Japan seeks foreign engines for stealth fighter prototypes


Senior Member
Oct 5, 2009
Japan seeks foreign engines for stealth fighter prototypes

Japan is looking to use foreign engines for the prototype aircraft needed for its fifth-generation fighter programme.

The ATD-X Shinshin programme is still in the study stage, but industry sources in Japan and overseas say Tokyo has issued a document to engine-makers seeking information and pricing on powerplants needed for two prototype aircraft.

Responses are due to be submitted by 10 May.

ATD-X fighter concept Flightglobal/Tim Bicheno-Brown

Japan is interested in engines in the 10,000-20,000lb thrust class (44-89kN), and has a long-list of candidates on which it is seeking information, the sources say.

These include the General Electric F404 used to power the Boeing F/A-18 Hornet, Snecma's M88-2 for the Dassault Rafale and Volvo Aero's RM12, integrated with the Saab Gripen. Its search even contains the Gas Turbine Research Establishment GTX-35VS Kaveri, still in development for India's Aeronautical Development Agency Tejas light combat aircraft.

Japan had wanted to buy Lockheed Martin's F-22 to meet its future fighter requirement, but the US government has barred exports of the type and agreed to halt production for the US Air Force. Tokyo has responded by vowing to develop its own fifth-generation fighter under the ATD-X programme.

Local engine-maker Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries (IHI) has been assigned to develop the XF5-1 engine for the ATD-X. The move to source foreign engines for the prototypes could be part of efforts to give IHI more time and ensure that the overall programme remains on track.

Japan is also expected this year to issue a request for proposals for new fighters under its F-X programme. Aircraft in the running will include the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Eurofighter Typhoon, and Lockheed's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.



Regular Member
Oct 2, 2009
Can't believe no one posted it already.

he Kaveri is a variable-cycle, flat-rated engine and has 13% higher thrust than the General Electric F404-GE-F2J3 engines equipping the LCA prototypes.
The Kaveri is a low-bypass-ratio (BPR) afterburning turbofan engine featuring a six-stage core high-pressure (HP) compressor with variable inlet guide vanes (IGVs), a three-stage low-pressure (LP) compressor with transonic blading, an annular combustion chamber, and cooled single-stage HP and LP turbines. The development model is fitted with an advanced convergent-divergent ("con-di") variable nozzle, but the GTRE hopes to fit production Tejas aircraft with an axisymmetric, multi-axis thrust-vectoring nozzle to further enhance the LCA's agility. The core Turbojet engine of the Kaveri is the Kabini, named after the Kabini River (which is a tributary of the Kaveri river).
The general arrangement of the Kaveri is very similar to other contemporary combat engines, such as the Eurojet EJ200, General Electric F414, and Snecma M88. At present, the peak turbine inlet temperature is designed to be a little lower than its peers, but this is to enable the engine to be flat-rated to very high ambient temperatures. Consequently, the bypass ratio that can be supported, even with a modest fan pressure ratio, is only about 0.16:1, which means the engine is a "'leaky' turbojet" like the F404.
The Kaveri engine has been specifically designed for the demanding Indian operating environment, which ranges from hot desert to the highest mountain range in the world. The GTRE's design envisions achieving a fan pressure ratio of 4:1 and an overall pressure ratio of 27:1, which it believes will permit the Tejas to "supercruise" (cruise supersonically without the use of the afterburner).

Specification (GTX-35VS Kaveri)


General characteristics

Type: Afterburning turbofan
Length: 137.4 in (3490 mm)
Diameter: 35.8 in (910 mm)
Dry weight: 2,427 lb (1,100 kg) [Production model goal: 2,100 lb (950 kg)]
Compressor: two-spool, with low-pressure (LP) and high-pressure (HP) axial compressors:
LP compressor with 3 fan stages and transonic blading
HP compressor with 6 stages, including variable inlet guide vanes and first two stators
Combustors: annular, with dump diffuser and air-blast fuel atomisers
Turbine: 1 LP stage and 1 HP stage


Maximum thrust:
Military thrust (throttled):11,687 lbf (52.0 kN) [Goal: 13,500 lbf (60.0 kN) ]
Full afterburner:18,210 lbf (81.0 kN) [Goal: 20,200 lbf (90.0 kN)]
Specific fuel consumption:
Military thrust: 0.78 lb/(lbf"¢h) (79.52 kg/(kN·h))
Full afterburner: 2.03 lb/(lbf"¢h) (207.00 kg/(kN·h))
Thrust-to-weight ratio: 7.8:1 (76.0 N/kg)

Engine cycle

Airflow: 172 lb/s (78.0 kg/s)
Bypass ratio: 0.16:1 [Goal: Between 0.3:1 & 0.4:1]
Overall pressure ratio: 21.5:1 [Goal: 27:1]
LP compressor pressure ratio: 3.4:1 [Goal: 4:1]
HP compressor pressure ratio: 6.4:1
Turbine entry temperature: 2,218-2,601 °F (1,214-1,427 °C; 1,487-1,700 K) [Goal: 3,357 °F (1,847 °C; 2,120 K)]
The design of MCA will be different from the HAL Tejas. The airframe will be designed for a very small radar cross-section. The aircraft may feature serpentine shaped air-intakes and horizontal stabilizers.
A twin-engine design using the GTX Kaveri engine with thrust vectoring is proposed to allow the aircraft supercruise capabilities.The design intent is to carry weapons internally, hence increasing stealth. The twin engine MCA will weigh 19-20 tonnes. A wind-tunnel testing model of the MCA airframe was seen at Aero-India 2009
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has launched a Rupees 100 crore project in R and D in the area of gas turbines, a DRDO official said on 07 April 2010.DRDO's Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) Director T Mohan Das told reporters here that under the initiative of DRDO's Aeronautics Research and Development Board, R and D projects, which need investment in the region of Rs 50 lakh to Rs five crore, would be considered for funding.GTRE was the nodal agency to spearhead this venture, called GATET, and Rao would be the administrative head.
MACHINIST - DRDO launches Gas Turbine Enabling Technology Initiative [GATET] at GTRE

DRDO launches Gas Turbine Enabling Technology Initiative [GATET] at GTRE
Written by Arjun
Thursday, 08 April 2010
Bangalore: The Aeronautics Research & Development Board (AR&DB) of DRDO has taken a new initiative called "coherent directed research" in the area of gas turbines. This program called "GATET" envisages about Rs 100 Cr investment in 3 years and participation of 100 R&D centres and 1000 Scientists, engineers and technicians.

GTRE, Bangalore will function as the nodal laboratory for this program. It is intended to fill the technology gaps and develop human resources in military engine development.
Rs 78 crore has already been sanctioned for this initiative and some projects have already been shortlisted. R&D projects which require investment of Rs 50 lakh to Rs 5 crore would be considered for funding and 40 to 45 of these projects are expected to be funded.

In this top down approach, DRDO, taking into account futuristic national programs would support, encourage, nurture, monitor and exploit the design, research, development and manufacturing capability of academic institution& R&D establishments, industries and other thinktanks to carry out frontline work in bringing out nextgen gas turbine engine system.

This is in line of DRDO's policy to support front line research in many areas to bring in Synergy and Coherency between goal driven Top down approach and innovation driven bottom up approaches.

The Apex Board -GATET (AB-GATET), is chaired by Chief Controller R&D (Aeronautics), and can sanction projects up to Rs 5 crores.

The Executive Board - GATET (EB-GATET), is chaired by Dr KVL Rao, Advisor, ADA and Mohana Rao, Director, GTRE. It can sanction projects upto Rs 2 crores.It will be responsible for overall financial and programme management of Gas Turbine Enabling Technologies Initiative and shall report to AB-GATET.

In addition to this there shall be Project Review Committees (PRCs) to execute the technical parts of the programme (seeking, assessing and recommending, monitoring and reviewing all the project proposals in the identified disciplines), as per the directions from the AB-GATET and action plan recommended by the EB-GATET.

The scope of the GATET Initiative is to invite & sanction projects to various academic and other Research Institutions as per the following six areas of specialization:

- Compressor & Fan :- Stall and Surge Studies, Blade Design & Fluid Structure Interaction Studies, Tip Clearance Studies.

- Combustor, Afterburner and Nozzle :- Combustion & Flame Stabilization Studies, Multiphase Flows and Fuel Injector Studies, Thrust Vectoring.

- Turbine / Heat Transfer :- Blade Design & Cooling, Fluid flow and Heat Transfer, Large-Eddy Simulation

- Engine Mathematical Model & Simulation, Controls and System Engineering :- Multivariable Control Schemes, Life Cycle Management, MDO for Gas Turbine Application.

- Sensors and Measurement Devices :- Design, Development and Calibration of Sensors including Non-Intrusive Sensors for High Temperature Measurements.

- Unsteady CFD / Structure Interaction and Mechanical aspects of Turbo-machinery:- Engine/Module/Sub-System simulation using CFD, Aero Elastic study of Turbo-Machinery Blades and Control of Blade Flutter, Evaluation for Surface cracks in Gas Turbine Components and Structures, Surface Crack Growth Prediction, Life Prediction Methodologies, Magnetic Bearing/Seals.

The program was Launched by Dr Prahlada, Distinguished Scientist & Chief Controller R&D (Aero & Service Interaction) DRDO and Chairman of APEX Board GATET on 05 Apr 2010 wherein experts from many academic institutions, industry and R&D establishments participated to evolve networking and roadmaps.

India has many highly sophisticated and complex Aeronautical projects in progress towards designing, developing and producing next generation gas turbine engines for fighter aircraft and unmanned aircraft of different categories. India has also entered into transport and passenger aircraft fields.

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