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In a candid and exclusive interview with “Uday India,” Dr Samir V. Kamat, Chairman of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), provided insights into India’s aero-engine development capabilities, highlighting the progress made by the Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE). Dr. Kamat discussed GTRE’s efforts to develop a new 110kN thrust engine, shedding light on the challenges and potential collaborations that could expedite this critical project.

GTRE, a key player in aero-engine research, has been diligently working on the Dry Kaveri engine. Over the years, significant advancements have been achieved, addressing many of the engine’s technical challenges. The engine has demonstrated an impressive 46kN of thrust during tests at a High Altitude facility in Russia, a noteworthy accomplishment in itself.

However, Dr Kamat acknowledged that the development of a new 110kN engine is a formidable task that might require a more extended timeline, possibly up to 20 years if pursued independently. To accelerate this timeline and reduce the risk of failure, Dr. Kamat emphasized the potential benefits of collaboration with foreign aerospace engine manufacturers.

In particular, Dr Kamat revealed that GTRE is in discussions with French aerospace giant Safran to jointly develop a new 110kN engine. This engine would play a pivotal role in powering India’s ambitious Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), a fifth-generation fighter jet program aimed at enhancing India’s air combat capabilities.

The collaboration with Safran aims to create a new core engine generating 75kN of Dry Thrust, which would be integrated with afterburner sections developed by GTRE. When engaged, this engine is expected to produce an impressive 110-120kN class of thrust. This powerful propulsion system would find applications not only in the AMCA but also in future sixth-generation fighter jet programs, ensuring India remains at the forefront of aerospace technology.

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