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French engine manufacturer Safran Helicopter Engines and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) have signed an agreement to create a joint venture to develop helicopter engines.

Under this, both partners will establish a new aero-engine company in India to develop and produce helicopter engines.

One of its main objectives is to meet the requirements of HAL and the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) future helicopters, including the future 13-ton IMRH (Indian Multi-Role Helicopter).

Safran Helicopter Engines and HAL already have multiple partnerships, including the Shakti engine, which powers HAL-produced helicopters, including the Dhruv, Rudra, and the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH). More than 500 Shakti engines have already been produced.

“This MoU demonstrates once again the commitment of both Safran Helicopter Engines and HAL to the Indian Government’s vision of achieving self-reliance – particularly in defence technologies,” the company said.

“Safran Helicopter Engines has been our valued partner for several decades. We now look forward to utilise this opportunity to leverage HAL’s experience in manufacturing of more than 15 types of aircraft and helicopter engines to jointly co-develop and manufacture engine with immediate focus on IMRH and its naval variant the Deck Based Multi Role Helicopter (DBMRH),” R Madhavan, HAL CMD said.

Recently, Safran announced its plans to establish its largest facility for maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) of commercial aircraft engines in Hyderabad by 2025.