After having failed to achieve the required thrust to power Light Combat Aircraft, the indigenously developed Kaveri engine will now be used to power Indian Unmanned Combat Aircraft, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has said.
In a written reply to Rajya Sabha, Parrikar said the total expenditure incurred on development of Kaveri engine so far is Rs 2,101 crore.
"Aero engine developed by DRDO has not achieved the required thrust to power Light Combat Aircraft (LCA). Therefore, it has been decided to use Kaveri derivative engine ("dry" engine) for powering Indian Unmanned Combat Aircraft," he said.
The project for development of Kaveri engine was sanctioned in 1989 with probable date of completion in 1996, which was extended to 2009. Government has further approved its continuation within the cost ceiling.
The major reasons for non-completion of project within the time-schedule were technological difficulties faced due to complexities of engine system, non-availability of raw materials, critical components, lack of infrastructure, manufacturing and test facilities within the country, Parrikar said.
Non-availability of skilled or technical manpower in the field of aero-engine technology and increase in scope during development were also some of the reasons, he said.