SOURCE: SATYAJEET KUMAR/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
HLFT-42, a low-cost trainer and light combat aircraft can have tremendous potential in the export market where many countries are looking for low-cost air power if it can be powered by the Kaveri After Burner variant of the engine that India has been developing for the Unmanned Strike Aircraft Program.
Kaveri Dry engine can generate 46kN of thrust that once mated with an afterburner module will be able to generate at least 71kN of thrust which could be good enough for aircraft that might have all up weight around 7.5 to 8 tons.
Kaveri AF will not be overkill for HLFT-42, since it requires additional thrust due to the weight penalty it will have to face due to being all metal structure composition of the aircraft and also that needs to have a higher thrust-to-weight ratio to be a viable aircraft that can be used as a secondary role in the combat.
Kaveri AF on HLFT-42 will not only save the Indian exchequer lot of foreign reserves but also will allow India to offer HLFT-42 to countries where western suppliers that might have issues selling weapons. HLFT-42 powered by Kaveri AF will also smoothen out any production line issues and also lead to further refinement of the engine that will help India develop newer engines for other programs in the future.
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