Kaveri Marine Gas Turbine (KMGT), India’s first marine gas engine that is rated at 12MW is as powerful as a 16MW Gas Turbine that is sold in the International market claimed V Kamat, Secretary Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO.
Kamat said that KMGT has demonstrated 12MW rated power under Indian sea conditions, which is equivalent to about 16MW under International Standard Atmospheric (ISA) conditions.
LM1600 gas turbine which is derived from the F404 turbofan aircraft engine has a peak 13.75MW rated power under International Standard Atmospheric (ISA) conditions.
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Kamat claimed that KMGT should be enough for most requirements of the Indian Navy like cruisers and destroyers, while heavier warships like aircraft carriers require higher power output turbines.
Ge’s LM2500 used on the INS Vikrant aircraft carrier has a peak rated power of 22.7MW and the Vikrant class of aircraft carrier requires 4 such engines to power the ship.
Kamat said that developing a more powerful Gas Turbine will require more investment since developing a gas turbine engine is a highly resource-intensive activity, and an adequate production volume is required to break even.
DRDO interestingly has plans to use the core of the 110kn engine that it plans to develop for the AMCA program as a Marine Gas Turbine for future Naval programs but as said it requires separate project funding.