HAL and Safran Move Forward in Partnership for IMRH Helicopter Engine
Safran Helicopter Engines and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) sign a workshare agreement for the joint development of the engine intended for the future 13-ton IMRH (Indian Multi-Role Helicopter) and its naval version, DBMRH (Deck Based Multi-Role Helicopter).
The agreement follows the MoU (memorandum of understanding) signed on July 8, 2022, and stipulates the sharing of activities within the joint venture where both parties have agreed on an equivalent repartition. In particular, HAL will take part in the design, development and production of some of the core engine components, which is a breakthrough achievement in terms of expertise and know-how in the country.
The workshare agreement was signed by Florent Chauvancy, Safran Helicopter Engines EVP of Sales and Marketing, and K Ramesh, general manager of HAL Aero Engine Research and Design Centre, in the presence of Shri C. B. Ananthakrishnan, CMD of HAL, and Franck Saudo, CEO of Safran Helicopter Engines.
The development of the IMRH helicopter continues, and a 1/3 scale model was displayed by HAL at Aero India 2023. Discussions are also continuing with the Indian Armed Forces on the operational requirements for this new helicopter. Availability of an indigenous engine will enhance the self-reliance content on the platform and demonstrate the commitment of both Safran Helicopter Engines and HAL to the Indian Government’s vision of “Atmanirbhar Bharat,” or achieving self-reliance — particularly in defense technologies.
Ananthakrishna says, “The joint development of a high-power engine is a new milestone in HAL's ever-growing capabilities in the sector with a competent partner like Safran Helicopter Engines. We are confident of making the engine meet the highly stringent and demanding requirements of Indian defense customers.”
Saudo says, “We are very proud to be associated with such an important program of the Indian MoD and very happy to once again support HAL, our partner for decades. While this program will bring many advanced technologies to the Indian aerospace ecosystem and to HAL, it will also provide the Indian Armed Forces with state-of-the-art solutions.”
Safran and HAL will continue to work on the development of this joint venture in the coming months, which is intended not only to develop an engine for the IMRH but also for other helicopters. Both partners also agreed on the condition for the transfer right to HAL for manufacturing of seven critical forging and casting raw parts for further enhancement of indigenous content in Shakti engine of Dhruv and light combat helicopter (LCH) programs.