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French Safran To Set Up Engine MRO In India And Collaborate To AMCA Project

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  • Monday, 04 Jul, 2022
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French Safran To Set Up Engine MRO In India

Announcing MRO for commercial engines, French aircraft engine maker Safran plans to move on to military engines in India in the near future. For its dual engine fighter proposal, the business has also volunteered to work with DRDO on the development of 110 KN thrust military engines.

As part of its offset commitments, Safran, a prominent manufacturer of commercial aircraft engines, is preparing to announce the opening of an MRO facility in India for its LEAP commercial aircraft engines. When Safran CEO Olivier Andres meets with Indian Civil Aviation Minister JyotiradityaScindia tomorrow, the MRO facility will reportedly be confirmed.

To set up a state of the art MRO facility, the Indian subsidiary route will be used to service about 330 engines from Indian commercial carriers as well as Safran-GE joint venture engines from nations in South Asia, West Asia, and Africa. As part of the “Atmanirbhar Bharat” initiative, SAFRAN proposes to invest USD 150 million in the facility to support MRO of military engines currently utilised in Indian Air Force Rafale and Mirage 2000 jets. The Indian Air Force has purchased 26 Rafale multi-role fighters from the French firm, which is also India’s leading helicopter engine provider.

Additionally, the French company has submitted a proposal to the Indian government for the development of a new state-of-the-art 110 kilo newton thrust engine for India’s futuristic advanced medium combat aircraft twin-engine AMCA fighter project with the Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) at the Department of Research and Development (DRDO).

 According to a defence expert, the cost per engine for 400 engines will be 10-12 million euros, which is what we already spend for engines. If we have 6-7 squadrons, we’ll need 400 engines to power our twin-engine AMCAs. The expert went on to say that you’ll probably need more.

To protect US national security and advance US foreign policy objectives, the ITAR is a US regulatory regime that restricts and controls the export of defence and military-related technologies. The Safran offer is not subject to the ITAR. So the proposed Safran-GTRE joint venture can sell military engines to third countries without having to comply with any restrictions. 

If the co-development procedure is approved this year, the French business expects the new 110 KN engine to be certified by 2035. The 110 KN engine’s co-development will cost between five and six billion euros in total.

However, the DRDO is also considering using the GE-414 engine as an alternative to power the AMCA project, but Safran’s offer includes performance guarantees and the transfer of all necessary technology for the design, development, production, and support of aero-engines in India.

It was originally designed to power Tejas LCA fighters, however the GTRE has been working on the Kaveri engine since 1996. LCA engines now use GE-404 engines, which are no longer tied to Tejas.

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