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In an exclusive interview with “Uday India,” Dr Samir V Kamat, Chairman of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), provided valuable insights into the journey of the Kaveri Engine—a pivotal component of India’s aerospace ambitions. While acknowledging certain challenges, Dr Kamat unequivocally stated that the Kaveri Engine cannot be branded as a failure, highlighting its ongoing evolution and prospects.

The Kaveri Engine has long been associated with India’s ambitious Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas program. While it faced difficulties in meeting the desired thrust levels for the LCA platform, Dr. Kamat emphasized that the engine’s story is far from over. He particularly lauded the progress made in the development of the Dry Kaveri engine program. This dry engine variant, devoid of afterburners, has demonstrated its adaptability and utility, especially in the context of future unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

However, the significance of the Dry Kaveri engine program extends beyond its immediate applications. Dr. Kamat unveiled plans for the engine to serve as the foundation for the creation of a new 110kN class of engine. This ambitious endeavour is slated to be a collaborative venture with an international partner, with an estimated timeline of 10 to 15 years for its development.

The advent of the 110kN class engine heralds a new era in India’s aero-engine capabilities. This powerful engine is envisioned as a cornerstone for a wide range of both manned and unmanned aerospace platforms. Notably, it is expected to be a crucial component of India’s Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) fighter jets. Furthermore, there is potential for this engine to be integrated into the Indian Navy’s Twin Engine Deck-Based Fighter (TEDBF) program, illustrating its versatility and strategic importance.

Dr. Kamat also underlined the importance of collaboration in the development of advanced aero-engines. He pointed out that while the Kaveri Engine is considered a fourth-generation engine, collaboration with an international partner is to develop a fifth-generation. Furthermore, he noted that some countries have already embarked on the development of sixth-generation engines, emphasizing the importance of staying at the forefront of aero-engine technology.

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