India Indian Jet Engine and Gas Turbine Archive

Rajendra Chola

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Kaveri was not a fresh slate starting point.

Arguably Orpheus (license production, MRO and tinkering) provided the greatest impetus to HAL know-how in the cold war.

After Marut winded up early, there was lot of orpheus engines prematurely retired.... HAL put them to extensive RnD efforts as the precursor of Kaveri program shaped up in 70s - 80s.

The progression was roughly (in 50s - current):

1) Centrifugal and other test beds of the 1950s, GTRE first projects after formation

1960s - 70s:

2) Orpheus and its MRO and parts and lateral network from HAL to GTRE on this

3) Domestically Improved (afterburner) Orpheus with better compressor to handle higher speed regime, not accepted by IAF due to weight

4) Tumansky Turbojet (for Mig 21) and similar process flow to (2) regd this.

5) GTX 37-14U (core) Testbed (and 2nd "B" bypass testbed)

1980s - current:

6) Kabini core and Kaveri project (ongoing) and derivatives/branches from this (HTFE, "Dry" only: Marine, UAV, expendables like Manik)

7) Continued material and process flow absorption by HAL-GTRE ecosystem w.r.t RR-Snecma ecosystem (Adour, Turbomeca, rafale etc) along with local RnD continuation

A small gleam into some of the kaveri precursor era and then project basis:



Section from R Krishnan (80s resume included: BARC metallurgy head, NCML director, GTRE director) specifically:

(Available on google book preview: https://books.google.com/books?id=Z-MLCwAAQBAJ):

View attachment 37915

@Gessler @Anmdt @Bilal Khan(Quwa) @crixus @Milspec @Yasar @Rajaraja Chola @Zapper @Jackdaws et al.

Getting scientists from Ukraine and Russia during early years of 90's really helped China's defence industry. We could not do it due to our economy's near bankruptcy and having to protect our country's precious foreign exchange.

But Russian engineers were dime a dozen even in early 2000s. We got BrahMos JV deal, while we also could have got Mig29k, engines if we had some more effort. Even today Ukrainian engineers are available for hire.

But it also provides an insight on India's "research" institutions back in 80's.
 

Nilgiri

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What I mean is indigenous development,our own program sort of

I would say that GTRE GTX series is the program. Kaveri is just one specific (significant) fruit of it.
As you can see there were functioning engines that were made prior to Kaveri:
5) GTX 37-14U (core) Testbed (and 2nd "B" bypass testbed)


Getting scientists from Ukraine and Russia during early years of 90's really helped China's defence industry. We could not do it due to our economy's near bankruptcy and having to protect our country's precious foreign exchange.

But Russian engineers were dime a dozen even in early 2000s. We got BrahMos JV deal, while we also could have got Mig29k, engines if we had some more effort. Even today Ukrainian engineers are available for hire.

But it also provides an insight on India's "research" institutions back in 80's.
The economy near bankruptcy (govt forex wise) is overplayed as excuse.

Several PSUs dispensed/absorbed forex (i.e using up forex for certain imports) that registered in the multiple millions of dollars even in that crunch situation. Or if you want to use bigger levers, theres oil import controls to start diverting forex (at more scale) too.

They were all part of what added to BoP problem and were not altered/shut down as the larger pressure valve systematic reform route was opted for instead (and thankfully it was done at this scale rather than tinkering).

But if there truly was a desire to absorb soviet bloc engineers around that time, it could have been done during the crisis....forex for that kind of thing was not an issue. The scales are somewhat separate.

It was basically matter of priority allocation, something Indian govt is often not that great at when it comes to defence + strategic sectors.

I mean it was not done in rest of yeltsin era up to late 90s either....which it would have been case if it was truly a forex issue gumming it up.



83kn thrust in indian condition=90kn in western conditions.
Like if you want to get the same life cycle at the end ....and amortizing to an equivalent "average" thrust setting....I guess?

It is far better to say 90 kn = 90kn in any condition....and factor in the condition's cost on the total life cycle and related MRO downtimes in interim.

AF will not be making compromises on the thrust envelope on offer. They want to have everything at hand given by system as first basis...then you design contingencies and life cycle costs around it.

Neither is it so easy to bump up thrust envelopes to have the 90% or whatever downrated need as the design objective.
 

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India and France are close to concluding a deal, likely in the next couple of months, for the joint development of a 125KN engine for the indigenous fifth generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) under development, according to defence officials. The collaboration is between the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and French engine maker Safran.

“External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar discussed this issue with French Defence Minister Florence Parly during his visit to Paris [last week]. We expect to have an agreement in a month or two,”
a defence official said.

In December 2021, speaking at an event after Ms. Parly’s visit to India, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had said a major French company will come to India and “make the engine in strategic partnership with an Indian company”.

Last year, the government had informed Parliament that it is proposed to develop indigenous engines for powering aircraft such as the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) variants and AMCA in association with an international engine house.


Stealth aircraft​

E0CD-thUYAMNvyG.jpg

The Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) is currently working on the LCA-Mk2 along with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), as well as the AMCA and the Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF), for the Navy.

The initial design of the AMCA started way back in 2009 and is envisaged as a twin engine stealth aircraft with internal weapons bay and Diverterless Supersonic Intake, which has been developed for the first time and for which the design is complete, as reported by The Hindu earlier. It will be a 25 tonne aircraft with internal carriage of 1,500 kg of payload and 5,500 kg external payload with 6,500 kg of internal fuel.

Speaking at an event last week, Girish S. Deodhare, Director General, ADA, said the configuration has been frozen, Preliminary Service Quality Requirements (PSQR) are finalised and the preliminary design review is complete. The Critical Design Review (CDR) is expected later this year with the roll out planned in 2024 and first flight planned in 2025, Dr. Deodhare stated.

The AMCA will have stealth and non-stealth configurations, and would be developed in two phases — an AMCA MK1 with existing GE414 engine, and an AMCA Mk2 with an advanced, more powerful engine planned to be jointly developed, Dr. Deodhare added.

Once the agreement is concluded with France, development of the aircraft as well as the engine will progress parallelly to meet the timelines, officials acknowledged. The manufacturing and production of the aircraft is planned through a Special Purpose Vehicle, which will also involve private industry.

Simultaneously, the project for the development of a twin engine deck-based fighter jet meant to fly from the Navy’s aircraft carriers is also making progress. On the various programmes underway, Dr. Deodhare said there is commonality of systems and technologies.

India has in the past unsuccessfully attempted to indigenously design and develop a jet engine for the LCA under the Kaveri programme sanctioned in 1989. The project, which ran for 30 years with an expenditure of ₹2,035.56 crore, before being shelved, saw the development of nine full prototype engines and four core engines.

The Shakti engine, which powers the indigenous Advanced Light Helicopter and its later variants, is a joint development between Safran and HAL.


Still no details on the engine itself - uprated M88 core? Or a totally new development? If so, likelihood is high for a Variable-Cycle type.

@Nilgiri @Paro @Cabatli_53 @Vergennes @T-123456
 

Gessler

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So Is it not going to be based on the M88 ? Is there any evidence on it being variable cycle one ?

@Nilgiri @Gessler

As I said, its unclear at the moment.

The highest envelop that the M88 core can be pushed currently is 95-105kN for the M88-4E (ECO) variant. But that's only the theoretical maximum, far as I know the ECO demonstrator only pushed up to ~90kN AB.

So unless there were some major breakthroughs in LP/HP sections that we don't know of, the M88 core cannot deliver 125kN AB thrust. It's gonna have to be a new core.

If its a new core, given the timelines required for Mk-2 AMCA, there's a possibility that this engine program could run in parallel with the one meant for FCAS/SCAF - which is intended to be Variable-cycle:


Personally I'll wait for more details before jumping on either possibility.
 

Nilgiri

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Still no details on the engine itself - uprated M88 core? Or a totally new development? If so, likelihood is high for a Variable-Cycle type.

So Is it not going to be based on the M88 ? Is there any evidence on it being variable cycle one ?

I can tell you right now this is clean sheet....it wont be M88 based.

M88 ecosystem will (likely, hopefully) be used to finalise kaveri's production to get India well versed in that production process wherever that is needed still. They are similar thrust size and overall innard layout size.

Producing the kaveri engine in whichever manner and use is very important to get going. France will likely play some role in that.

India should actually have approached france from the get go in the 90s concerning all of this (Mirage 2000 ----> Tejas and M53 ---> Kaveri)....especially regarding final production lines....but that is now in rearview mirror of missed opportunity.


Anyway, this more powerful + larger engine (whatever this is in the end) will be the next phase of Indo-French strategic cooperation in this realm....but it will be started new and fresh overall.

There is simply not enough compressor and turbine stages in kaveri (and m88) for this new thrust class.

With clean sheet, definitely there will be use of the new evolving fields like variable cycle...and better alternator-gearbox(and related systems) for onboard electric needs of 5th gen....among a number of other things establishing in that realm (at this military scale) now.

We have to see how these contours progress with Safran....but the real priority for moment is making something concrete resolution wise out of Kaveri project for decent enough production run and use-feedback to re-invest the crucial knowhow stemming only from that (actual realised production and use) side.

@Paro @Milspec @Rajaraja Chola @Joe Shearer @Yasar @crixus @Zapper et al.
 

Rajendra Chola

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SAF2020_0341520.png


India and France are close to concluding a deal, likely in the next couple of months, for the joint development of a 125KN engine for the indigenous fifth generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) under development, according to defence officials. The collaboration is between the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and French engine maker Safran.

“External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar discussed this issue with French Defence Minister Florence Parly during his visit to Paris [last week]. We expect to have an agreement in a month or two,”
a defence official said.

In December 2021, speaking at an event after Ms. Parly’s visit to India, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had said a major French company will come to India and “make the engine in strategic partnership with an Indian company”.

Last year, the government had informed Parliament that it is proposed to develop indigenous engines for powering aircraft such as the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) variants and AMCA in association with an international engine house.


Stealth aircraft​

View attachment 40333

The Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) is currently working on the LCA-Mk2 along with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), as well as the AMCA and the Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF), for the Navy.

The initial design of the AMCA started way back in 2009 and is envisaged as a twin engine stealth aircraft with internal weapons bay and Diverterless Supersonic Intake, which has been developed for the first time and for which the design is complete, as reported by The Hindu earlier. It will be a 25 tonne aircraft with internal carriage of 1,500 kg of payload and 5,500 kg external payload with 6,500 kg of internal fuel.

Speaking at an event last week, Girish S. Deodhare, Director General, ADA, said the configuration has been frozen, Preliminary Service Quality Requirements (PSQR) are finalised and the preliminary design review is complete. The Critical Design Review (CDR) is expected later this year with the roll out planned in 2024 and first flight planned in 2025, Dr. Deodhare stated.

The AMCA will have stealth and non-stealth configurations, and would be developed in two phases — an AMCA MK1 with existing GE414 engine, and an AMCA Mk2 with an advanced, more powerful engine planned to be jointly developed, Dr. Deodhare added.

Once the agreement is concluded with France, development of the aircraft as well as the engine will progress parallelly to meet the timelines, officials acknowledged. The manufacturing and production of the aircraft is planned through a Special Purpose Vehicle, which will also involve private industry.

Simultaneously, the project for the development of a twin engine deck-based fighter jet meant to fly from the Navy’s aircraft carriers is also making progress. On the various programmes underway, Dr. Deodhare said there is commonality of systems and technologies.

India has in the past unsuccessfully attempted to indigenously design and develop a jet engine for the LCA under the Kaveri programme sanctioned in 1989. The project, which ran for 30 years with an expenditure of ₹2,035.56 crore, before being shelved, saw the development of nine full prototype engines and four core engines.

The Shakti engine, which powers the indigenous Advanced Light Helicopter and its later variants, is a joint development between Safran and HAL.


Still no details on the engine itself - uprated M88 core? Or a totally new development? If so, likelihood is high for a Variable-Cycle type.

@Nilgiri @Paro @Cabatli_53 @Vergennes @T-123456
Actually shared this news on the other Indian forum. It's actually great news. More details would emerge if and when we sign the agreement. I really hope it's in the next 2 months. Definitely going to take up to 3-5B for Indian side.
 

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I can tell you right now this is clean sheet....it wont be M88 based.

M88 ecosystem will (likely, hopefully) be used to finalise kaveri's production to get India well versed in that production process wherever that is needed still. They are similar thrust size and overall innard layout size.

Producing the kaveri engine in whichever manner and use is very important to get going. France will likely play some role in that.

India should actually have approached france from the get go in the 90s concerning all of this (Mirage 2000 ----> Tejas and M53 ---> Kaveri)....especially regarding final production lines....but that is now in rearview mirror of missed opportunity.


Anyway, this more powerful + larger engine (whatever this is in the end) will be the next phase of Indo-French strategic cooperation in this realm....but it will be started new and fresh overall.

There is simply not enough compressor and turbine stages in kaveri (and m88) for this new thrust class.

With clean sheet, definitely there will be use of the new evolving fields like variable cycle...and better alternator-gearbox(and related systems) for onboard electric needs of 5th gen....among a number of other things establishing in that realm (at this military scale) now.

We have to see how these contours progress with Safran....but the real priority for moment is making something concrete resolution wise out of Kaveri project for decent enough production run and use-feedback to re-invest the crucial knowhow stemming only from that (actual realised production and use) side.

@Paro @Milspec @Rajaraja Chola @Joe Shearer @Yasar @crixus @Zapper et al.
What do you think the ToT/workshare/know-how of such a project look like? In case Indo-French relations turn sour in the future, would we still have complete access to the tech so that we can manufacture all components/spares along with maintenance/overhauls without French assistance?
 

Nilgiri

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What do you think the ToT/workshare/know-how of such a project look like? In case Indo-French relations turn sour in the future, would we still have complete access to the tech so that we can manufacture all components/spares along with maintenance/overhauls without French assistance?

For the clean sheet 125kn project, it will base itself on the rough countours (in further full flow at that point) of:

- existing turbomeca/shakti/ardiden cooperation and joint production (which is now moving into more branches and leaves past the trunk)

- safran commercial production at its facility in HYD (starting and expanding)

- Kaveri finalised cooperation/consultancy to get good steady assured production for use in UAV (ghatak), aircraft (later Tejas, TEDBF etc) or other gas turbine disciplines (marine et al).

- Larger (joint or funded) gas turbine research and dev at the relevant organisations, institutes and universities

It would insert itself above these layers however that looks like in the overall optimal technical expertise and framework India and France chart with these areas by that point.

@Vergennes

===================================================================================

Both countries are going from strength to strength in a confident, secure and strategic relationship, so I don't think relations will sour to any level where there is impact on such project.

France is by all accounts (IMO), the best partner by far for India in this realm of propulsion.

There is a unique legacy of partnership now particular to India and France in a number of fields now more broadly.

If they do somehow (quite against conventional wisdom) deteriorate in future regardless severely enough, then yes all bets are off at that point....like they would be with any country.

Indian ability to replicate and assure at the trunk, branch and leaves in the ecosystem at that hypothetical point would depend on how much has coursed and grown in those relevant areas prior to that....that it can then take forward. No easy yes or no to give on that....it depends given the complexities, tiers and several long term gestation times involved in RnD collab....and RnD more broadly.
 

Amardeep Mishra

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Hi @Nilgiri

IITM has always spear headed combustion research in India. The professor in question is a star professor who has patented many novel methods to mitigate acoustic instability in gas turbine engines. Also, it was wise decision on MHRD's part to establish NCCRD at IITM. It is perhaps the only facility of its kind in Asia that can accommodate an entire gamut of combustion research in one single building. One point I would like to add is that there is a very promising startup at NCCRD, known as "agnikul". They're actively working on a semi cryogenic engine all by themselves! Can you believe that? Imagine a bunch of IIT undergrads with MS from states are now working on Methalox-based engines all by themselves!

To be honest @Nilgiri , gas turbines are not my forte. I mean my expertise is in dynamics and control with specialization in AI-based control methods. Hence, whatever I know, is based on someone else experience or knowledge.
 

Nilgiri

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Hi @Nilgiri

IITM has always spear headed combustion research in India. The professor in question is a star professor who has patented many novel methods to mitigate acoustic instability in gas turbine engines. Also, it was wise decision on MHRD's part to establish NCCRD at IITM. It is perhaps the only facility of its kind in Asia that can accommodate an entire gamut of combustion research in one single building. One point I would like to add is that there is a very promising startup at NCCRD, known as "agnikul". They're actively working on a semi cryogenic engine all by themselves! Can you believe that? Imagine a bunch of IIT undergrads with MS from states are now working on Methalox-based engines all by themselves!

To be honest @Nilgiri , gas turbines are not my forte. I mean my expertise is in dynamics and control with specialization in AI-based control methods. Hence, whatever I know, is based on someone else experience or knowledge.

Yah bro, you can search up the agnikul here too on Indian space thread.

Gas turbine is more my area 😎
 

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Hi @Nilgiri

IITM has always spear headed combustion research in India. The professor in question is a star professor who has patented many novel methods to mitigate acoustic instability in gas turbine engines. Also, it was wise decision on MHRD's part to establish NCCRD at IITM. It is perhaps the only facility of its kind in Asia that can accommodate an entire gamut of combustion research in one single building. One point I would like to add is that there is a very promising startup at NCCRD, known as "agnikul". They're actively working on a semi cryogenic engine all by themselves! Can you believe that? Imagine a bunch of IIT undergrads with MS from states are now working on Methalox-based engines all by themselves!

To be honest @Nilgiri , gas turbines are not my forte. I mean my expertise is in dynamics and control with specialization in AI-based control methods. Hence, whatever I know, is based on someone else experience or knowledge.
Welcome @Amardeep Mishra , you can share you insights here ... really wish insight in radar development and if you have idea about in house elctronic warfare suits
 

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