HAL, Safran to Develop New Helicopter Engines in Joint Venture
Asia News Agency
India's lone state-rune aircraft manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and French engines maker Safran Helicopter Engines have signed an agreement to create a new joint venture intended to develop helicopter engines.
Through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed by HAL Chairman and Managing Director R. Madhavan and Safran Helicopter Engines Chief Executive Officer Franck Saudo, in the presence of Safran CEO Olivier Andriès.
The two partners will extend their long-lasting partnership by establishing a new aero-engine company in India. It will be dedicated to the development, production, sales and support of helicopter engines and one of its main objectives will be to meet the requirements of HAL and Ministry of Defence's future helicopters, including the 13-ton IMRH (Indian Multi-Role Helicopter).
This MoU demonstrates once again the commitment of both Safran Helicopter Engines and HAL to the Indian Government’s vision of “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” or achieving self-reliance – particularly in defence technologies, a HAL statement said on July 8.
Madhavan said: “Safran Helicopter Engines has been our valued partner for several decades. We now look forward to utilize this opportunity to leverage HAL’s experience in manufacturing of more than 15 types of aircraft and helicopter engines to jointly co-develop and manufacture engine with immediate focus on IMRH and its naval variant the Deck Based Multi Role Helicopter (DBMRH). This partnership will involve and utilize the Indian Defence manufacturing ecosystem within India”.
Franck Saudo said: “The creation of this new joint venture marks a turning point in our relationship with HAL and the Indian MoD with the development and production of a new generation of helicopter engine. We are proud to further expand our structuring partnership with HAL, which began more than 50 years ago, and which was recently illustrated with the development and production of the Shakti engine and the inauguration of our joint venture Helicopter Engines MRO Pvt Limited (HE-MRO). With a fleet of over 1,000 engines, India’s Armed Forces are one of the largest operators of Safran-designed helicopter engines”.
HAL and Safran Helicopter Engines have already multiple partnerships, including the Shakti engine, which powers HAL-produced helicopters, including the Dhruv, Rudra and the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH). The Ardiden 1U variant also powers the new Light Utility Helicopter (LUH). More than 500 Shakti engines have already been produced
Through HE-MRO joint venture in Goa, HAL and Safran Helicopter Engines will also provide MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) services for TM333 and Shakti engines in service with Indian Armed Forces. It will be operational by the end of 2023.