Here is the latest position on the Kaveri engine, straight from the horse's mouth... Defence Minister AK Antony, in parliament today.
Pasted below is the official Press Information Bureau release.
PRESS INFORMATION BUREAU (DEFENCE WING)
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
KAVERI ENGINE DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
New Delhi: Phalguna 04, 1932
February 23, 2011
So far, nine prototypes of Kaveri engines and 4 prototypes of Kaveri Core (Kabini) engines have been developed. About 1975 hours of testing has been conducted on Kaveri and its Core engines at ground and altitude conditions.
Kaveri engine prototype (K9) has been integrated with IL-76 Aircraft at Gromov Flight Research Institute, Russia. After adequate Engine Ground Runs, taxi trials, the maiden flight test of Kaveri engine with IL-76 Aircraft for over one hour has been successfully completed on 3rd November 2010 followed by 3 more flight tests. These flight tests covered 6 Km altitude and a speed of 0.6 mach.
Kaveri engine development project was sanctioned on 30th March 1989 with a Probable Date of Completion (PDC) of December 1996 and a cost of Rs.382.81 crore. The project cost was revised to Rs.2839.00 crore. Some of the major reasons for time and cost overruns are ab-initio development of engine, lack of skilled manpower in engine manufacturing, enhancement in the scope of project during development, lack of infrastructure for engine manufacture testing and component/system level testing within the country, Flying Test Bed (FTB) trials was not originally included as a milestone in the project, engine and component failure during testing which is inevitable in this kind of projects resulted in changes in design and material, based on various reviews, less priority from foreign manufacturing agencies in view of Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) vis-a-vis the production order quantity from other engine houses and US sanctions imposed during 1998 affected the delivery of critical systems and components.
It is proposed to develop production version Kaveri (K10) engine on co-design & co-development basis with M/s Snecma, France. The technical evaluation for this proposal has been completed. Tender Purchase Committee (TPC) with members from DRDO, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Indian Air Force (IAF), Indian Navy (IN) and Integrated Finance (R&D) is negotiating the commercial aspects.
This information was given by Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in written reply to Shri Shri N K Singh in Rajya Sabha today