India’s Defense Research Development Organization (DRDO) has confirmed that it has abandoned plans to jointly develop and produce the Kaveri military aircraft engine solely with France’s Snecma.
GTRE GTX-35VS Kaveri
The naval prototype of India’s Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA) made its first test flight on April 27. Already delayed by four years, the program still faces design concerns, including weight. Strengthening of the rear airframe for carrier operations, and the addition of an arrestor hook, has made the aircraft about 1,000 pounds overweight.
Few coompanies can lay claim to having as many as 10 aircraft planned or under development simultaneously, but India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) is doing just that. However, while the Bangalore-based group’s ambitions may be laudable, it remains to be seen how it will face the formidable challenges of its current and planned projects.
India's indigenous light combat aircraft (LCA), the Tejas, was flown in formation at the Aero India show this month, with a two-seat version was on display in the static park. The Tejas MkI received initial operational clearance in January, and full operational clearance is due next year. Changes in weapons, sensors and avionics will be made according to Indian Air Force (IAF) requirements.
Among the most eagerly awaited show participants listed in pre-Paris releases was the HAL Tejas–India’s Light Combat Aircraft. Two were originally on the list, of which one was due to fly in the air display. However, a new urgency has descended on the program, and the aircraft could not be spared from test flights.
French engine manufacturer Snecma says it has had “discussions” with business jet airframers about its plans revealed early this year to develop an 8,500- to 10,000-pound-thrust turbofan. It said it has “seen a minimum of five and a maximum of seven potential new programs” that could be candidates for the engine, which probably would not be available until 2011 at the earliest. Ground testing could begin later next year.