HAL, Safran sign pact to create JV for developing helicopter engines

Through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by HAL CMD R Madhavan and Saran CEO Franck Saudo, in the presence of Olivier Andries, Safran CEO, both partners agreed to extend their “long-lasting partnership by establishing a new aero-engine company in India”, Hindustan Aeronautics said in an exchange filing.

HAL announced on July 8 that it has signed a pact with Safran Helicopter Engines to create a new joint venture for the purpose of developing helicopter engines.

Through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by HAL CMD R Madhavan and Saran CEO Franck Saudo, in the presence of Olivier Andries, Safran CEO, both partners agreed to extend their “long-lasting partnership by establishing a new aero-engine company in India”, Hindustan Aeronautics said in an exchange filing.

The said company will be dedicated to the development, production, sales and support of helicopter engines, the filing added, stating that “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)”.

The companies said in a statement: “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.”

Commenting on the endeavour, Madhavan said: “Safran Helicopter Engines has been our valued partner for several decades. We now look forward to utilise 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.”

“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,” said Franck Saudo, CEO of Safran Helicopter Engines.

Notably, HAL and Safran Helicopter Engines 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 1 U variant also powers the new Light Utility Helicopter (LUH). More than 500 Shakti engines have already been produced jointly. Additionally, through the 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.

Source: Business Standard

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