Interacting with BW Businessworld, on the recent CAG report on the failure of Rafale Offsets and subsequent delays of the transfer of technology (TOT) for aero engine, Chief of the Indian Air Force RKS Bhadauria hinted a possible deal soon.
There is a lot of ambiguity in this regard. What are the issue on the TOTs as French partner Safran has not been able to transfer engine technology under the offset agreement so far? Where we are now at the moment as far as engine technology is concerned?
Chief RKS Bhadauria said: “In military aerospace zone, I think the engine is the biggest problem today and that is area that we must address. DRDO has been at it as we had numerous discussion. This engine issue is a complex issue. Technology involved is complex. DRDO and all concerned be it– Safran, Rolls Royce and others– they have been in discussion.”
Further on the CAG report and upon the question raised by the author, Chief remarked: “As you asked specifically about Safran, the technology transfer did not materialize between DRDO & Safran and that is why it is not part of Offset as yet. Should it get firmed up between the two it will become part of the offset. So our understanding on that should be clear. It is from both side. If they firm up the commitment to take the transfer of technology, and sort out the negotiations with DRDO thereafter it will become part of the offset. Offsets contracts cater for such a possibility.”
When asked whether we are building upon Kaveri engine or DRDO is developing all together new engine capability, Chief said: “In terms of what is happening on the engine, what I am aware of is that there is a concerted effort to form a JV. Kaveri (Engine) came a long way but now it is not possible to assimilate it in AMCA kind of project. So JV is what we are looking at. We will see soon that the contours of JV get fructified.”
“It is not that Kaveri has failed. Part of Kaveri has been quite successful. In terms of design and manufacturing we will of course leverage the Kaveri Know how down the line and even assimilate in future JV for aero engine,” Chief further explained the past effort of DRDO.
“So, there will be technology that will be part of our plan and there needed technology to be built up. Since we have a tight timeline and how much should be capacity and on all that DRDO has to be finalized Chief elaborated on the sheer efforts and expertise gained such elusive technology that only very countries have been able to develop and master,” Chief said.