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IAF suggesting flight worthy engine for LCA: Antony

A File Photo of Defence Minister A K Antony

NEW DELHI (PTI): Government Monday said DRDO has proposed to co-develop and co-produce an upgraded version of Kaveri engine with French engine manufacturers Snecma for the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) but the IAF has suggested that a proven and flight worthy engine to be put on the aircraft.

"DRDO has offered to co-develop and co-produce 90 KN thrust class of upgraded Kaveri engine with Snecma to meet the operational requirements of LCA within 48 months of due date of project inception," Defence Minister A K Antony said while replying to a Lok Sabha query.

"Indian Air Force (IAF) has suggested a proven engine that is already in production and flight worthy for meeting immediate requirements," he added.

Antony said that DRDO has claimed that minimum changes would be required in the LCA airframe to integrate the new Kaveri engine without affecting the weight and configuration of the first indigenously developed combat aircraft.

In reply to another query, he said that a global tender for attack helicopters issued in May last year was withdrawn as the three proposals received from vendors were not in compliance with IAF's requirements and a fresh Request for Proposal (RFP) was issued this year.

"During the technical evaluation, it was found that all the three proposals did not comply with all the requirements stipulated in the RFP. Hence, it was withdrawn on March 9 this year," Defence Minister A K Antony said in written reply to a Lok Sabha query.

"A fresh RFP has been issued in May 25, 2009," he added.

Meanwhile, replying to another query, he said that the commencement of production of the Indo-Russian joint venture Multirole Transport Aircraft (MTA) will take seven to eight years from the "go ahead" sanction by the Government.

India and Russia had signed an inter-governmental agreement for formation of a joint venture in November 2007 to develop the MTA for defence forces.

Antony said that DRDO and European aircraft manufacturer EADS have entered into a contract for consultancy on the indigenous fighter aircraft (LCA).

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