India may add another feather in its hat as a Bengaluru based company is very close to give India its first indigenous jet engine.
Poeir Jets Private Limited, an R&D firm under the city-based Intech DMLS, has earmarked Rs 20 crore for the project, of which about Rs 9 crore has been spent.
Leveraging its rich experience from tie-ups with firms such as HAL and Bharat Forge, the company decided to make its own gasturbine engine two years ago.
Intech founder and managing director Sridhar Balaram told TOI “We fired the engine for the first time on February 8, 2017, and it was a success. Some other tests are going on, and we are confident that it will be ready to be presented for certification in 18-24 weeks.”
Successful certification of which will put India in the elite group comprising only three other countries.
He said MJE-20 is a gas-turbine engine which can power Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or Remotely Piloted Vehicles (RPVs). Weighing 2.16 kg and providing an uninstalled thrust of 20 kg, the engine will not be able to power UAVs of military grade.
“It is for this reason that we will be ready for certification in 24 months. But the success we’ve seen has pushed us to develop bigger engines. We have the MJE-40 and MJE-100, which will be able to power bigger UAVs. Given that they are gas turbine engines, they will give longer flying hours,” he said.
The firm has there other variants and the final one, SJE-350, which it believes can power bigger planes of strategic importance, weighs 48.36kg and provides an uninstalled thrust of 350kgf.
However, experts said more thrust would be required to power fighter jets.
Balaram said “We are aware of that. While SJE-350 in a twin-engine configuration can power a fighter, we are also looking at helicopters, for which we are working on the turboshaft technology .”