HAL and Safran to form JV to support Indian helicopter operators
The Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and Safran Helicopter Engines have agreed to establish a support centre in India for national and international rotorcraft customers. An agreement to this effect was signed on July 12, by D.K. Venkatesh, Director (Engg, and R&D), HAL, and Bruno Even, CEO of Turbomeca, at the ongoing Farnborough International Airshow in the presence of T. Suvarna Raju, CMD of HAL and Philippe Petitcolin, CEO of Safran.
This new centre will provide maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for Safran TM333 and HAL Shakti engines that powers HAL-built helicopters. Safran Helicopter Engines and HAL will provide their customers with a first-class service including optimised engine availability.
With over 1,000 engines, including 250 TM333 and 250 Shakti, India’s armed forces are one of the largest operators of Safran-designed helicop- ter engines. Shakti is the Indian designation for the Safran’s Ardiden 1, co-developed with HAL and produced under licence.
Suvarna Raju said, “The JV 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. The joint venture will provide the impetus for the ‘Make in India’ initiative since around 1,000 Shakti engines are likely to fly in the coming years”.
Serge Maillé, Safran Helicopter Engines Executive Vice President for Strategy and Development, 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 on us by HAL. Together we are committed to delivering world-class support to our customers, both in India and throughout the region”.
Shakti is fitted to HAL’s advanced light helicopter Dhruv and has been selected to power the HAL-designed light combat helicopter. The new light utility helicopter, a three-tonne single-engine chopper under development, is also fitted with a Turbomeca engine.