Monday, September 20, 2010

BUZZ: Eurojet Throttles Up For Tejas? [And Therefore, MMRCA?]

There's a lot of buzz over the Tejas Mk-II engine competition, with a flurry of reports suggesting that the Eurojet EJ200 is positioned to win the deal, and not close competitor General Electric with its F-414-400. The connection between the Tejas Mk-2 engine and the MMRCA is inevitable, so first, let's get a couple of things out of the way as far as the Mk-2 question is concerned.

Both the F-414 and EJ200 were equally compliant with the qualitative requirements of the Indian Air Force. Second, despite what either of the companies has said, there's a good deal of modification that both engines will require for integration with the Tejas -- both engines are dimensionally different too, with one short and stubby and the other longer and more slender.

Both engine makers promise that they can modify their engines for the Tejas and complete certification in two years or less from the time of contract signing. For example, when I visited Eurojet headquarters near Munich in January, the company's managing director Hartmut Tenter said, "There will be some changes to the mounting assembly, a different hydraulic pump and an additional generator pack. In addition, engine interfaces might' need changes depending on how the LCA is configured. But we are confident of having a fully certified engine ready in less than two years."

Both engine houses have been known to claim that the Tejas airframe will require no airframe changes for the new engine. Untrue. The Indian Air Force and HAL have both confirmed that the selection of either of the two engines will mean minor -- but not negligible -- changes to intake architecture, aft fuselage and engine interface structures on the Tejas airframe. How long that will take is a good question.

According to sources, GE's pitch -- technology and offsets aside -- has been underscored by the experience of the F-404, variants of which currently power the Tejas Mk-1. The company has also thought of the F-414 for the Tejas well before it was officially decided that a new engine would power the Mk-2. Eurojet, on the other hand, has pitched the EJ200 with the very tempting notion of a dedicated EJ200 global production line in India, along with true qualitative technology transfer, that will include single crystal technology to HAL and GTRE.

But none of this may actually matter now, since both engines have performed well and met all or at least most requirements, and have an approximately equal level of compliance.

25 comments :

Anonymous said...

Propulsive Turbomachinery is the last technology frontier. The UK and German Mil-Ind-Complexes are the originals. The US (thru GE) got a boosted start with help from the former and the Russians similarly from the latter during the WW2. Post WW2 German knowhow was successfully integrated and built upon by prodigious investments in science and engg by Russia. France, recognizing the distance it needed to cover began working towards capabilities around the same time. So there is decades of expertise that has been built up that lies entirely beyond every patent and journal publication. We shd take Eurojet's offer of an exclusive production line and build the next series of engines here in India.

amit said...

i beleive iaf n ada will go along with ej200 engine........shiv pl post a detailed comparison bw these 2 engines n their future prospects

Anonymous said...

Will it actually be a good idea to have potentially three fundamentally different engines for the same airplane over three blocks?

The GE404, the EJ200 and then at some future date the Kaveri?

Is it just an ego issue that the Kaveri has to be fit into the Tejas?

What news of the MMRCA? No news on that front off late?

sumit..m..a..rule..!.so..follow..me said...

its good.. shiv i also get into notice that EJ200 also provide thrust vectoring.. is it true .. will that configuration will also add into tejas MK2 ?

Anonymous said...

just waiting to see this modified bird flying over head

Anonymous said...

2 years more to get the engine ready and maybe another 2-3 years to certify MK2.

With no further delays MK2 is won't be available until 2015.

Ram said...

why don't we go ahead with kaveri and for the interim period do it with the GE engine

Anonymous said...

Eurojet has better thrust to weight ratio projected......Good for throttle n evasive manuvers...

Anonymous said...

Shiv baba there are 4 messages in this box, but your site page mentions zero!!!!!!!!!!why?

Anonymous said...

We want kaveri,We want Kaveri,and only Kaveri other engines can be bought anywhere but not Kaveri

Anonymous said...

Does India genuinely require help from Eurojet for SCB tech and the bigger question is will they receive it in a useful form? Eurojet is more likely to provide less advanced versions of SCB. Why would they share their latest and greatest cutting edge SCB tech and destroy their own competitiveness. GTRE can work on its own with SNECMA to get SCB as was planned. This LCA Mk2 engine tender should not be decided on the basis of EJ promising to transfer SCB tech. GE engines on the other hand are performance wise more cutting edge than EJ's. They have more thrust and are more robust and LCA's current interfaces share commonality with GE engines. Wouldnt the extra thrust of about 8KN and lesser maintenance requirements from the GE engines be better for the LCA? The authorities need to get their thinking hats on and not make hasty decisions that will compromise the effectiveness of the LCA. LCA project and GTRE Kaveri project should not impinge on either and compromises should not be made on LCA performance based on assumptions that the Kaveri will benefit from the so-called SCB knowhow transfer from EJ. Trust US tech rather than EU promises. Remember EADS's nonchalant attitude with the Hawk trainers.

Anonymous said...

Re Anon 6:20 PM,

The Kaveri is the engine designed for Tejas and if we had it by now it would have been the best option. If we sign up with Eurojet (ad I think we should) the EJ2000-MkIndia will become a fork of the Kaveri, and in due course become Kaveri Mk2. It will mean rebooting GTRE. That 20 years back we decided to indigenously develop a flat rated non-after burning blisk based engine shows how ambitious this program is.

Anonymous said...

<<<>>>

What makes you think otherwise?

India does have genuine requirement. what do you mean by useful form?

Please elaborate lucidly, so that I can burst your bubble right here - stupid!

Mr. Ra said...

Anyhow we are going to get a LCA-Tejas Tranche, a LCA-Kaveri Tranche, and a LCA-EJ Tranche.

Anonymous said...

Kaveri will be complete and integrated in 2018 (hope it will come sooner!)... So there is absolute need of new engine. But are Kaveri engine (off the shelf, no ToTs) and MMRCA deals linked?? I don't think that it is so clear... If the IAF looked to be rational, it would be a real brekin' news.

What do you think?

Anonymous said...

EJ200 evolved from Rolls-Royce XG-40 (1984 tech demo). First run 1991. Most advanced feature is "active tip-clearance control" (gives better fuel efficiency and quick response). unlike modern military turbofan, it lacks variable camber inlet guide vanes. (Single crystal, PM disc, FADC, thermal barrier/ ceramic coated blades are very common in modern engines - no big deal). Future variants:
stage 1: EJ2x0 for 20% growth to 72 kN dry / 103 kN wet. Given EF's recent weight gain and simplicity of the modification (new LP comp.) this is likely to happen soon.
stage 2: 30% increase to 78 kN dry/ 120 kN wet would require substantial plantwide changes (and investment). Can't expect to happen before midlife upgrade of EF.

GE F414 evolved from F404 as a low risk derivative. 414 is kept in the 404's footprint. significant change and touted virtue is introduction of 'blisk/IBR', i.e. rotor disk and blades are from single piece of metal - not welded. (EJ200 uses same technology). benefits of blisk are reduced no of components within the compressor, decreasing drag, increasing compression efficiency. In also removes the dovetail attachment of traditional turbine blades and eliminates a common source for crack. GE's current development effort is 'Enhanced Durability Engine', EDE, with an advanced core (also called EPE - enhanced performance engine for federal funding). as of 2009 the engine is under testing. claim is either 20% thrust increase or threefold increase in hot section durability and better foreign object damage resistance. also in the drawing table is a new combustor for reduced emission. backed by GE's own money and fed assistance these developments are likely to hit the production line much sooner than EJ's.

As for LCA, either one is good and beyond. Economics should be the only consideration. is lca ever going to be money's worth or just a drain our resources (time and money). the path to technology acquisition is very different from what we are contemplating here.

- nanovacuum (US)

ROHIT KUMAR said...

SHIV

please upload some new videos on LCA-TEJAS it's flight and manouvers , we r waiting for it

P.K.Chaudhuri said...

Sir.
India should not slow down its efforts to develop a engine on its own. At least the Kaveri Marine engine which was declared successful in its trial should be provided more priority and budget so that active trials may be started on various kinds of vessels immediately. Larger sized Kaveri marine engine also is required to be developed simultaneously.
If developed quickly it can be supplied to various factories also for captive power generation.
P.k.Chaudhuri.

Anonymous said...

Euro fighter is a white Elephent with a huge RCS.Vulnerable to the BVR missilies pakistan and china posesses!!! Uk and other EU are trying to revive their sagging defence industries by supplying junk to India. EJ200 may be good ,but in my opinion its a bait!!!!

Bharath said...

Hello Shiv,

This is an amazing piece article, pieced nicely. So, first of all, good job! I have one question that is bothering me for quite some time. This is related to our Kaveri Engine. I want to know 'what is the real problem with Kaveri Engine'. I know we have a weight issue but it would be better to know clearly what are the issues scientist are facing with this engine. Cheers

Ravi said...

Remember that the US govt withheld approvals to Boeing to help in testing of LCA even after Boeing won the tender? It was later offered to EADS. If it wont even allow the company to help us in testing, what is the guarantee that GE can transfer crucial tech to us? The US is trying to halt our indigenous development as much as possible. It is better for India to go with Eurojet.

The LCA can go with Eurojets. Given this administration's love fest with US, it will probably be the Super Hornet that will win the MRCA contest (F16 is too old tech with no growth prospects). If and when the US govt imposes sanctions again to arm twist us, only the MRCAs will be affected. If we go with GE engines for LCA, more than half of our fleet consisting of both LCA and MRCA would end up as hangar queens, and we would need to keep the US in good humor always.

ABHISHEK said...

GETTING EJ'S WOULD DEFINITELY GIVE IT A DOG FIGHTING EDGE BUT MAKE IT HEAVY ON POCKET.I WISH IAF MUST GET EJ'S WITH THRUST VECTOR

Anonymous said...

Why must HAL fiddle with other company's engines? Just buy them, don't re-engineer something you obviously don't understand.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/index.jsp?plckController=Blog&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&newspaperUserId=27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7&plckPostId=Blog%3a27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3a0e17209d-54d1-4c05-afdc-8eec9aeb737d&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest

Gautam said...

Can people stop suggesting the Kaveri as a viable option? There's a good reason it was de-linked from LCA. It's been delayed by close to a decade and is only now undergoing flight testing. Imagine how many more years it would take to develop and test a new version with Snecma! Not to mention that version will only be half Indian given the core and even things like SC blades will come from Snecma. And ToT for the joint venture is unlikely to be 100%, Snecma will mostly just offer its proprietary knowledge and components for the portion they'll work on.

The IAF needs Tejas mk2 to have IOC by 2012-13 at the latest which necessates one of these two engines. The EJ200 is hands down t the newest and most advanced of these three engines and the ToT terms + partnership offered to HAL's engine division are very competitive. If our MoD had any regard for the IAF's urgency(which they sadly don't) they'd already have picked it earlier this year before the deadline passed.

Anonymous said...

Eurojet (EJ) is a superior product but not cheap,it is expensive but in Life cycle costs & amount of fuel burn it out preforms all in the race including GE F414.