French weekly financial newspaper ” La Tribune ” in its latest report has said that France and India are on track to power the Indian light combat aircraft (LCA) with the M88 as part of the Kaveri program which currently is been resurrected with French help.
La Tribune report says that Major Announcement will be made when Emmanuel Macron is on a trip to India from March 10th onwards.
French defence manufacturer Safran in 2016 agreed to help revive India’s long-stalled Kaveri gas turbine engine project. It will require 25-30% more work to make the Kaveri engine to be combat-worthy.It offered 1-billion euro investment to revive the project as part of Dassault Rafale Purchase offset clause.
French side had said that it will take 18 months to make Kaveri flight-worthy. DRDO Chief Dr S Christopher in 2017 had said that LCA-Tejas will fly with Indo-French Kaveri engine by 2019 Aero India.
M88-4E in its present stage can generate only 75kN of Thrust with afterburner. M88-4E-Kaveri engine reportedly will be able to generate 88.9 kN to 99 kN of Thrust with afterburner due to the limitation of M88 Core.
India at present uses American General Electric F404-GE-IN20 turbofan engine generating 89.8 kN of Thrust with afterburner to power LCA-Tejas MK1. IAF is set to place orders for 83 LCA-Tejas MK1A and has not placed any new orders for General Electric F404-GE-IN20 turbofan engine.
India has procured Two General Electric F414-GE-INS6 engine with 98 kN of thrust for Tejas MK-2 Program which is yet to start.
India has placed orders for 40 Mk 1 which are powered by F404-GE-IN20 turbofan engine, while the order for 83 Mk-1A is supposed to happen in next few months.
India and France might have separate engine program to develop a New powerhouse to power India’s AMCA 5th generation fighter jet.
Two Initial NGTD (Next Generation Technology Demonstrator) of AMCA will be powered by General Electric F414-GE-INS6 engine ordered for Tejas MK-2 Program.
General Electric refusal to provide Complete Transfer of technology for F404-GE-IN20 turbofan engine lead to the development of the M88-4E-Kaveri engine.