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The Kaveri derivative engine, known as the Dry Kaveri, is poised for another round of critical trials in Russia early next year. These upcoming trials are expected to represent the final phase of the engine’s development journey. GTRE (Gas Turbine Research Establishment) has ordered engine modules from Godrej Aerospace, which will be assembled and transported to Russia for a series of tests, including simulated high altitude trials and flight test bed assessments.

The primary purpose of the Kaveri Dry engine is to provide propulsion for India’s groundbreaking stealth unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) known as the Ghatak. The engine has already demonstrated its capabilities by successfully passing simulated high altitude tests in Russia. The next step involves integrating the Kaveri Dry engine into a specialized flying test bed (FTB), which is a modified Ilyushin (Il)-76 fixed-wing aircraft powered by four turbofan engines. During these trials, one of the Il-76’s four engines will be replaced with the Kaveri Dry engine.

The testing location selected for this phase of development is the Gromov Flight Research Institute, located near Moscow, Russia. This institute houses the modified IL-76 aircraft, which will be utilized for conducting simulated flight tests of the Kaveri Dry engine. These trials are regarded as a crucial formality in the engine’s overall development process.

GTRE’s initial timeline aimed to complete all essential tests by 2024-25, with the goal of commencing limited series production by 2025-26. The progress achieved in Russia signifies a significant milestone in India’s pursuit of advanced engine technology for unmanned combat aerial vehicles, bringing the country closer to realizing its ambitious goals in this field.

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