Safran and DRDO to jointly make combat engine

Special Report

Taking the defence cooperation between India and France to a new level, the two countries announced that they will extend their “ground-breaking” defence cooperation in advanced aeronautical technologies by supporting the joint development of a combat aircraft engine and also an engine for the Indian multi-role helicopter (IMRH) being designed and developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

Last month, HAL and General Electric General Electric signed an MoU to potentially manufacture the F-414 engine for the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft-MK2 subject to licence approval from the U.S. Congress. India has been looking for a more powerful engine to power the fifth-generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) under development.

Further, other defence industrial partnership initiatives are a contract being concluded between Safran and HAL for the “Transfer of Technology of Forging and Castings” for the Shakti Engine which powers HAL-built helicopters. “Another MoU between Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd. (GRSE), and Naval Group France, a leader in European Naval Defence Industry, to collaborate in the field of surface ship that caters to fulfil the requirement of India and International Naval forces” was also signed, the joint statement stated.

Both countries are also working towards adopting a road map on Defence Industrial Cooperation and in view of the uptick in defence industrial collaborations India is setting up a Technical Office of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) at its embassy in Paris, the statement said.

This is among the several announcements made by the two sides on the defence front. Both also announced cooperation on small and advanced modular reactors, adoption of a road map for joint actions in the Indo-Pacific, finalisation of the joint Earth observation satellite, and simplification of visa requirements for students among others.