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  • Writer's pictureBrahmastra Aerospace

Why Kaveri Failed? Current Status

The Kaveri engine, a pivotal project in India's aerospace industry, faced a tumultuous journey marked by challenges and aspirations. Originally envisioned to power the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, the Kaveri engine encountered technical hurdles and setbacks that reshaped its trajectory over the years.


The Kaveri engine project commenced in the mid-1980s with the ambitious goal of fueling the Tejas LCA, aiming to establish self-reliance in defense technology. However, technical difficulties and delays plagued the development process, leading to significant setbacks during testing phases.


Initially intended for the Tejas LCA, the Kaveri engine faced challenges that hindered its integration into the aircraft. As a result, plans to utilize an upgraded version of the Kaveri engine for the Tejas were formulated to meet performance requirements.

Replacement Engine:

The General Electric GE F414-INS6 engine from the US has been selected to power the MKII version of the Tejas aircraft, replacing the Kaveri engine. The decision to opt for the GE engine was influenced by factors such as thrust-to-weight ratio and performance capabilities that better aligned with the operational needs of the Tejas.

Current Status:

Efforts are ongoing to enhance the Kaveri engine's core to create a 90kN thrust powerplant that could potentially serve as an alternative for the LCA-Tejas fleet. Collaborations with Godrej Aerospace and advancements in afterburner technology aim to elevate the Kaveri engine's performance capabilities.

In conclusion, while the Kaveri engine project faced complexities and eventual delinking from the Tejas program, endeavors persist to leverage its technological advancements for future aerospace initiatives. The decision to replace it with the GE F414-INS6 engine underscores a strategic shift towards aligning powerplant capabilities with operational requirements, reflecting India's commitment to advancing its aerospace capabilities.

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