On ongoing Ukraine-Russia war might have delayed Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) plans to commence high altitude trials of the Kaveri Dry engine that is currently generating 46kN of thrust on using a Russian Ilyushin Il-76 transport as a testbed nearly 12 years after its first such trials in 2010 but the redesigned Kaveri engine core that GTRE has now is much more stable engine and has all technical issues related to the noise at high throttle testing and combustion flicker has not only been fixed but have been validated multiple times on the ground rig trials of the engine.

GTRE had planned to complete the initial flight realize (IFR) by end of 2024 which now might be slightly delayed but it’s important that the engine in terms of reliability, safety, and airworthiness is tested on the flying testbed said an informed source close to

GTRE is required to carry out modifications to the Il-76 to include instrumentation required for trials, as well as the integration of mechanical, electrical, and fuel systems. The pilot controlled the engine from the cockpit, and several taxi trials will need to be carried out before the flight. Ilyushin Il-76 transport will take off at a speed of Mach 0.6 and will cruise at an altitude of 6,000m to check the engine performance with each flight lasting around 1 hour with 40-50 such flights planned for the next few weeks after trials commence.

DRDO-GTRE already has developed a new fan section with an improved radar cross-section and is also working on a new afterburner section for the engine which when engaged will be able to deliver 76kN of thrust which might not be sufficient to be equipped on manned fighter jets like LCA-Tejas Mk1A but can be used on unmanned platforms like Futuristic Unmanned Fighter Aircraft (FUFA). Core alone Kaveri generating 46kN of thrust primarily will be used on the DRDO/ADE’s developed stealth Remote Piloted Strike Aircraft (RPSA).

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