Russia has started in-flight tests of an Indian domestically-designed gas turbine engine for an indigenous light fighter, state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport said.
The engine, dubbed Kaveri, has been designed by India's Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) for the Tejas light fighter developed under the Indian national program Light Combat Aircraft.
"The first flight of an Il-76LL test aircraft with a Kaveri engine set in place of one of the plane's engines continued for 45 minutes and confirmed the results of ground tests," Rosoboronexport said in a statement.
About 50 in-flight tests have been scheduled for the next few months to confirm the engine's characteristics and reliability.
"After that, the engine will be tested on the Tejas fighter," the statement said.
Despite numerous delays in the development of the Kaveri engine, India still hopes to put it on the later version of the Tejas aircraft.
The current version of the Tejas fighter is equipped with a single GE F404 afterburning turbofan engine developed by General Electric. India has recently ordered at least 99 advanced GE F414 engines for the next production batch of Tejas.
The Indian Air Force is reported to have a requirement for 200 single-seat Tejas fighters and 20 two-seat conversion trainers, while the Indian Navy may order up to 40 single-seaters.
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