Kaveri Derivative Engine Nears Culmination in Russia for Ghatak UCAV

The Kaveri derivative engine, commonly referred to as the Dry Kaveri, is on the cusp of undergoing the last crucial phase of trials in Russia, set to take place early next year. These forthcoming trials are anticipated to be the culmination of the engine’s developmental journey. GTRE (Gas Turbine Research Establishment) has commissioned engine modules from Godrej Aerospace, which will be assembled and shipped to Russia for a battery of tests, including simulated high-altitude trials and evaluations on a flight test bed.

The primary objective of the Kaveri Dry engine is to provide propulsion for India’s groundbreaking stealth unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV), known as the Ghatak. Already, this engine has showcased its prowess by successfully completing simulated high-altitude tests in Russia. The next critical step involves integrating the Kaveri Dry engine into a specialized flying test bed (FTB), 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 selected testing site for this phase of development is the Gromov Flight Research Institute, situated near Moscow, Russia. This institute houses the modified IL-76 aircraft, which will play a pivotal role in conducting simulated flight tests of the Kaveri Dry engine. These trials are deemed an indispensable formality in the engine’s comprehensive development process.

GTRE initially aimed to conclude all essential tests by 2024-25, with the ultimate goal of commencing limited series production by 2025-26. The significant progress achieved in Russia represents a noteworthy milestone in India’s relentless pursuit of advanced engine technology for unmanned combat aerial vehicles. It brings the nation one step closer to realizing its ambitious aspirations in this dynamic and transformative field of aviation technology.

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