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HAL, Safran move forward in partnership for IMRH engine

BENGALURU (PTI):  Safran Helicopter Engines and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has signed a work-share agreement for the joint development of the engine intended for the future 13-tonne IMRH (Indian Multi-Role Helicopter) and its naval version DBMRH (Deck Based Multi-Role Helicopter).

This agreement on Wednesday follows the MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) signed on July 8, 2022 and stipulates the sharing of activities within the joint venture.

This work-share agreement was signed by Florent Chauvancy, Safran Helicopter Engines, EVP Sales and Marketing; and K Ramesh, General Manager, HAL Aero Engine Research and Design Centre, in presence of C B Ananthakrishnan, CMD, HAL and Franck Saudo, CEO, Safran Helicopter Engines.

The development of IMRH 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, HAL said in a release.

Availability of an indigenous engine will enhance the self-reliance content on the platform and demonstrates the commitment of both Safran Helicopter Engines and HAL to the Government of India's vision of 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' (self-reliance), particularly in defence technologies, it said.

Ananthakrishnan said: "The joint development of the 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 defence customers."

Franck Saudo, CEO, Safran Helicopter Engines said: "We are very proud to be associated with such an important programme of HAL and very happy to once again support HAL, our partner for decades. While this programme 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.

Safran and HAL have 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 ALH/LCH.

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