The French company Safran is preparing to set up an MRO engine in India and is offering to join the AMCA project | Latest India News

French aero engine giant Safran is set to announce a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility for commercial advanced aviation propulsion (LEAP) aircraft engines in India in the as part of its compensation commitments. The MRO facility, which would be based in Hyderabad or Bengaluru, will be announced tomorrow when Safran CEO Olivier Andres meets India’s Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia.

The state-of-the-art MRO facility will be set up through a 100% Indian subsidiary that will service not only some 330 engines used by Indian commercial carriers, but also Safran-GE joint venture engines from other countries in South Asia. South, West Asia and Africa. For the installation, SAFRAN is bringing in $150 million in foreign direct investment with plans to switch military engines used in the Indian Air Force’s Rafale and Mirage 2000 fighters to MRO in the future to push the “Atmanirbhar Bharat” initiative. The French company is the M88 engine supplier for the 26 Rafale multi-role fighters recently acquired by the IAF and is also India’s largest helicopter engine supplier.

Apart from the MRO facility, the French company has also submitted a proposal to the Indian government to co-develop with DRDO’s Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) a new state-of-the-art 110 kilonewton engine for India’s futuristic advanced medium. AMCA twin-engine combat aircraft fighter project. The cost per engine for 400 engines will amount to 10-12 million euros, what we pay for engines today, said a defense expert. It will be for 400 engines, which we would need for twin-engine AMCAs if we had 6-7 squadrons. Will probably need more, added the expert.

Safran’s offer is not subject to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), a US regulatory regime aimed at restricting and controlling the export of defense and military-related technologies to protect security of the United States and serve the foreign policy objectives of the United States. This means that the proposed Safran-GTRE joint venture will export military engines to third countries without being subject to restrictive regimes. The French company estimates that the new 110 KN motor could be certified by 2035, provided the co-development process gets a green signal this year. The full cost of the co-development of the 110 KN motor will be around five to six billion euros.

While the DRDO is also considering the GE-414 engine to power the AMCA project as an alternative, Safran’s offer contains a performance guarantee and a transfer of all technology required for the design, development, production and support in more to create a robust industrial aircraft engine ecosystem in India.

The GTRE has been trying to develop the Kaveri aircraft engine since 1996 and was originally developed to power Tejas LCA fighters. However, the engine was decoupled from the Tejas program with the LCA now powered by GE-404 engines.


  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Author of Indian Mujahideen: The Enemy Within (2011, Hachette) and Himalayan Face-off: Chinese Assertion and Indian Riposte (2014, Hachette). Awarded K Subrahmanyam Prize for Strategic Studies in 2015 by Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defense Studies and Analysis (MP-IDSA) and Ben Gurion Prize 2011 by Israel.
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