India to flight-test first indigenous jet engine next month

"Kaveri engine will be flight-tested in one-and-half months... Should be after middle of May," Director of Bangalore-based Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE), a DRDO lab, T Mohana Rao, said.

It would be flight-tested using the IL-76 aircraft in Russia, he said. The Kaveri engine, meant for India's fighter jet, the Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, has completed all simulation and altitude tests. The altitude tests in Russia in February were a "grand success", he said.
GTRE officials said around Rs 3,000 crore has been spent on the Kaveri project.

Rao said GTRE is now looking to reduce the weight of the Kaveri engine to 50 kg from 60 kg. "It has to be fine-tuned. We will go in for lot of optimisation in future".

GTRE, which is engaged in research and development of gas turbines for military aircraft, has so far developed nine Kaveri engines and four Kabini (core of Kaveri). "All engines have been tested to full potential," he added.

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