down the state of play with the new Kaveri in the projected mix.
Tejas MK1A is a new and improved variant of the Tejas currently in production. Among the systems integrated into the new model are advanced EL/M-2052 AESA Radar and an electro-optic Electronic Warfare (EW) sensor suite, and aerial refueling capability.
.DRDO have also reached a decent way in process of developing stealth technology. DRDO also plans to integrate the home grown Stealth tech with MK1-A variants , once it is completely developed and tested .
Once the stealth technology, Derby BVR III and Modernized Kaveri Engine are integrated with the Tejas MK1-A, this aircraft will become the most deadly aircraft in its class.
DRDO Chief Dr S Christopher in 2017 had said that LCA-Tejas will fly with Indo-French Kaveri engine by 2019 Aero India
M88-4E in its present stage can generate only 75kN of Thrust with afterburnerM88-4E-Kaveri engine reportedly will be able to generate 88.9 kN to 99 kN of Thrust with afterburner due to the limitation of M88 Core.
It is also planned to use an upgraded version of Kaveri to meet the needs of the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA)
This implies that the Kaveri turbofan should be upgraded to generate 110-kN wet and 75-kN dry thrust. But then an engine of this capability will need to incorporate single crystal blade technology, integrated rotor disk and blades and super alloys of nickel and cobalt. Kaveri engine in its present form uses directionally solidified blade technology which is rather an old hat. The 20-tonne class AMCA designed for stealth features and super cruise capability is planned to be powered by two GTX Kaveri engines. Significantly, the Kaveri engine has been custom built to operate in the demanding Indian environment that ranges from the hot desert to the freezing mountain heights.