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The Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) of India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has received a new batch of Dry Kaveri engines. These engines will undergo further testing and certification to pave the way for their integration into indigenous fighter jets.

This development marks a significant step forward for the Dry Kaveri program, which aims to develop a powerful engine for the DRDO Ghatak Unmanned Strike combat aircraft. After nearly a decade of delays, the project seems to be gaining momentum.

According to sources who informed, GTRE plans to integrate one of the Dry Kaveri engines with an afterburner section. This enhanced engine will then be fitted onto an older Limited Series Production (LSP) LCA-Tejas Mk1 aircraft for flight testing purposes.

The flight trials are expected to begin within the next two years and will focus on validating the engine’s ability to generate 73kN of thrust. This achievement is crucial for DRDO’s efforts to lobby for the development of a new engine class.

The ultimate goal is to create a 90kN class engine that can be used as a potential alternative to the F-404 engine currently powering the Tejas Mk1A fighter jets. This indigenous alternative would be a significant boost to India’s self-reliance in fighter jet technology.

The success of these trials would pave the way for DRDO to lobby for the 90kN engine as a replacement option for the F-404 engines when the Tejas Mk1A fleet undergoes engine upgrades in the future.

This development signifies a renewed push by DRDO to achieve self-sufficiency in fighter jet engine technology. The successful testing and certification of the Dry Kaveri engine could lead to a more powerful indigenous alternative for the Tejas fighter jets.

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