The Indian MoD made the following statement in Parliament today about the Kaveri turbofan engine programme: “The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has made no agreement with a French firm to develop the Kaveri aero engine to be used for the Light Combat Aircraft, Tejas. However, DRDO is negotiating with M/s Snecma, France for co-development and co-production of Kaveri aero engine for the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas Mk.2. The project proposal will be put up for Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) approval after the completion of price negotiation. Indian Air Force (IAF) has been consulted at every stage and is part of negotiation. IAF has cleared the Kaveri engine co-development proposal with M/s Snecma, France. The draft engine technical specification has been examined and cleared by IAF. IAF has further suggested that the engine design should have minimal impact on the LCA Tejas airframe for future retrofitment.”
In September last year, the DRDO/ADA officially announced that they had chosen the GE F414 engine to power the Tejas Mk.2. GE later announced that they would be supplying 99 engines to the Mk.2 effort. In January this year, the IAF revealed that it had projected a need for 83 Tejas fighters in the Mk.2 configuration. As things stand, the Kaveri is officially de-linked from the Tejas programme, and is aimed at the fifth generation AMCA effort and India’s classified AURA stealth UCAV programme.