HAL GETS NEXT-GEN TECH FOR COPTER ENGINES UNDER FRENCH PACT

World News

A critical technology relating to an engine for the new 13-tonne helicopter that India is designing and intends to produce was obscured by the optics of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emanuel Macron’s bilateral meeting in Paris.

A critical technology relating to an engine for the new 13-tonne helicopter that India is designing and intends to produce was obscured by the optics of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emanuel Macron’s bilateral meeting in Paris.

The ‘Indian Multi-Role Helicopter’ (IMRH), as it is known, is anticipated to take the position of the Russian Mi-17 helicopters in the fleet of the Indian Air Force. The “Deck-Based Multi-Role Helicopter” (DBMRH), its naval counterpart, has also been envisioned and is now being designed.

An alliance to construct the engine for the helicopter was previously announced by public sector behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and French engine manufacturer Safran. An announcement made by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) following the PM Modi and Macron meeting stated that “a shareholders’ agreement between HAL and Safran has concluded for engine development.” HAL will take part in the creation of the primary engine components, including their design and development.

According to insiders, the IMRH is scheduled to be introduced in 2027. A new HAL factory with 615 acres and the necessary facilities to make the IMRH was opened by PM Modi in February.

The HAL ground level has already completed the preliminary design evaluation. HAL is considering a new business strategy to determine whether a public-private partnership can be arranged and is open to partnerships between domestic and international businesses.

A joint venture between Safran and HAL already exists to produce the advanced light helicopter’s (ALH) 5.5-ton engines. These twin-engine helicopters number about 284. The other helicopters are from the US, Russia, France, and the UK; this is the only one that was developed and made in India.

For the ALH engine, the MEA statement contained an important advance. “A contract (has) concluded between Safran and HAL for the transfer of technology of forging and castings for Shakti Engine (used in the ALH),” the statement read. According to the sources, HAL would advance its ability to develop engines as a result.

IN FRENCH PACT

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