Safran Helicopter Engines and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) have agreed to establish, in India, a support centre for national and international rotorcraft customers. The joint venture will be opened in the coming months.
This new centre will provide maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) services for Safran TM333 and HAL Shakti engines installed on HAL-built helicopters. This scope would be enlarged to include other engines which both partners may further agree. Safran Helicopter Engines and HAL will provide their customers with a first-class service including optimized engine availability.
With a fleet of over 1,000 engines, including 250 TM333 and 250 Shakti, India's armed forces are one of the largest operators of Safran-designed helicopter engines. Shakti is the Indian designation for the Safran Ardiden 1H1, co-developed with HAL and produced under license.
T. Suvarna Raju, HAL Chairman and Managing Director said: "The venture reflects the close relationship established over many years between HAL and Safran Helicopter Engines. It places both partners on an ambitious path towards world-beating customer support in the field of engine MRO".
Bruno Even, Safran Helicopter Engines CEO, commented "this joint venture marks a new step in the long-lasting and fruitful partnership between Safran Helicopter Engines and HAL. We are extremely proud of the continued confidence placed in us by HAL. Together we are committed to delivering world-class support to our customers, both in India and throughout the region".
The joint venture will provide the impetus for the "Made-in-India" initiative and its ambition of flying around 1,000 Shakti engines in India during the coming years.
Shakti is fitted to HAL's ALH/Dhruv and has been selected to power the HAL-designed Light Combat Helicopter (LCH). Ardiden 1U variant powers the new Light Utility Helicopter (LUH), a three-ton single-engine aircraft under development.
Safran has a long-standing presence in India for over 60 years in all three core markets - aerospace, defense, and security. With a workforce of more than 2,600 employees in India sharing one ambition, it encompasses an assortment of activities from design, production, maintenance, and R&D. Safran is now powering and/or equipping 65% of Indian airplanes and helicopters and is a key contributor to ‘Aadhaar' in India, world's largest biometric database.
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