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Vol . 8      No. 4    August  2000

Kaveri Engine - The Power Plant for LCA

Kaveri engine rotator assemblyWith three decades of rich experience in the field of aerogas turbine engines. DRDO has designed and developed the contemporary high performance bypass military engine christened as Kaveri. Four prototypes of Kaveri engine and two prototypes of Kabini engine (Kaveri core) have been assembled and are undergoing extensive ground testing. Kaveri engine is a two-spool bypass turbofan engine having three stages of transonic low pressure compressor driven by a single-stage low pressure turbine. The core engine consists of six-stage transonic compressor driven by single-stage cooled high pressure turbine. The engine is provided with a compact annular combustor with airblast atomisers. The aerothermodynamic and mechanical designs of engine components have been evolved using many in-house and commercially developed software for solid and fluid mechanics.

Kaveri three-stage transonic fan, designed for good stall margin and bird strike Kaveri  core rotator assemblycapability, handles an air mass flow of 78 kg/s and develops a pressure Combustion Chamber Liner ratio of 3.4. The six-stage variable capacity transonic compressor of Kaveri develops a pressure ratio of 6.4. The variable schedule of inlet guide vanes and two rows of stator is through FADEC control system to open the stator blades in a predetermined manner. High intensity low UD ratio annular combustor of Kaveri engine incorporates air blast injection of fuel for uniform outlet temperature profile and reduced
carbon emission.

Compressor casing with variable stator assemblyKaveri high pressure turbine is provided with an efficient cooling design incorporating augmented convection-cum-film cooling for the vanes and combination cooling for the rotor blade to handle up to 1700 K turbine entry temperature. Kabini engine comprising high pressure compressor, combustor and high pressure turbine has undergone high altitude test at facilities abroad successfully demonstrating the flat rating concept of Kaveri engine assembly and in particular the combustor high altitude ignition and stability performances.

Kaveri engine has been specifically designed for Indian environment. The engine is a variable Combustion Chamber Linercycle-flat-rated engine in which the thrust drop due to high ambient, forward speed is well compensated by the increased turbine entry temperature at the spool Kabini altitude test speed. This concept has been already demonstrated with high temperature and pressure condition in DRDO's High Mach Facility. Kaveri engine is controlled by Kaveri full authority digital control unit {KADECU), which has been developed and successfully demonstrated at DRDO's test bed.

Kaveri-Special Characteristics


Kaveri Engine on Test BedKaveri Engine is a technologically complex and vital system for the LCA as well as its future variants. It incorporates state-of-the-art technologies and provides the required thrust for indigenous competence in this critical area.



From the Desk of Special Editor

Ajai KumarAeronautics is a technology intensive area and it draws upon all disciplines of science for making a highly reliable product. At the same time, there are constraints on weight and volume. Also, all systems must be designed with many other design drivers which include cost, maintainability, productability, etc and yet should remain state-of-the-art, as the obsolescence in this area is very rapid. Through the efforts of DRDO and the network of Aeronautics Research & Development Board comprising research labs, academic institutions and industry, DRDO is making an attempt to not only bridge the technology gap but also to ensure that some fundamental work is attempted so that these technologies would become available for our future programmes.

In aeronautics, it is difficult to separate technology and products as they are highly dependent on each other. The present issue of Technology Focus attempts to focus the various technologies and products which support the main platforms, such as LCA and the unmanned air vehicles. The technologies pertaining to these main platforms will be highlighted in one of the forthcoming issues. However, their photographs are depicted on the back page of this issue.


Ajai Kumar

Air-mass flow : 78 kg/s
By-pass ratio : 0.16
Overall pressure ratio : 21.5
Turbine entry temperature : 1487-1700 K
Maximum dry thrust : 52 kN (5302 kg)
Maximum dry SFC : 0.78 kg/hr/kg
After burner maximum power thrust : 81 kN (8260 kg)
After burner maximum power SFC : 2.03 kg/hr/kg
Thrust-to-weight ratio : 7.8
Application : Indian LCA