An artist’s rendering of the Indian Multi-Role Helicopter (IMRH)

Safran Helicopter Engines and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) have decided to set up their new joint venture company in Bangalore, India.

It will be dedicated to the design, development, production, sales and support of helicopter engines, with first objective to build the most adequate propulsion solution for the Indian Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) future 13-ton Indian Multi-Role Helicopter (IMRH) and its naval version Deck Based Multi-Role Helicopter (DBMRH).

This decision was achieved thanks to a dynamic common work cycle between the two companies, following a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed on July 8t, 2022, and an agreement on workshare reached between the two partners during Aero India 2023.

The collaboration the Indian and French aerospace majors is supporting the development of the aerospace strategic roadmap between the two countries while once again endorsing the Indian government’s vision of “Atmanirbhar Bharat” — particularly in defence technologies.

Safran Helicopter Engines and HAL see this joint venture as a natural further step in their robust, well balanced and growing relationship.

Cedric Goubet, Safran Helicopter Engines CEO, said: “We at Safran Helicopter Engines are truly elated to partner with HAL and India to craft this new turboshaft engine joint venture set to address the Indian market and also future export opportunities.

“It marks a turning point in not only the longstanding relationship between our two companies but also between India and France. Together we will remain fully dedicated to our customers in India, proud to designing and producing new efficient helicopter engines.”

CB Ananthkrishnan, CMD, HAL said: “Safran Helicopter Engines has been our valued partner for several decades. We both have embarked on a new journey, leveraging HAL’s experience in manufacturing of more than 15 types of aircraft and helicopter engines and Safran Helicopter Engines’ expertise in designing turboshaft engines.

“The objective is to co-develop and co-produce turboshaft engines in India — with immediate focus on IMRH and DBMRH. This partnership will engage and harness the Indian Defence manufacturing ecosystem towards realizing Atmanirbhar Bharat vision of our Hon'ble PM.”

Safran Helicopter Engines and HAL already have multiple successful partnerships on helicopter powerplants, including the Shakti engine, which powers HAL-produced helicopters, comprising the Dhruv, Rudra and the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH-Prachand).

More than 500 Shakti engines have already been produced. The new joint venture further extends the sphere of current cooperation and explores opportunities for strategic business collaboration that leverage the complementary talents and capabilities of the two aviation firms.

Through HE-MRO joint venture in Goa, Safran Helicopter Engines and HAL will also provide maintenance, repair and overhaul) services for TM333 and Shakti engines in the service of Indian Armed Forces.

This press release was prepared and distributed by Safran Helicopter Engines