DRDO, French company talks on Kaveri jet engine crash
NEW DELHI: The plan to develop the indigenous Kaveri fighter jet engine as part of the Rafale offsets deal with the help of French technology is believed to have fallen through after the Indian side found the pricing prohibitive.
At least three people, who were part of the discussions, told ET that the project is now as good as over. The engine was supposed to power the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) as well as future fighter jets.
The talks with French engine manufacturer Safran, which makes the engines and electronics for the Rafale fighters, seem to have hit a roadblock after it emerged in detailed studies that only a part of the offsets — just over €250 million — could be utilised for the project. Defence Research and Development Organisation would have had to provide the remaining €500 million, said sources.
ET has learnt that DRDO did not find this price reasonable and is no longer considering the upgraded Kaveri engine for the next batch of 83 LCAs to be made in India or the Mark-2 version of the jet planned in the near future. The fighter jets are now likely to be powered by engines supplied by US’ General Electric. DRDO has spent more than €240 million on the Kaveri project so far without success.
Four Years of Work Needed
As per the Rafale contract, French companies have to invest 3.4 billion euros worth of offsets in India by 2023. Of these, Safran alone has to execute offsets in excess of 580 million euros. The company, sources said, is now struggling to fulfil its obligations.
Other firms undertaking offsets for the Rafale deal — Dassault, Thales and missile manufacturer MBDA — have already submitted detailed plans to execute their obligations and have commenced work with Indian partners.
Sources told ET that advanced talks on reviving the Kaveri engine took place between DRDO and the French manufacturer, which were followed by a detailed project assessment, which brought out that four years of work was needed to get the engine back on track.
As per the proposal being discussed, the Kaveri engine, which was more or less abandoned as a project in 2014 since it did not provide enough thrust for the fighter jets, was to be modified into a worldclass product with transfer of technology as well as manufacturing rights.
Engines are the most critical systems on fighter jets, and few nations have been able to master the technology to manufacture them. Rough estimates show that for a fleet of 200 LCAs in service, the cost of engines alone would be in excess of 25 billion euros over the lifecycle of the planes.
India has been struggling to develop its own combat jet engine despite efforts stretching over two decades. Efforts are also on to develop a graded down ‘Ghatak’ version of the Kaveri engine for use in the unmanned aerial combat vehicle being developed by India.
译文来源：三泰虎 http://www.santaihu.com/48288.html 译者：Joyceliu
DRDO scientists and engineers have done a good job in developing the Kaveri engine. No country in this world developed a successful engine with the meager amount of money that they put in the Kaveri project. We need to make the engine a national priority. The shortcomings of the engine can be overcome if adequate funding and importance are accorded to the project.
- · ·· ··The French have an agenda of their own -- that is either bagging an order for at least 36 more twin-engine Rafale fighters from the Air Force or the Navy''s requirement of 57 carrier-based fighters. (The twin-engine Rafale-M serves aboard the nuclear-powered French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle.) Boeing has offered to set up an F/A-18 Super Hornet production facility in India. “We are talking about creating a next-generation facility in India. We think the Super Hornet is the most advanced airplane that India could manufacture,” Dan Gillian, Boeing’s program manager for the F/A-18 and EA-18G, said. The Super Hornets are powered by General Electric afterburning turbofan engines. So is the Tejas LCA. We should work towards getting General Electric to set up an aircraft engine production facility under ''Make in India''.
Kaveri engine is not a failure. Kaveri engine is under powered. Its suitable for UAV.We need to invest more funds to develop it. Its better to invest now and save 25 Billion Euros. No country will share such tech at low price.
@Bharat Wankhede: The Kaveri engine (GTX-35VS) has been able to generate a thrust of 82 kN (18,000 lbf). Being underpowered it can''t be the powerplant for any single engine aircraft. But, can''t it power the Tejas Mk-2 -- a MWF, if it is modified to be a twin-engine fighter??
卡维利发动机(GTX-35VS)能够产生82 kN (18000 lbf)的推力。由于动力不足，它不可能成为任何单引擎飞机的动力装置。但是，如果把光辉Mk-2改装成双引擎战斗机，不能用它提供动力吗？
Reverse engineering as a project term exam in IIT should be a must.. Stripping some old and new engines and learning intricacies with innovating and improving the engine performance should be part of the project... It is well known that the japs American and even Brits have reverse engineered
Why we are still dependent so much on others? Can''t we work on our own like ISRO?
DRDO officer goes home for lunch.. After nap returns in Time for tea... What do you expect
pathetic...so many IIT and IIM and we cannot make one engine.
I am not sure that the best engineers and scientists are working on these sophisticated projects. By the way, IIM people are paper pushers and don''t contribute anything to the real need- engineering, research and scientific advancements. The best scientists and engineers are leaving for jobs in western countries.
@Arman S(Del): Engineering jobs don''t pay that well. Majority of the IIM alumni join foreign banks, consulting firms or FMCG companies for fat salaries. Almost all alumni from IIT and top engineering schools go abroad for PG and don''t return. So we have Indians heading global companies like Google, Microsoft, Adobe, NetApp, SanDisk, Global Foundries, MasterCard, Nokia, Deutsche Bank, Reckitt Benckiser, Harman Intl., Pepsi (till recently), SoftBank Internet and Media (not currently). Of course there are more.
Govt. employees'' pensions need to be reformed to earn-as-you-go so that their pensions come out of their own savings and investments and not from taxpayers'' funds - this is the only way to create space for modernizing the armed forces.
@Subramaniam S: We should take a fresh look at the engine for indigenous fighter aircraft program. Maybe the new name even, which could be a shortened form of Brahmaputra. After all the BrahMos program, which derives its name from the Brahmaputra is doing very well.
@Subramaniam S: There is really nothing to analyse. The French logic is evident. Safran now powers and/or equips 65% of India''s airplanes and helicopters. If we use of the M-88-3 turbofan engine core as a base for developing a new Kaveri engine, it will ensure that the French will permanently be part the Kaveri program also. Safran will get royalties and regular order for spares.
Nemam Natarajan Pasupathy
Good it is called off. DRDO has neither the technical know how nor the advanced infrastructure for fabrication. All along they have only been assembling imported components and claiming the end product as their own. Every single project DRDO has started had tremendous cost and time over run without successful completion.
@Nemam Natarajan Pasupathy:Who do you think developed the Agni series of missiles??You may not think highly of the capabilities of the Agni-V -- an intercontinental ballistic missile developed by DRDO. But, China decided to play it safe and decided to buy the S-400 Trumph air defence system from Russia -- the best defence in the world against air-borne threats. Other missiles developed by DRDO: Prithvi, Trishul, Akash and Nag. DRDO has also developed a Man Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile.
Nemam Natarajan Pasupathy
Though the popular saying " it is not rocket science", rocket science is much more easy to fabricate than systems which have moving parts. DRDO does not have the wherewithal to master composites and critical metallurgical components needed for Turbo prop or Jet engines. It is a fact tht even for field guns or howitzers they have to depend on third party vendors. A rocket or a missile on the other hand is a single use item. Compared to DRDO, ISRO has advanced leaps and bounds. The BDL which is the model producer of missiles and rockets for the Army has no orders on its books for a single product except from the Indian Armed Forces.As far as the history of development of Insas weapon system, I don''t need to say anything. Just go through Wikipedia and trace the history of development of UAV, Awacs, Howitzer, MBRL etc. What was the time frame and cost of development. Even items like HAHO parachute, extreme cold shelters, bullet proof vests , you name it. DRDO had announce development of Bio toilets. How many of their design or product is used by the railways? Their mosquito repellent cream is sold only through CSD canteens and perhaps that is also stopped. They can take credit for inventing " Pulihora" ( Tamarind rice) for issue to troops on extended long range patrolling! But my great grand mother and all the Vishnu temples in Tamil nadu/ Andhra knew of it centuries agao!
BETTER MAKE WITH RUSSIA. DONT INDIGENIZE, JUST DO PARTNERSHIP AND MAKE ENGINES. CHEERS
@Dr Mahesh: Russia wouldn''t be keen on a partnership to make a turbofan engine for aircrafts because they have a more lucrative ongoing business. The AL31FP engine of the Su-30 MKI is assembled at HAL unit at Koraput. The RD-33 series–III engine of the MiG-29 is also licence manufactured at Koraput. Then there is the supply of spares and consumables that is required during engine maintenance & overhaul. No other country has these many Russian/Soviet military aircraft.
@Dr Mahesh:When it comes to transfer of technology, Russia is not too keen. The Air Force and Navy are their cash cows. Among the reasons why the collaboration with Russia''s Sukhoi for development of the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) fell through after 10 years was because: 1) Russia''s reluctance to share source code of the flight control software; 2) shortcomings of the proposed engine.
@Dr Mahesh:谈到技术转让，俄罗斯并不积极。空军和海军是他们的摇钱树。与俄罗斯苏霍伊合作研发第五代战斗机(FGFA) 10年后失败的原因之一是：1)俄罗斯不愿共享飞行控制软件的源代码；2)发动机有缺陷。
MOST OF HERE ARE ASKING TO TAKE HELP OF RUSSIA. WELL RUSSIA HAS DENIED TO HELP INDIA IN THIS MATTER. ALSO RUSSIA HAS DENIED TO SHARE 5TH GENERATION FIGHTER TECHNOLOGY TO INDIA. SO INDIA HAS TRIED EVERYTHING BEFORE GOING WITH FRENCH GOVERNMENT.
When it comes to transfer of technology, Russia is reluctant to do so.
change the name to narmada.
Our engineers and scientists have successfully designed and manufactured rocket engines for ISRO and here the guys at HAL unable to design a fighter jet engine really needs to be investigated thoroughly. All defence related production are plagued with some controversy, i suspect the overseas vendors are involved in this to keep their business going.Modi''s next priority should be the indigenous defence manufacturing sector. Things here need to be set in order on a war footing.
India should learn to do reverse engineering like the Russians, Chinese and the Japanese.
Even for reverse engineering there must be a definite plan.
Our scientists have been doing that for the last 70 years. How do you think we are able to launch satellites and send rockets in to space?
Put to use the brains from premier IIT institues.