India’s first indigenous fighter jet engine Kaveri which was supposed to power Light Combat Aircraft Tejas may not turn into a reality as talks have collapsed between DRDO and French engine manufacturer Safran over high costs, Economic Times has reported.
DRDO was expected to develop the engine for the second batch of 83 LCA Tejas aircraft and future fighter jets including the planned Mark-2 version.
The dream to power Tejas using the ingenious Kaveri engine had almost died in 2014 as the current engine failed to produce the required thrust to power the jet.
It got a new lease of life in form of Rafale offset deals and plans were made to build a world class jet engine via French transfer of technology. Tejas is currently powered by US made General Electric engines.
The DRDO-Safran deal is reportedly said to have fallen through after it was noticed that only 250 million Euros in form of offsets could be used for the project instead of 580 million. Thus DRDO would have had to shell out around 500 million Euros from its own pocket to keep the project alive, which was deemed as a price too high.