Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Kaveri Update In Parliament


India's Kaveri turbofan engine programme came up in Parliament today. Here's what the House was told: "It is proposed to develop production version Kaveri (K10) engine on co-design & co-development basis with M/s Snecma, France. The technical evaluation for this proposal has been completed. Tender Purchase Committee (TPC) with members from DRDO, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Indian Air Force (IAF), Indian Navy (IN) and Integrated Finance (R&D) is negotiating the commercial aspects."

Photo by Shiv Aroor

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

Russia on Kaveri Engine

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7P6BSnTkly8

Anonymous said...

What we see in the picture is Kaveri K-9?

Anonymous said...

why cant anything be indeginous... open this sector to private like usa whos made best progress or reverse engineer like chinese

Anonymous said...

Anon at 4:44PM: I am with you on privatizing. But, the only problem with privatizing is that, there is very little money left for our beloved Babus. How will our babus survive if private companies start making stuff, better and faster. No offense to DRDO, NAL, etc.... they have done a good job, but I think they could have done even better if there were more competitors who had the same chance to develop and then compete as well as partner with each other. We would many more minds working on the Kaveri, the LCA, etc. We cannot undo what is done, but changes could be made going forward to address this so that in another decade or two, we can be the makers of weapons rather than the other way around.

Anonymous said...

Nobody is stopping you from developing a jet engine...go on.make it!!....or do you want the govt to fund you to make it??...or to assure that they will buy from you??

Sid said...

Is the above pic is a kaveri engine ???........

Anonymous said...

DRDO guys are great at PR and there are willing suckers in the print and TV media to to buy thier stories always. This project will see more cost escaltions and time delays and when it is time to fit it on the aircraft, the air craft will be obsolete. Can some one build accounatbality into this project ?

Anonymous said...

@4:44 because it's been tried and failed. GTRE has been funded for the past 20 years to produce an engine and has failed. Sometimes its better not to reinvent the wheel and collaborate with foreign manufacturers to build the expertise first. We have practically no expertise in such high-tech engine manufacturing. Everything doesn't have to be indigenous straight up.

Anonymous said...

shame..we can't develop our own engine. I thought we are a techie country with "smart brains" and "IITs" we boast of

Bidyut said...

so, we take pictures from the tail end of this half a billion dollar waste?

u guys have some real sense of humor...

- nanovacuum (US)

Anonymous said...

To Anon 11:32

One quick question, how many countries do you know of, make their own aircraft and engines , lets start with developed countries in Europe?

And does any expertise come overnight, yes someone should have had a oversight to made a decision on early collaboration atleast for the first engine and go forward, but was this possible with the perspective the other countries had about India?

And so whats the first thing you say when you know that someone is studying in IIT, Oh IIT, I'm sure some Forigen company will pick him up and give a good package.

Or hey did you spend all the time in IIT for national service.

Hats off to the ones who work abroad and then come back to build the nation and the ones who stay back and fight the order.

Yeah Smart brains at times can't help about short gain.

Anonymous said...

I am a taxpayer. I am a fool. I would believe all that DRDO, HAL, GTRE etc says and i will keep paying tax for their food.... And i could hear one dumbo ask how many countries are developing their own fighters and engines.. well.. with this kinda attitude we can never grow... when r we gonna compare with those countries that can produce fighters and engines on their own....it indeed is a shame... honestly i have started to think am paying money aka tax for beggers who just need money to survive coz they cant do any work for their living... just thought of sharing my thought.. Please excuse me it hurts somebody.. dint mean to....

Anonymous said...

we at the ratshaker forum are in the process of designing a cool engine. we need sponsorship, can someone help?

Anonymous said...

I have a question for all the fools who are thinking making a Turbo fan engine is like walking in the park.

Except the following countries tell which country has mastered or even have any working turbo fan engine.

1. US
2. France
3. UK
4. Russia

China, I dont consider them as their engine is crap and based on stolen blue print and technology. SO STF

Anonymous said...

@11:32 being smart also means deciding if its worth putting money into something which is a bottomless hole (google gtre kaveri and you'll know) or doing something "smarter" by collaborating with folks who have the tech and are willing to give it to us for a price. im pretty sure that price is much lower than what we put in already into the hole. times are different now, sanctions have been lifted, tech transfer is easier. lets be "smart" and not just pop the patriotic viagra.

Anonymous said...

Guys,
In India nothing is made without outside technology. This is true from light bulbs to aircrafts.
Even tata (who touts that they make cars in India) goes outside for their engine development. All indian automobile companies develop engines with the help of companies like AVL, Ricardo, FEV etc. So, A bunch of hardworking scientists with government pay develops engine like low bypass turbofan we should appreciate it. Other countries which developed it has been doing this for a very long time. Without putting money in R&D, we can never expect a techological pinnacle like a turbofan engine developed in india.

Hey Anaon @1.25, just paying money does not entitle you to question hardworking engineers (who are mostly Phd's from premier institutions).

Are you world class in your area of work? how many IPR or Patents you hold? How many have you commercialized?

if you are a software engineer, are you working something that helps India or just selling your peanut brain to some foreigner who does not consider you as their equal?

Go try fixing a car engine before talking bad about people who work hard for getting india to top in their area?

BTW, I work on engines and I know what I'm talk about.

Anonymous said...

First you give a budget thats no where enough..then you cry about cost escalation

the entire starting budget of the Tejas program [from which it has escalated to the humongous numbers now]..is a little over the cost of two Typhoon a/c....now talk about cost escalation!!....


and what is stopping pvt companies from developing jet engines for commercial a/c in india?....i'm sure airbus or boeing wouldnt mind getting a better engine....

na..they'd rather concentrate on manufacturing a foreign engine here and make money from it if they can...thats all pvt companies have done in most cases....

the thing is you are a fool to believe that the pvt industry has done a lot of high end research in india!!

Anonymous said...

@ nanovacum

i am not sure its waste...it might not be as good as the best..but its far from waste!!...

Anonymous said...

US offers transfer of F-18 Super Hornet tech to Brazil

http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Security-Industry/2011/02/22/US-mulls-backing-Brazil-jet-deal-terms-on-technology-transfer/UPI-51431298410651/

Will us Offer tech to India ?????????

Anonymous said...

@Anon 1:25 AM
If you are an indian, had studied in an indian institution, used Indian roads, public transport or any government provided facilities, then your tax money goes to pay your debt.
One should not make bad comments about individuals more talented than himself. Most of the PSU engineers are toppers of their institution. You can check the minimum marks required to attempt for these institutes from their websites.
Our engineers has indeed done a great job despite India lagging in manufacturing which was due to the bad policies of license raj 30 years ago.
I hope Tejas and Kaveri will be the stepping stone to some great success in Indian defence sector.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 12:57

"Most of the PSU engineers are toppers of their institution". This may be correct but those institutions are of lower quality. I know lot of engineers in HAL, NAL, ADA & other PSUs. Most of them work in those PSUs only for using it as a stepping stone into private establishments because they can't go into those private companies directly. I am in a private company and I have worked with such people from PSUs.

Anonymous said...

am indeed inferior in knowledge to any of the scientists\engineers working at HAL, DRDO, GTRE etc in this field... am just a lay man who is interested in defence stuff since my childhood, but never really had a chance to be a part of it.. i indeed tried and failed...and now life is taking me thru a diff path... back to topic....Ofcourse, paying tax doesn't entitle me to abuse them.... i agree its easy to abuse and hard to achieve... am just getting frustrated, coz i expect a lot from them... i want them to achieve more... I want them to achieve what i cannot, a feeling similar to that a dad has towards his son... when i read few blogs\comments about the way they work in PSUs and the politics thats happeneing over there, am getting disappointed highly.... Please guys.. dont disappoint me.... I wonder if you would know, at the end of the day, am going to be proud when they achieve, afterall they are my brothers and sisters...

Anonymous said...

To Annonymous at 2:44am

While there's no denying that China has reverse engineered, they are now up to the stage where they are designing their own, such as the WS-15, and to a lesser extent the WS-10 (because the WS-10 is largely derived from the engine core of the reverse engineered WS-6 engine). Once you start improving on and mass producing reverse engineered technology (such as WS-9 and WS-10), you have basically 'mastered' that technology.

Anonymous said...

Privatization is the only way forward.

DPSUs have no urge to do better, cause there is no one pushing them.

They are complacent. It was recently highlighted by Tim Roemer.
These people are guaranteed customers even before they start making their product, that is why they never produce results cause they know someone will always be there to buy it, no matter how shitty it is.


Fire 1000 people from DRDO, next month onwards, you'll see results.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 952..
Why hasnt any pvt company come up with a jet engine (maybe the govt wont allow them to make a military jet..but why not civil jet)....let them make one from scratch....if its good enough they will have customers from around the world..
COz it will take time and money???

Let them build a civil aircraft..not the next widebody but the next turboprop???..nothing is stopping them....

Why should the govt hand over the expertise to pvt firms??

Anonymous said...

@3:51

Maybe you don't know, but Snecma, the co developer of the Kaveri is a private company.

Granted that it takes time and money, but the PSUs are not coming up with anything good.
We make something very sub standard, then say that we need a 'co-developer' who ends up being the sole 'developer'.

Indian private companies will not be able to come up with something substantial out of the blue, but if encouraged, in the long run they will produce better results. Initially private companies will have to tie up to co-produce equipment, then after gaining expertise they'll be able to contribute. This cycle has been run over and over for HAL, but still the only thing they seem to be good at is assembling kits from imported knocked down kits.

The greed and thirst for money will compel the private sector to do better.

[Quote]
Why should the govt hand over the expertise to pvt firms??
[Unquote]

What expertise are you talking of?
Right, I forgot, HAL makes doors for Airbus.

Anonymous said...

@3:51 Anonymous

If a private company fails, it looses it's own money. If a PSU fails, it looses OUR money.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 120 and 122
which is why most pvt companies are reluctant to enter high end defence R&D without govt backing...then the point becomes why back pvt companies..and if you back some pvt company now..would you do it for every pvt company (atleast in the sector)...
and what happens if the company goes under...

and even if its just the door for a/b..why arent pvt comapnies who export cars et al to foreign lands not doing it???

Anonymous said...

The Government doesnt need to donate funds to the private companies, it needs to hold tenders like in all other cases. And then fund the best design for further development.

But how can the private sector compete if PSUs are given a wild card entry?

There is hardly any chance of any loss, plus the tender could include the transfer of all intellectual property to the Indian Government.

Take for instance the US Arms Industry, by far the best in the world, is 100% private.
Private participation cannot come overnight, but they stand a better chance cause private management is always better.

Take HAL, it was founded in 1940, but till today, it's sole expertise is in making doors and making planes out of semi knocked down kits.
A private company in it's stead would have gained expertise and come up with something.

Anonymous said...

Contd..

On a sidenote,

Look at the PAK-FA, even after contributing 50% of the development costs, HAL will get only 25% of the manufacturing part.

Why?
No expertise in making a real fighter jet, eh?
They are concentrating on the Airbus doors I suppose.

Anonymous said...

I was talking about how the pvt industry in india has not even made a civil light aircraft or its engine..and the govt shud now give them a tender for military jet development????

the fact remains..no pvt company in india(well...maybe we should leave out foreign companies operating in india)...has the capacity to develop ...or atleast has not developed a light a/c till now....they have not developed a commerical aviation product...then how can they be expected to develop a new fighter or an engine

When the tender for a new A/C goes out for USAF..you have usually these names Boeing, LM and Grumman..why hasnt any other company come up??..coz it takes time n money in coming up ..and no company will be ready to sink in that kind of money unless the govt backs them in some form...

there too the govt gives them each a fixed amount to develop the prototype because they have the capacity....
if an average joe were to form a company and bid for the tender..he wont be given the development amount!!...i.e the amount is given to companies with the know-how...
in the absence of such companies in india..how does giving such grants/funds make sense??

Or is the suggestion that pvt companies will be able to convince boeing LM grumman etc to part with their high tech stuff...

Anonymous said...

My point is that rather than giving deals to PSUs on a platter, let them compete for them.

Don't give them wild card entries. And allow private companies to come in even for licensed production of foreign aircraft.

I understand and that's what I've written over and over again, that it is not going to happen OVERNIGHT.

It will take time, but with PSUs it will take forever.

Anonymous said...

@ anon 114
then it has to be
licensed production of Foreign A/C by pvt companies VS licensed production of Foreign A/C by PSU

or

Development by PSU vs Development by Pvt companies


you cant compare the licensed production by pvt companies with development by PSU (or vice versa)...that is an apple and oranges scenario

Anonymous said...

I am saying that stop treating private players like step children. Give them some equality.

That's the sole point.

My opinion was that let PSUs also compete for licensed production, let them bid in an open and fair manner along with the rest of the private companies. And let the winner take all.

And if the government does not want the private sector, atleast it should make design bureaus like Russia, where they have multiple organizations working on competing designs. That will also encourage competition and facilitate perfection.

Gautam said...

You know, until a few years ago Korea didn't have much of an aircraft industry. Now it buids its own engines and planes. How? Private firms like Hyundai and Daewoo researched and built them. Likewise there is Japan which is currently developing cutting-edge 5th gen fighters with Mitsubishi leading the development.

The answer always has been to privatise. Give Tata, Kirloskar or Mahindra the thousands of crores government flushed into GTRE and we would already have an indigenous engine flying in LCA today.

But contrary to the media hype about Manmohan the great reformer, Congress has always been Socialist and will remain so. 50 years later GTRE will still have monopoly on engines and will still be 'partnering' with every other company in the world.

Anonymous said...

@ Gautam

Japan was using/building jet engines by end of WWII...but let facts not hinder your arguments...


South Korea AF uses the following korean built a/c

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KAI_KT-1 uses a P&W PT6 engine

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KAI_T-50_Golden_Eagle uses a GE F404

But again..dont let facts get in your way or did GE n P&W suddenly become korean

And although the Kaveri is not at its present stage good enough for the LCA>.it is far from waste..it is nonetheless a low bypass afterburning turbofan giving (i dont remember exact number)kN....

you could argue that success is binary..but then you Gautam are not a '1' of note and therefore a failure you are??

Fact remains that we almost reached there ..we almost got it...and that is not a failure!!


About giving pvt companies with no experience in anything but Manufacturing , thousands of crores in R&D....

Why give tata kirloskar or mahindra...why not videocon, reliance, the photostat guy next door... me ..or you...we have about the same expertise in jet engine design!!!...

[oh and socialism is..not such a bad thing afterall....but thats
another debate ]

So in short..facts aside..you make a compelling argument

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 802
pvt players in defense production should be another discussion (this one being on Kaveri development)

Gautam said...

Anon @ 2.44PM

What is GTRE's track record? What engine have they fully tested, delivered and integrated in 50 years? Same as your mouth: Jack. If you're so sure private sector cannot deliver then why do you and your breed hold hadtals and arm-twist the MoD whenever there's a proposal to award expand private competition in defence? The DRDO/PSU's fear of private firms tells the whole story.

Give them the funding and they'll kick GTRE and their ilk out of the market in 10 years just like they did in airline and telecom sectors despite the PSUs having 50 years of prior experience(read: monopoly) over them.

Gautam said...

BTW the above engine is no more than another 'technology demonstrator' like Trishul. Government has already approved French 'co-development' for Kaveri. The core engine, fuel system, pumps and all 'hot elements' developed by GTRE will be discarded in favour of Snecma M88-3 parts, but hey, why let facts get in the way of your DRDO-Rakshak defence?

GTRE will never develop world-class expertise in Engine design, they'll just import foreign designs, develop a few subsystems on their own and call the result Kaveri.

Anonymous said...

@ Gautam
What engine has pvt sector done..

With airline and telecom..govt has allowed them to operate here.(they brought in foreign equipment..airtel/idea et al didnt make new mobile technology here!!!..neither did Kingfisher , Air deccan et al..)

Most companies in india do production ..not R&D..and that they have done well..will not criticize them on that aspect
Most of the R&D work in pvt sector happens in IT, ITES probably!!!

or else...tell me this..With India (and asia) being one of the faster growing aviation markers..
Why have the Big corporates in india not invested in making a jet engine for civilian a/c....

Have you heard of the great strides made by TATA Motors India R&D ??The best i could come up with was a page on TATA Motors' defense solutions' site about run flat tires ..while on the other hand...after buying JLR..they are planning to invest 1 billion pounds (i.e 10 % reinvested into R&D..if they did that in india ..that would amount to ~3500 crores (07-08 figures) as opposed to actual spending of 550-600 cr (2009)....now i cant figure out why they didnt???But that is gonna pick up now they have access..


While i dodnt meant to criticize out One brand , TATA, the reason for using them is that they are the largest corporate group in india

(if you think lessons were not learnt from Kaveri..meh
At latest Kaveri is said to be producing about 81kN thrust...i.e 95 % of target of 85kN and 4 kN short of GE's F404IN...now one might choose to call that failure..but i get the feeling many wont)

And you probably havent heard of projects that didnt make it to production in pvt sector.coz they dont have to tell you..or do you think pvt companies never have products that didnt reach the market..i.e they are always correct
)



PS: i am not defending DRDO outright..but the criticism here is blatantly wrong, usually biased towards pvt sector by some people crawling the web with a god complex because of a fat paycheck!!

Gautam said...

"Why have the Big corporates in india not invested in making a jet engine for civilian a/c"

You seem like a reasonable person, so I'll lay out the facts.

In private sector there is no assured funding, investments need return. That's why companies only invest in something there is a market for.

In defence sole customer is the armed forces(Export sales are unlikely to occur in significant numbers given the vast competition in international market). And if the government does not support the private firms with firm orders and funding, there is no scope for investing.

Read Ajai Shukla's blog: even after private entrance into defence was allowed the government has always been heavily biased against them and towards the DRDO labs, defence PSUs and Ordinance Factories. There is no support and funding to encourage private start-ups, and they are almost always left out of defence tenders on grounds of 'lack of experience'(which is obvious since they are new companies).

So as a result Tata's Strategic Electronics Division sees little or no return on what they've invested so far in projects like Samyukta and Akash, L & T's shipyards(created by investing hundreds of crores in special equipment for making warships) are facing losses due to lack of orders from the Navy and so on.

In defence sector growth cannot happen without government support. And in India there is only hostility from AK Antony and Pallam Raju's Socialist MoD. These two communists have even gone on record with Shiv Aroor saying how private sector should not try to compete against defence PSUs, only fill in what little gaps they have, which is peanuts for them.


In brief, let the MoD give Tata Rs.5000cr and 10 years for developing indigenous engine(No need to cut out GTRE, they can continue working on Kaveri at their own leisurely pace). Tata may or may not succeed, but they will certainly do better simply because if they don't they will lose their sole customer(something DRDO and the DPSUs don't need to worry about). Buit first you have to give them a chance, which the UPA government has not done so far. You cannot blame them for lack of progress when they are not even given any opportunities to make progress on.

Gautam said...

As for airline and telecom sectors, I pointed out how quickly MTNL and Air India went from having monopoly to having a minority share in the market and turing into loss-making entities. And they also imported the same equipment these private companies do; that had nothing to do with it.

The private sector is very resourceful. Given the chance they can learn and mature very rapidly. Mahindra bought two Australian Aerospace firms in anticipation of defence contracts which never came. Larsen and Toubro built modern shipyards with the help of French DCNS in anticipation of submarine contracts that ended up going to Vizag Harbours PSU. They can get the technology and indeginise it just like Tata did over 20 years from the Sumo to the Nano.

Anonymous said...

Ok Gautam
As per you this is what we should do

Provide a research grant and an assured market to a company X [which has no experience in engine development] to develop a jet engine for a fighter a/c on the premise that they will succeed. This is based on the argument that X cannot afford to fail. Going by that, no private company should ever go under.

But in the history of pvt enterprise, there probably have been more failures than success.
In the world, there are more failed products than successful ones. One might know of their existence, but they exist. (well the fact one doesnt know is in part due to them being failures but let me not digress into semantics)

The fear of failure will make them work hard. It wont make them superman!!! Research is an area where you often need to say , Ok i was wrong. What i have done for the past N days/months/years is wrong. In research you often discover so many, many wrong ways of doing something before you get it right especially so when you are new to the area. To argue that they wont happen because of fear of failure is ......

Now, what are the chances of a pvt company saying that they screwed up, if they loose their current contract, and possibly loose future ones since obviously this will go against there record.


It might make them want to do things that seem unbelievable but have happened
For eg in case of Northrop Grumman: The company was sued in 1999 for allegedly knowingly giving the Navy defective aircraft. This suit seeks $210 million in damages and is ongoing. Then in 2003, the company was sued for allegedly overcharging the U.S. government for space projects in the 1990s. Northrop Grumman paid $111.2 million to settle that suit out of court.
Source: Wiki


Defence Production & scale up is another issue...Thats another debate..please please keep that separate.


And what on earth does get technology and indigenise mean. Making a product indigenous is not about what goes where, its about concluding that it goes there from calculations and theory and to understand what and how it will change when my target numbers change. You do that by engaging in active research. Passive building will only take you so far down that line

oh and thank you for "You seem like a reasonable person, so I'll lay out the facts." Appreciate it. The usual response here is to brand one as a RatShaker and then ignore the rest!!!

Gautam said...

I doubt there is a single private engine maker in the world with a track record as horrible as GTRE. And while these private firms can be sued and even blacklisted, the armed forces sadly do not have that choice with regards to the defence PSUs and the Ordinance factories. They have to award all their contracts to these entities, and accept whatever comes out.

I never claimed there will be zero failures with private sector. Like I said, whether or not they are able to deliver they will do a better job than DRDO and its ilk with the same time and resources.

And like I also said(and you ignored) if you keep refusing to give them a single contract on grounds of 'lack of experience' then they'll never be able to gain experience either.

Anonymous said...

@ Gautam
Your basic premise is that
They are pvt companies=They will do better. While i respect your right to hold on to that i submit that this cannot be held to be true on account of their performance in manufacturing.

Track record:
I doubt there is any other country which leapfrogs technology gaps as big as we do.

About developing experience and skillsets at govt cost and then profits going to private companies..i cant seem to understand the logic behind that.



[And you havent responded to my question/statement about Indian R&D by pvt firms in fields there are already engaged in as manufacturers]

Gautam said...

"About developing experience and skillsets at govt cost and then profits going to private companies..i cant seem to understand the logic behind that."

Governments across Europe and North America seem to understand.

The R & D aspect is not profitable unless large sales are guaranteed. That's why a portion of R & D costs are paid by the military. Else Lockheed Martin would go bankrupt spending hundreds of billions developing the F-35 which will take decades to recoup via sales alone.

It's the same as government sanctioning money for a new helicopter R & D from HAL, then separately sanctioning funds for purchasing the helicopters manufactured. HAL only makes profits on the manufacture and sale, not the research.

Anonymous said...

No...here the difference
LM an expert in building aircraft and all with a lot of expertise is given a fund to develop a new aircraft...

But your suggestion is
Company X with no experience and expertise is given money to develop both the skills and a new aircraft...

Gautam said...

"Company X with no experience and expertise is given money to develop both the skills and a new aircraft..."

Which is why they've formed JVs with various foreign private firms to train talent for startup (Mahindra-BAE, Tata-Thales etc). What more do you want? Boeing, Airbus, Dassault LM etc. didn't magically start with experience.

What is your great solution:
"Give them zero money since they have no experience(even though they need money in order to develop experience) and thus maintain mahan PSU monopoly forever and ever! Every taxpayer empty your pockets! GTRE needs 3000cr more before they announce another JV with Snecma! Jai ho!"

Gautam said...

"LM an expert in building aircraft and all with a lot of expertise is given a fund to develop a new aircraft..."
They did not become experts overnight. Your reasoning of awarding contracts based on prior experience in a market where there is only one established contender is utterly ridiculous. You want Mahindra, Tata, et al to shape up and develop expertise? They're ready to: they've already tied up with foreign firms to train talent and supply machinery. Now LET THEM shape up.

"Company X with no experience and expertise is given money to develop both the skills and a new aircraft..."

Sounds far better than your idiotic alternative:

"Since HAL had alone has been allowed to build aircraft in the past HAL alone should be allowed to build aircraft in the future, until the end of time! No need to develop the aviation sector and promote competition! PSU can do no wrong! Monopoly Jai Ho!"