Safran Helicopter Engines and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) plan to create a new joint venture to develop helicopter engines.
The new joint venture will result in the establishment of a new aero-engine company in India dedicated to the development, production, sales, and support of helicopter engines. One of the main objectives of the new entity will be to meet the requirements of HAL and India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) for future helicopters, including the future 13-ton IMRH (Indian Multi-Role Helicopter).
Safran Helicopter Engines and HAL already have 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 the HE-MRO joint venture in Goa, Safran Helicopter Engines and HAL will also provide MRO (Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul) services for TM333 and Shakti engines in service with the Indian Armed Forces. It will be operational by the end of 2023.
A Memorandum of Understanding for the same was signed by Mr. R. Madhavan, Chairman and Managing Director, HAL, and Mr. Franck Saudo, Chief Executive Officer, Safran Helicopter Engines, in presence of Safran CEO Olivier Andriès.
According to Mr. R. Madhavan, “Safran Helicopter Engines has been our valued partner for several decades. We now look forward to utilizing 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 an 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”.
Safran Inaugurates 3 New Facilities
Safran is inaugurating three new production sites in India, at Hyderabad and Bangalore, and plans to construct a major new facility by 2025. Safran has operated in India for 65 years and has 10 facilities and 750 employees here. The announcements represent over $200 million of investment between 2018 and 2025 and Safran aims to triple the number of employees in India over the next four years, building on the local talent base. The plant in Bangalore, for Safran HAL Aircraft Engines, is a 50/50 joint venture between Safran Aircraft Engines and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. It is located in a Special Economic Zone near the Bangalore airport. Spanning 11,000 square meters (118,800 sq ft), the plant makes complex piping, mostly for the LEAP engine, and has about 150 employees.