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Officials at the Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) are elated with the recent achievement of the Dry Kaveri engine, which has demonstrated a thrust class of 48kN. As a result, discussions have commenced with state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) regarding the integration and testing of an Afterburner variant of the engine onboard an older LCA-Tejas aircraft, likely to take place in the later in this decade.

While a new Afterburner module has been designed, it is yet to undergo full-scale developmental testing. GTRE aims to secure funds for the program to showcase a fully developed engine on board an LCA-Tejas aircraft. It is important to note that work on an indigenous alternative engine for the American F404 is still pending.

GTRE intends to employ this demonstration as a stepping stone to develop an enhanced Kaveri engine for a potential re-engine program. However, sources familiar with the matter have informed idrw that even with the Afterburner module, the Dry Kaveri engine will not surpass the 76kN thrust level. This falls short of the GE F404 engine, which can generate 84kN of thrust.

Currently, GTRE is in the process of developing eight Dry Kaveri engines for the final certification process scheduled to take place before 2025. The organization is keen on further advancing the engine’s capabilities, aiming to achieve thrust levels of 90kN. This will be accomplished by increasing the airflow and pressure ratio without altering the length and inlet diameter of the engine, necessitating improvements in the core section to sustain higher temperatures for longer durations.

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