Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Remote Piloted Vehicles (RPVs) are getting a boost from the Bengaluru-based company Intech DMLS with the firing of the MJE-20, a small-scale engine for UAVs and RPVs.

Written by: Alanna Ritchie 

On February 8th, 2017, Intech successfully tested the MJE-20, the company’s first unmanned aerial vehicle. The MJE-20 contains a gas-turbine engine weighing 2.16 kg with an uninstalled thrust of 20 kg. With this development, Asia will be joining the short list of continents at the forefront of jet engine manufacturing. Once testing is complete, the United States, Israel, Europe, and Asia will be the only four locales in the world that have developed and manufactured indigenous jet engines.

intech-india-jet-engine

Image via New Times of India

Intech’s research and development branch, known as Poeir Jets Private, Limited has been hard at work on the MJE-20. Sridhar Balaram, director of Intech, shared the exciting progress in the development of this engine just last month.

In an interview with the Times of India, Balaram said: “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.”[1]

Intech Direct Metal Laser Sintering, or DMLS, is a metal additive manufacturer in India responsible for products in aerospace, rapid prototyping, medical and automotive industries, among others. The company manufactures cutting-edge parts using cobalt chromium, steel powders, stainless steel strains, titanium, inconel, and aluminum. Intech plans to push further by using the MJE-20 research for larger jet engines.

One of Intech’s previous accomplishments, the 3D printing of the Combustion Chamber, was designed for a client’s 25 KN engine. 3ders.org reports Intech shortened overall development time for the part from 18-24 months to 3-4 months. The company continues to think bigger and is amid other projects as well. It is working on the MJE-40 and MJE-100, which should be able to power larger engines and remain in flight longer.

Indigenous engine manufacturing is one of Intech’s aviation endeavors. It is also currently manufacturing the SJE-350 jet engine with a thrust of 350 KGF. The goal is to use the SJE-350 in strategic applications.

Balaram revealed more about Intech’s projects, telling the Times of India, “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.”

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[1] Indian Aerospace Industry – Page 5 – SkyscraperCity. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?p=138580438