India’s Gas Turbine Research Establishment developed, Kaveri Derivative Engine will be heading to Russia’s top aviation institute, Gromov Flight Research Institute based in Zhukovsk for further testing on an Il-76LL (Flying Lab) aircraft with a Kaveri engine set in place of one of the plane’s engines in 2022 or 2023 said informed sources close to Kaveri Derivate Engine is a Dry Engine variant based on the K9 Core in development to power India’s first Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV).

Kaveri engine was test-flown for 70 hours in a converted Russian IL-76 plane way back in 2010 but GTRE was unable to generate the required target thrust and was unable to fix last-mile technical issues with the engines required to power LCA-Tejas Mk1 aircraft due to which it was delinked from the LCA-Tejas program and the Kaveri engine program nearly closed.

UCAV Program came as a blessing in disguise for the Kaveri engine program, and fresh funds were sanctioned for the development of a Kaveri Derivate Engine that according to GTRE will get its Initial Flight Release (IFR) certification in 2024. Kaveri Derivative Engine can generate a 47kN class of Thrust and will be equipped with a Fluidic Thrust Vectoring exhaust nozzle.

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