Plan is to handle Rafale engines too

Hyderabad; A $150 million aero engine Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility that Safran has decided to establish in Hyderabad will be the French aerospace major’s largest globally, employ up to 1,000 people and expected to become operational in 2025.

“Through creation of our largest maintenance and repair centre for commercial engines we are also paving the way to expand our MRO activities in India to military engines,” Group CEO Olivier Andries said at inauguration of Safran Aircraft Engines and Safran Electrical & Power plants, in the GMR Aerospace and Industrial Park near the international airport here, by Industries and IT Minister K. T. Rama Rao.

President, Safran Aircraft Engines, Jean-Paul Alary said the plan is to create a 35,000 square metre MRO, including a test bed, in the vicinity of the airport. By 2030-35, the facility is expected to have a capacity to restore performance of 300 engines a year and employ up to 1,000 people.

The MRO facility is for CFM LEAP engines — Leap 1A and Leap 1B engines. On maintenance of military engines, Mr. Alary said the plan is to set aside some space, at the MRO, for M88, the engine that powers Rafale fighter jets.

Hyderabad To Fore

Safran also announced setting up of Digit, an in-house entity tasked with development of digital transformation systems for the group. Hyderabad and Mumbai will host the main facilities and over next five years have a headcount of 1,000. Of them 800 will be hired for the centre here.

Safran Aircraft Engines plant is to make rotating parts for LEAP engine and spans 15,000 square metres. It will employ 275 people. Safran Electrical & Power facility that makes wiring for LEAP engines and the Rafale fighter jets was opened in November 2018 and plans to increase the headcount from 150 to 200.

The French Group’s investment over seven years up to 2025 will be $200 million, which includes the Safran HAL Aircraft Engines plant in Bengaluru that will be inaugurated on Friday.

The decision to increase footprint in Hyderabad was driven by the support of Telangana government, conducive policies, talent availability and importantly the ecosystem in place for the aviation industry. For the MRO, Safran choose Hyderabad from among 10 locations, including Bengaluru, New Delhi and Noida, the senior executives of Safran said.

Huge Endorsement

Addressing the gathering, the Minister said the MRO would be the largest such in India by a global OEM. “This new investment is a huge endorsement to robustness of the aerospace ecosystem in Hyderabad,” Mr. Rao said. On the efforts of the State government to attract Safran investments, since 2018, he said more than 35 face-to-face meetings and over 400 communication exchanges took place to ensure Safran finds a smooth landing in Hyderabad.

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