India’s Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) plans to deliver a Kaveri K9 turbofan to Russia for flight tests by mid-year in the run-up to the engine’s installation in the Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA) by the end of 2006.

Indian LCA Kaveri K9 W445

A model of the naval LCA debuted in Singapore

The long-awaited Kaveri test move comes as Snecma wins an ADA contract to assist in its final development phase. “It’s more of a peer review contract,” says ADA propulsion systems group director Swaminathan Ratnam, who adds the upcoming Russian tests are scheduled to run from June through September on an Ilyushin Il-76 testbed.

Following the completion of tests, the engine will be returned to Bangalore for the start of installation work on PV1 (prototype vehicle), one of four LCAs currently engaged in flight tests. The indigenously developed Kaveri, originally planned as the baseline engine for the LCA, will replace the General Electric F404-IN20, 11 of which have now been supplied to the indigenous Indian fighter programme. The integration effort will involve replacing sections of the fuselage as well as an inlet design optimised for the Kaveri. Flight tests are not expected to start until well into 2007. Meanwhile, the ADA displayed at Asian Aerospace a model of the naval version of LCA (see below).

Source: Flight International