DRDO-Snecma Tie-up On Kaveri Still In Talks

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.

47 thoughts on “DRDO-Snecma Tie-up On Kaveri Still In Talks”

  1. boss how many more years you want to finish your negotitations and how many years you want to deliver! i think in 2050

  2. GTRE's nickname among DRDO circles is 'Go Take Rest and Enjoy'. In over 60 years of existence leeching taxpayer money they've delivered absolutely nothing but promises. People who've visited them can attest to their lazy work culture, being a heavily unionized govt institution in the heart of Kerala(the Communist backwater haven).

    Rest assured, even if this Kaveri-Snecma tie-up ever becomes a reality another 20 years will pass with no results until IAF decides to go for another foreign engine for AMCA.

  3. Just curious, isn't the IAF the end user? Do they have the technical capability to review and approve the design of an engine or would they have just approved the projected performance parameters?

  4. @ Gautam, haha.. you mean Bangalore, Kerala !! You must be a paki or an armchair marshall. GTRE is in Bangalore. Please make sure you comment on things you really know about. You must be a paki lurker and please note that even the mighty copy cats north of our border, ahem… you deeper that mountain friend, china has not mastered a GT engine even after all the stealing, shameless copying and then getting some Russian scientists over. Their latest engine is about the same stage as current Kaveri. GT engines are enormously complex and requires a lot infrastructure which the GOI is refusing to invest unlike the Chinese

  5. I would like to remind all that India have gone through a lot… We shouldn't try to compare us with others … tech development in other countries has been going on from lot of time … we have achieved a lot in a short time despite of lot of external pressure .. Instead of blaming scientist at DRDO … go take a book and study for the sake of country and try to contribute if u can

  6. My dear babu worshippers,

    I may have made a mistake in stating DRDO's location, but everything else is true. I know someone who's personally been there and seen how things work there. Communist trade union flags adorn the buildings, the work culture inside is very relaxed with long lunch and tea breaks and short work hours.

    And BTW since you defend GTRE so highly kindly show me what they have delievered in 60+ years of existence. There's a reason IAF wanted Kaveri and Kaveri alone delinked from LCA and not other delayed programs like Astra, laser-guided bombs, MMR radar etc.

    The only way India can ever develop indigenous engine capability is to commission the likes of Tata or Ashok Leyland to reasearch aero-engines with a research grant. Not Go Take Rest and Enjoy(which, btw, is an actual nickname).

  7. @1110
    that involves more work than blaming the politicians/govt employees/etc/etc for all problems…so no way!

  8. Jet engines from scratch are produced by no more than 4-5 countries in the world.Efficient,modern jet engines are amongst the most challenging of all technologies to master.The guys who are doing it have decades and decades of experience.We can definitely improve our pro gramme,make it more efficient,but to deride the KAVERI effort as useless is idiotic.

  9. It is not about comparing ours with theirs, but scientists are also normal citizens. when their work is not appreciated they do the GTRE as expanded by some one above. we have to appreciate their work and also keep up our pressure to deliver.
    It is not counted on basis of economics, and if you are on to one 90% of all projects and works in India are wastage of tax payers money.

    we have to trust our scientist but should not leave them to do screwdriver technology, they are much more capable, as, once they move abroad they deliver the best in time. so our management is poor. why our leadership is not taking our scientists to confidence? if you say the lame excuse that they didnt deliver till now, then they will never if you keep that attitude.

  10. Sidhu – very well said that GOI is refusing investment but what about our approach of Gandhian Engineering? why our institution of excellence are always with begging bowl. Why can't these institute raise there own money by doing industry projects. What stops GTRE from giving consultancy to Indian/MNC corporates struggling with engine development for cars, buses and two-wheelers. A lot is possible but one thing is sure that they are indeed LAZY.

  11. @gautam
    tell me how many countries make jet engines for aircraft….

    and what had tata/leyland made in terms of aircraft engines to receive the honor…if u want to let pvt companies participate..anyone who comes with a reasonable proposal should be allowed..seeing as none has any experience in it…..

  12. @gautam
    there are lot of nicknames…heres the thing about them….they are not always true!!!

    @1002…our institutes of excellence often are involved in such projects…..they go with a begging bowl coz they charge often less than 25% fees from students!!!

  13. Gautam,
    Your stupidity is like your heat signature. You have a habit of shoving your foot inside your mouth.
    That person whom you "know" is another anonymous blogger in Livefist like you who claims he had blissfully strolled inside a DRDO lab and found people either napping or eating lunch on their desk.

    Both you and your "friend" forget that DRDO and GTRE are not manned by hamals and coolies but by scientists who are not covered under labor laws as they are not workmen. Therefore, scientists cannot form unions as they are not workmen.

    It seems you have never been inside a TATA (Nira Radia/2g scam)or Ashok Leyland – Hinduja (Bofors scam) plant.

  14. Anon 2.28 AM,
    They (scientists) are not delivering as some vested interests do not want India to gain capabilities in these high tech areas. What can be cheaper way than using the services of massage parlors and calls girls to make our top scientists waver in their goals and objectives?
    Our scientists are competent but they are not loyal or patriotic like vast majority of Indians (top brass of armed forces – supposed to be the most disciplined and patriotic- have been found indulging in all kinds of corrupt practices).
    Until and unless we cure our chor mentality nothing will progress no matter how competent we are.

  15. this is what we indians are good at.. talking. by the time the talks come to some conclusion, the rest of the world will be travelling by spaceships and DODO will announce the completion of kaveriamma

  16. @anon 1:17 PM
    Actually people blissfully eating and sleeping isn't uncommon. Unfortunately, it is true. I have worked there myself and quit due to the bad work ethic. I do not care if you believe it nor, but its the truth. You should go there and have a look yourself. My friend did a project with them, during his BE – same story. But if it helps you sleep at night, you can dream all you want that DODOs are working day and night to bring technology to us – just like the rats.

  17. @308PM
    oh well…your friend did a project..now he must be the ultimate authority on everything that happens there!!!

    my friend interened @ a tata facility..(he says)he walked in there and in the first few days.taught them how to use a software they were struggling with..an open software at that and saved them more than his stipend!!>.does that mean all of tata is crap…no..it means that the guy he worked with/under was crap……

    @145.arent u doing the same!!!

    @128..yes..allegations flying wide..use one incident to blame an entire organization ..how many pvt sector employees have been caught doing the same…does that make everyone in any pvt company the same????…
    PS:do that to a pvt company…i dare you..and see how you will be flamed here..but since the new in thing is to think of everyone in govt as corrupt (they keep giving bribes to each other apparently!!)..do go on

  18. Keep it up DRDO… talk some more, In the meanwhile till they decide what are the staff at GTRE doing since they have just one product to work on.

  19. All our such faults originate from a simple singular fault that we stopped the development of the indigenous fighter planes after that episode of HF -24 Marut. Otherwise things would not have been the same again. As the era of science was lost, the real scientists were nipped in the bud by everybody else.

  20. @anon1:45 PM

    hahaha kaveriamma that shah rukh khan left NASA to be with? ya.. looks like SRK and rai is all india can do better than others, but even he has a house abroad.

  21. they should probably agree to whatever terms and conditions the other side proposes..no discussions/bargaining…..then we wont have any delays!!

  22. Before you resume your bootlicking practice, DRDO worshippers…

    Please remember the achievements GTRE is famous for and which you worship them. They've achived so much in 60 years! They've produced so much of… nothing.

    Who's stupid here? The proof is in the pudding. Outside of 'co-production' with some foreign company(which usually means all the core technology is imported and repainted in DRDO colours) and stuff that's made up of 90 percent imported parts assembled together(Dhruv, Arjun tank etc) what significant thing have our defence PSUs delivered? Don't hype the neverending research projects as achievements, all they do is provide lifelong job security for your beloved babus and scientists.

  23. By the way, morons, the defence PSUs are all unionized. They have and do form protests. It's part of the reason companies like BEL are awaded such an unexplained monopoly without competitive bidding despite abysmal performance record on delivery of contracts.

    Go to Col Ajay Shukla's blog to see regular reports on these shady defence PSU/ministry dealings. If it were investigated thorougly we'd have another 2G type scandal on our hands.

  24. @Gautam,
    That Ajay Shukla is employed by BS aka Business Std. It is his job to parrot the views of those who employ him. Are you also employed by BS or you are plain stupid?
    To form a union you must be a worker. DRDO and GTRE or other defense labs have scientists or workers? I hope you know the difference between a scientist/engineer and worker?
    Can you list the spectacular achievements of our Pvt sector??

  25. Its time to call a spade a spade. The DRDO and ADA and GTRE are not successful from a project management measure. Whatever success has been achieved is due to a few brilliant a dedicated people who keep the flag flying – but as an institution to motivate outcomes in a promised timeframe – they have failed the nation. Its like the whole Govt and the Defence research and production world lives in a different temporal zone – where time moves at a different pace. I am sure I am not alone in being dissapointed and tired of the broken deadlines on the LCA, Kaveri, Astra … you name it.

  26. we lack the proper infrastructure. The high altitude test facility and Wind tunnels are going to come from C-17 deal as offsets.

  27. @1109
    yes…unions should be banned..only corporates should be allowed to group together..with their "chambers of commerce"..

    btw..you are the moron here…the unions are @ the lower level…scientist level staff are not allowed to form or join unions!!!

    as opposed to our pvt sector which does what exactly??write code???or manufacture the indian versions of foriegn cars???btw..check you %….but i suppose facts dont matter

    heres the real issue…you thought once something is developed you can sit back…no..science has to be pursued everyday…if u dont ..you will lose your edge…we decided that we will not build a 3rd gen fighter (for whatever reason..maybe our economy was not strong enough then…that decision might even have been the only one feasible at that time..but that doesnt mean we ignore its effects)…then we had to play catch up….so it will take time…forget new things..if u dont do it for a while..even the old thing will cause problems…..
    doesnt matter who is doing it…

    you can question the devotion of these people all you want..but that is just useless chatter…

    you wanna talk about proof of pudding..how many TV brands(ok..all electronic appliances) in india..how many indian…
    how many computer brands…how many in so many fields!

  28. sadly this place is turning into another ratshak. If you disapprove of DODO's standards based on your own experience and knowledge from those who you are close to, you are branded a "moron" or "paki". Indians need to do more introspection. All said and done, it affects me in no way what happens or doesn't happen as I neither gain nor lose. I only feel sad that my country cannot effectively compete with the likes of China, let alone the US and EU – not because we don't have the money, brains or other resources, but because it is being squandered by corruption and those who don't recognise it.

    anon@5:59 PM

    I said I WORKED there, you dont seem to get that either. In any case, see this site.. by an ex employee (not me) –

    If you still want to live in lala land, go ahead. It doesn't bother me. Hes a real person, you can contact him, meet him and discuss whatever you want with him. But its the truth, whether you accept it or not.

  29. @Gautam, a lot of private sector enterprise(the world over)are not the epitome of efficiency or honesty.Several are known to overcharge,siphon off funds,commit fraud and cut corners to meet schedules.Most private sector enterprise outsource their manufacture to a large vendor bases.Consortium approach is key.Have you bothered to check how many naval ships across the world use GE Turbines OR why is the Rheinmetall 120mmm Tank Gun issued across so many MBTS or why are MTU/Renk ,GE/Allison power packs or their derivatives used by so many ARVs across the world!The fiat diesel engine is used by almost every small car manufacturer in the world!Ever heard of practicality, efficiency,affordability!!! ALH is a world class achievement.Using key components like power pack/engine is nothing strange.Only the USA,Russia and France to an extent source all major comportment domestically.It makes sense for them due to the huge markets they have or their history as Superpowers(US&RUS). The ability to actually put together a helicopter is not like LEGO bricks.The ALH and Arjun are working units which are NOT ASSEMBLED BUT BUILT in India.The body shell,the integration,the machining, is done by us.A 100 plus ALH are flying.How many countries produce more than a 100 number of heavy 60 tonne plus tank,actually deploy and run it in a combat unit. As time goes by,our experience goes up and it STARTS TO MAKE ECONOMIC SENSE we will start to produce tank engines,jet engines,turbo-shaft engines.We already are on that route.

  30. @eagle2000…nobody is claiming that their records are stellar….its the reasoning which many time lends perspective on the challenge they are up against!!!…the answer to anything here seems to be to call all of the either incompetent or corrupt ..even to the point that they dont develop coz vested interests are paying them!!!….there is no realization that playing catch up in technology arena is real hard..

    PS:i dont get he logic of arguing that vested interests are paying our researchers…so hand it to pvt..who is the vested interest here…a foreign power..in which case the pvt company will have to pay them truck loads to match what the foreign power pays…or some pvt company wanting the job??

    there are some people here for whom the drdo people are not worthy of working @ their temples of excellence!!

  31. How many Indian private brands? Many, if you don't intentionally look away thinking 'No, babu is superior. Must concentrate on cleaning babu's boots. Government monopoly jai ho! Government is God!' mentality.

    Look at Tata motors. They may licence technology from abroad, but in just a decade or two they've achieved a massive level of indigenisation. And Mahindra as well. And Ashok Leyland, Bajaj and other Indian auto majors, who all started from scratch with assembling foreign designs and eventually went to designing and manufacturing their own.

    That's just a tiny example. Look at L & T, Pipavav, Bharti and other shipbuilding firms(who outbid PSU shipyards in everything but navy orders).

    Look at companies like Samtel who DO produce stuff like LCD and LED TVs and screens in India. Look at Moserbaer, one of the world's largest producers of optical media.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg. No doubt they are all still dependent on foreign input to some degree, but given the same level of funding and support from the armed forces they'd deliver ten times as much indigenisation in the same time period. First lift the restrictions and monopoly on defence and nuclear research before talking trash: They've excelled the government in every other field.

  32. @anon5:12 PM
    noone is saying pvt companies are the epitome of efficiency. Actually they are only good for making money.. look at TATA or reliance, they may not be "great" companies.. but they do enough to make money for their shareholders. DODO and HAL dont do that because they have no incentive beyond "recognition".


    see that.. M&M are going to enter that segment.. the govt should cash in on all of this and drive technology through the pvt sector. indians have the brains and the resources, but sadly not the will.

    patriotism isnt just backing all PSUs.. its backing whats best for the country… and PSUs arent always the best way forward.

    i wouldnt for instance, support pvt sector involvement in transport, power etc.. why? because their incentive is money and they will make it harder for the people.. this is what is happening in the west, power companies are ruthlessly increasing tariffs..

  33. Dear Gautam,

    Why Tata motors and Mahendra are not able to sell anything outside India's shores? Do they have any brand equity? They are good at creating monopolistic markets with the help of babus and netas. And thereby stop any competition in the name of protecting domestic industry. Next, these companies will acquire vintage design and tech from abroad and sell them in India at high prices thereby generating massive profits and wealth for few. As the economic env is changing these companies are desperately looking for such monopolies. Hence they are focusing on our defense sector where nobody ever raises any questions about how almost 1/5 th of our GDP is being spent in defense.
    Can you tell me one brand that is associated with L&T? Bharti is into ship building? Why can't these Pvt shipyards get any foreign or domestic ship building orders if they were so competent?Why are they clamoring for the govt to save their hides?
    Samtel is a sinking ship. It's picture tube business has taken a major hit after LED and other flat screen TVs hit the mkt. Hence it did the next best thing which almost all Indian Pvt cos are also doing i.e. take monopolistic Govt contracts to stay afloat.You may not be aware Moserbaer is in dire straits.
    Why should the Govt or the ordinary taxpayer infuse funds in Pvt sector? Aren't they supposed to compete in the open market and generate profits? Aren't you contradicting yourself and trying to give same PSU style protection to so called "efficient" pvt sector which has hardly been able to create any global brands?
    You have still not listed down spectacular achievements of our Pvt sector.

  34. This is most unfortunate.
    We must expedite the testing of Kaveri engine. Why don't we install one Kaveri engine on one of the available LCAs and start supersonic mode flying tests.
    What happened to the more successful Marine Kaveri engine. The nation was informed that It has been developed successfully. There appears to be no intention of expediting the testing of the machine. Governance of the country has deteriorated so much that it is likely that some foreign power is resisting the development of the engine. All must remember that a vast portion of our population still lives in poverty in India.

  35. ANON@8:09PM

    Nope. That's all your peon-vision can see. Read any magazine, journal or other publication/newsletter from one or the other industry and prepare to weep bitterly.

  36. ANON @ 7.19

    All those companies have and will continue to export their products abroad. Unfortunately you intentionally and dishonestly turn your eyes away yelling 'NONONO, Must concentrate on babu bootlicking! Babu is god! Jai PSU!' again and again.

    Let's turn your own BS back at you. Why haven't DRDO/Defence PSUs have had any significant export success after 60 years of developing various products? Because what few products they've managed to develop are utterly uncompetitive compared to the international average. Our PSUs have a far, far, far worse track record in exports and international branding/competitivity compared to our private cos.

    BTW all those shipyards DO get both national and international orders. In fact in commercial orders they do better than all the PSU shipyards except for maybe MDL.

  37. Divest! Divest! Divest! That should be the mantra of today to bring quantum leaps in efficiencies and accountability in R&D and Manufacturing. Give ONE reason that DRDO or GTRE or for that matter any PSU has to be efficient and prompt. Zero, Nada, Zip.

    They have fat and cushy guaranteed for life jobs, why would they care about showing up in time, meeting deadlines, saving monies wherever possible etc.

    In a private business, the entrepreneur is interested in efficiencies and promptness in meeting deadlines. Why? Because that is how they would paid is by delivering the product as promised. The Govt babu has no such pressure. If a project is delayed by ten years, cost skyrockets by 10-15 fold from the original estimate, so be it.

    Have we not learnt already.

  38. I think everyone has rightly pointed-out that private and gov. firms have their good and their bad. So, I think that we should not choose one or the other; we should choose both. Put Gov. firms in control,; and if private firms is beneficial in certain areas then we can use them.

    I don't think that public firms should be in control: 1) They will use up a lot of the funds as profit(more expensive); 2) Arm forces will have less control and input; 3) outside forces could have more influence; 4) Could end up with a spy problem.

  39. if a pvt company wants to develop a jet engine…nobody should stop them..but then…they should be given the contract for building it coz they have built cars in the past!!!

  40. I don't think that public firms should be in control: 1) They will use up a lot of the funds as profit(more expensive); 2) Arm forces will have less control and input; 3) outside forces could have more influence; 4) Could end up with a spy problem."
    1)What's so evil in making profit? They need it to grow and develop new products after all. At least unlike the defence PSUs they won't need 'capital infusions' of taxpayer money all the time to expand.

    Better them than Elta, Dassault, Boeing, EADS, DCN, BAE and various other foreign private companies currently forming the bulk of our arms purchases.

    2)Wrong. Armed forces are their main(and probably sole) customer and all their products would be developed and tailored to the armed forces' needs. They can't deliver, then the armed forces will just cancel the contract and go to their competitors. No assured funding like PSUs enjoy. That's a free market for you, just the way defence deals are done in the West.

    3)What outside forces? Tata, Mahindra, L & T are outside forces? WTF?

    4)Bah. It's easy enough to bribe an official at any level of any government insitution to engage in spying. Even Indira Gandhi and her PMO were suspected of it.

    I'd say overall our government is just as susceptible, if not more, than private sector as far as 'spy problem' is concerned.

    "I think everyone has rightly pointed-out that private and gov. firms have their good and their bad. So, I think that we should not choose one or the other; we should choose both. Put Gov. firms in control,; and if private firms is beneficial in certain areas then we can use them."
    Track record in various fields proves private>government in any field where they have a fair competition with no favouritism. Why should our tax money continue to subsidise the inefficient government-controlled defence industry that has wasted thousands of crores over 60 years for mediocre returns to our armed forces?

  41. @943
    why must you always insult???
    bootlicking, peonvision…
    nobody here is claiming that DRDO has done exceptionally well…you are here claiming that the pvt companies have done something incredible

    you unfortunately claim that excellence in manufacturing=excellence in research…while this is true of manufacturing research…it doesnt work everywhere else…

    the way drdo has to work is to start from scratch…..whereas the pvt companies often have the luxury of having a working model to experiment with…the difference is simple….if given a working circuit, one can make changes to it and characterize how and what needs to be changed to get the required variation in characteristic….

    but if one were asked to build the circuit from scratch..it becomes a much more difficult
    add this to the fact that we are
    the luxury that a set of working specs provide is immense…

    does that mean pvt companies are incompetent ..no…the easier economic model is to vary those parameters…the company that gave you that model will undoubtedly have charged you for it too!!…

    does this mean everything is perfect as it is…no…..but your rants are uncalled for

    on the specific Q of jet engines
    while you ask for the pvt companies to be given contracts, why must x be given and not y….no company in india does any work on jet engines..so how do you decide whom to give it to and what argument do you provide for not giving it to a certain company….the organisations that come with most experience in jet engine might just the MROs in our aviation sector!!!

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