SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG
India has started work on the development of a Kaveri derivative engine (“dry” engine) without afterburner for powering Indian Unmanned Combat Aircraft in near future, ground testing of the first pre-prototype of the same has been carried out said people with knowledge of the program to idrw.org and the aim is to develop a working prototype in next 2-3 years so that it can be used for flight certification before it can be used on production variant of the upcoming 15 tonnes Stealth UCAV program.
The new engine will have a Dry thrust of 50kN Class without a non-after burning section with a flat low heat nozzle exhaust. DRDO is planning to develop at least 3-4 Dry derivative of the Kaveri engine first to carry out full spectrum ground tests before its flight testing.
DRDO plans to test a Technology Demonstrator called Stealth Wing Flying Test bed (SWiFT)[ powered by an NPO Saturn 36MT turbofan engine later this year to test and collect data on the flight dynamics of the design and to carry out further improvements.
DRDO has received seed money for both UCAV and AMCA fighter jet programs which are to be used for research works but both programs are yet to receive official Phase-I money for the development and it is likely to be officially granted this year. both Russian and Chinese stealthy UCAVs were sported with after burning engines in leaked images but they will be getting flat low heat nozzle exhaust later in the production model. if approved in 2020, India’s UCAV will have its first flight by 2027-28 and will enter production by 2033.
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