Safran has offered to partner India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) in the development of a variant of the indigenous Kaveri engine for its combat drone, ‘Ghatak’.
The French company which manufactures engines for Rafale fighter jets are waiting for an approval by the Union government.
“We are working on technologies required for ‘Ghatak’ with about Rs 230 crore ($33.5 million) sanctioned as part of pre-project studies,” S. Christopher, Director General, DRDO, and Secretary, Department of Defence R&D, Ministry of Defence (MoD) was quoted as saying by Deccan Chronicle Sunday.
Safran’s offer could help accelerate the development of Kaveri engine to power ‘Tejas’ (Light Combat Aircraft) fighter jets. So far, an expenditure of about Rs 2,100 crores ($306 million) was incurred on Kaveri engine by Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE), Bengaluru, over last three decades. In case the government approves collaboration with Safran, the French engine maker would contribute about Rs 500 crore to Rs 600 crore ($73 million to $87 million) and ensure certification of engines within the next 18 months for ‘Ghatak,’ ‘Tejas’ and Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), Christopher added.