India, France move ahead in joint helicopter engine development
India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and French Safran Helicopter Engines have signed a work share agreement to develop the engine for the future Indian Multi-Role Helicopter (IMRH).
The deal follows an agreement signed by the companies in July 2022, including establishing a production and servicing facility in New Delhi.
The deal includes HAL’s involvement in the “design, development, and production of some of the core engine components,” considered a “breakthrough” for the country in engine manufacturing.
In Support of Defense Self-Reliance
An indigenous engine enhances “self-reliance ” in defense technologies, a major aim of the Indian government.
“The joint development of high power engines is a new milestone in HALs ever-growing capabilities in the sector with a competent partner like Safran Helicopter Engines,” HAL chairman and managing director C. B. Ananthakrishnan said.
“While this program will bring many advanced technologies to the Indian aerospace ecosystem and to HAL, it will also provide the Indian Armed Forces with state-of-the-art solutions,” Safran Helicopter Engines CEO Franck Saudo added.
Shakti Engine Decision
The joint venture intends to produce engines for other helicopters as well.
The companies have also agreed to transfer the manufacturing rights of seven critical forging and casting raw parts used in the manufacturing of the Shakti engine to HAL.
The decision intends to increase the engine’s indigenous content. The Shakti powers the Indian Army’s Dhruv and Prachand helicopters.