The Indian Defense Minister, Manohar Parrikar inaugurated Helicopter Engines MRO Pvt. Limited (HE-MRO), a Joint Venture of Safran and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL), in Goa
The maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) facility will offer services for Safran TM333 and HAL Shakti (a HAL co-development of the Safran Ardiden 1H1) engines installed on HAL-built helicopters from a 1,000 square metre office and a 3,800 square metre shop facility. The MRO will commence activities in 2017 with an annual capacity of 50 repaired engines which will expand to 150 in the years to come years. The workforce is also expected to go up 500% from 30 to 150.
The Shakti is fitted to HAL’s Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH)/Dhruv and will power the HAL-designed Light Combat Helicopter (LCH). The Ardiden 1U variant powers the new Light Utility Helicopter (LUH), a three-ton single-engine aircraft that made its maiden flight just last month. The LUH is expected to provide improved lift facilities in the high altitude battlefields of the Siachen Glacier.
India’s armed forces are one of the largest users of Safran made or Safran designed helicopter engines. 250 TM333 and 250 Shakti engines within an overall fleet of over 1,000 engines are in use.
Safran now powers and/or equips 65% of Indian airplanes and helicopters, and is the chief supplier of key systems and equipment for the Dassault Rafale, the MMRCA fighter recently purchased.
Goa is the home state of the minister, just in case you are wondering why this MRO is being set up in salubrious salt laden sea breeze harmful to components? instead of the cool dry inland climate of Bangalore? which is also where both HAL and Safran are based?