Safran, a major manufacturer of aircraft engines in France, is almost ready to announce MRO for commercial engines in India. As part of its offset commitments, French aircraft engine giant Safran is getting ready to announce the opening of an MRO facility in India for commercial aircraft engines with leading edge aviation propulsion (LEAP). Tomorrow when Safran CEO Olivier Andres visits Indian Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, the MRO facility, said to be headquartered in either Hyderabad or Bengaluru, is expected to be announced.
The MRO state of the art facility will be established through a 100% Indian subsidiary route and will service not only the 330 engines used by Indian commercial carriers but also Service the engines from other Safran-GE joint venture nations like South Asia, West Asia, and Africa. With intentions to eventually expand into MRO of military engines used in Indian Air Force Rafale and Mirage 2000 aircraft to forward the “Atmanirbhar Bharat” agenda, SAFRAN is bringing in USD 150 million in foreign direct investment for the facility. The French business is India’s top supplier of helicopter engines and provides the M88 engines for the 26 Rafale multirole aircraft that the IAF recently acquired.
Aside from the MRO facility, the French company has also proposed to the Indian government to co – develop a brand-new, cutting-edge 110 kilo newton thrust engine with the DRDO’s Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) for India’s advanced medium combat aircraft twin-engine AMCA fighter project. According to a defence expert, the price per engine for 400 engines will equal between 10 and 12 million euros, which is what we currently spend for engines. If we have 6-7 squadrons, it will be for 400 engines, which is what we would need for twin engine AMCAs.
The French company believes that if the co-development process is completed this year, the new 110 KN engine may be certified by 2035. A total of five to six billion euros will be invested in co-developing the 110 KN engine. The Safran offer includes a performance guarantee and transfers all necessary technology for design, development, production, and support, in addition to developing a strong industrial aero-engine ecosystem in India. The DRDO is also considering using a GE-414 engine to power the AMCA project as a replacer.
The Kaveri aero-engine, which was first created to power Tejas LCA fighters, has been under development by the GTRE since 1996. However, as the LCA is now powered by GE-404 engines, the engine was disconnected from the Tejas programme.