NATIONAL

Kaveri engine undergoing tests in Russia

BANGALORE SEPT. 26. Kabini, core engine of Kaveri, the engine used on the Light Combat Aircraft would be subjected to further altitude tests in three months, S.C. Kaushal, Director of the Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE), said here today.

Delivering the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research's Foundation Day lecture at the National Aerospace Laboratories, Mr. Kaushal said the Kaveri comprising Kabini and add-on compressors and turbines, had been undergoing altitude tests at a facility in Russia.

Scientists at the GTRE were working to reduce its weight to about 1,100 kg. In two years, the indigenous engine would come close to delivering the performance required for the LCA. A modified version of the core engine would be subjected to altitude tests in December.

The LCA was now being developed with engines supplied by General Electric.

Two prototype versions of the aircraft, PV I and PV II, were ready. The Kaveri would be certified for limited flights in two to three years, which meant that the LCA would fly on an indigenous engine by 2006.

In 2006, at the limited flight stage, a stripped down version of the LCA (without weapons and extra fuel tank) would be flown at subsonic speeds (less than the speed of sound) on the Kaveri. The LCA, however, had been flown at supersonic speed on a GE 404 engine.

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