New Delhi: Negotiations for a production version of its indigenous Kaveri engine for its military aircraft is in the final stage of cost negotiations, Indian defence minister AK Antony informed the Rajya Sabha, the country's upper house of parliament on Wednesday.
Negotiations are being conducted with French firm Snecma by a tender purchase committee which includes members from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), the Indian Air Force, the Indian Navy and the finance department of the ministry of defence.
'It is proposed to develop production version Kaveri (K10) engine on co-design and co-development basis with Snecma of France. The technical evaluation for this proposal has been completed. Tender purchase committee is negotiating the commercial aspects,' Antony submitted a written reply during the question hour.
He said so far, nine prototypes of Kaveri engines and four prototypes of Kaveri Core (Kabini) engines had been developed, and about 1,975 hours of testing have been conducted on Kaveri and its core engines at ground and altitude conditions.
Kaveri engine prototype (K9) was integrated with an IL-76 aircraft at Gromov Flight Research Institute in Russia. After adequate engine ground runs, the scientists had successfully completed the taxi trials and the maiden flight test of Kaveri engine with IL-76 aircraft for over an hour on 3 November last year, followed by three more flight tests.
'These flight tests covered a six km altitude and a speed of 0.6 mach (0.6 times the speed of sound),' he added.