- The Indian Air Force and Indian Army are getting younger Russian Mi-17 helicopters replaced by the 12-ton IMRH helicopter that is being built there.
- The DB-MRH, on the other hand, will be the naval version for the Indian Navy.
Next month, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Safran, a French engine manufacturer, will start working together to make the Indian Multi-Role Helicopter (IMRH) and the Deck-based Multi-Role Helicopter (DB-MRH).
In an interview with Hindustan Times, CB Ananthakrishnan, Chief Executive Officer of HAL, said that the HAL and Safran joint venture for developing chopper engines will start working next month.
Ananthakrishnan also talked about what he thought would happen with engine output in the next four years.
“The JV will start working next month, and engines should start being made in four years.” He said, “These engines will be used in the Indian multi-role helicopter (IMRH) and its deck-based version.”
It is thought that about 400 of these cutting-edge engines will be needed. The joint venture’s main office will be in Tumkuru, Karnataka, which is where HAL makes helicopters.
HAL plans to make up to 90 different kinds of helicopters a year in Tumkuru.
Ananthakrishnan went on to say, “We are thinking about putting the Safran-HAL JV at our new Tumakuru facility, which is the country’s biggest helicopter factory.” In Tumakuru, we can make up to 90 helicopters a year, a mix of LCH, light utility helicopters, and IMRH.
“Tumakuru will become one big complex for helicopters and other equipment linked to them once the JV is based there.” Safran and HAL will split the work 50/50. “The new engine could be used to make IMRH by 2031,” the HAL boss said.
The deal to work together on making the next generation of turboshaft helicopters was made public when Prime Minister Narendra Modi toured France in July.
It’s important to note that HAL and Safran already have a work-share agreement in place to build these new-generation turboshaft engines together. This was signed at Aero India 2023 in February 2023.
Both companies will have an equal stake in the joint venture company and will each own an equal amount of the engine’s intellectual property rights (IPR).
The head of HAL also said that IMRH can start making things by 2031.
The Indian Air Force and Indian Army are getting younger Russian Mi-17 helicopters replaced by the 12-ton IMRH helicopter that is being built there.
The DB-MRH, on the other hand, will be the naval version for the Indian Navy. It is meant to be used at sea from the decks of aircraft carriers and warships.
The head of HAL also hopes to finish talks with General Electric (GE), a US company that makes jet engines, about making GE F414 jet engines for the Tejas Mk-2 in the next six to twelve months.
“A deal should be made in six months to a year.” GE should give us a price quote soon, and then the talks will really start to move forward. Things are going quickly. Ananthakrishnan said, “Our goal is to close the deal at a good price.”