BENGALURU: Defence and Research Development Organisation (DRDO) is set to conduct the trial test on Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) powered by Kaveri engines in the next 18 months.
Apart from military use, the Indian Railways has shown interest in using it to power trains. Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited is partnering the project, said director general of Aeronautical Systems, DRDO, Dr C P Ramanarayanan here on Sunday.
Deadline for the testing of Kaveri engines have been delayed several times, after work for its development started in 1986.
Commenting on the expenses incurred with respect to the project, he said that till date Rs 2,100 crore has been spent on the project. The total cost of developing the engine, which is expected to power Tejas LCA, will increase by another 500-600 crore by 2018, he added.
Dr S Christopher, chairman, DRDO said that file pertaining to the Ghatak engine, a dry variant of Kaveri is yet to be given the in-principle clearance by the Ministry of Defence. Once it is approved, the defence research organisation will go ahead with the development of the engine, he said.
Responding to queries regarding export potential of the new engine, programme director for Combact Aircraft and director of Aeronautical Development Agency C D Balaji said that there have been enquiries for Tejas from a few countries.
At a recent airshow in Bahrain, countries such as Turkmenistan, Bangladesh and Srilanka have expressed interest in the aircraft, he said.