Safran and the Indian Defence Sector

Safran shares a time-honoured association with the Indian Army, since the 1950s by offering aerospace and land solutions.

The company is the leading supplier of inertial navigation systems for Indian combat aircraft. Sigma 95N navigation systems equip the Sukhoi 30MKI, Tejas LCA, MiG-27, MiG-29, Jaguar and the Hawk advanced jet trainer.  The company develops and supplies the Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS) of the Dhruv helicopter, comprising APIRS Attitude and Heading Reference Systems, Autopilot Computers and actuators, all of which are manufactured and maintained in India.

More than 500 combat aircraft deployed by the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy are equipped with the Inertial Navigation Systems. Safran is a major contributor to the 36 Rafale fighters acquired by India in 2016. Safran companies provide a wide variety of systems and equipment on the Rafale, including the aircraft's M88 engines, power transmission system, landing gear, wheels and carbon brakes, ring laser gyro inertial navigation system, gyros for the fly-by-wire system, the auxiliary power unit (APU) and all wiring. In addition, Safran is prime contractor for the AASM Hammer modular air-to-ground weapon.

A key element of Safran’s partnership is the Shakti / Ardiden 1H1. Certified in 2009, the 1,400 shp engine was co-developed by Safran and HAL and is now built in Bangalore, under the Shakti designation, mainly with Indian-made components. This engine was first selected to power HAL's Dhruv, now in service, and powers the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) in final stages of qualification. Today, more than 350 Shakti have been produced. Most recently the Ardiden 1U, a derivative of the Ardiden 1H1 specifically designed to power single-engine rotorcraft, was selected to power the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH), a new and unique three-ton, single-engine, multipurpose rotorcraft. This engine has a compact architecture featuring a gas generator made up of two centrifugal compressor stages, coupled to a single-stage high-pressure turbine and a two-stage power turbine. The first technical flight of the Ardiden 1U in the LUH took place in September 2016, in Bangalore, and met all its performance targets.

Inaugurated in October 2016 in Goa, Southwest India, is the Helicopter Engines MRO Pvt. Limited (HE-MRO) is a Joint Venture of Safran and HAL, dedicated to supporting of helicopter engines operated by national and international operators, and primarily the Indian Air Force and Indian Army. It will be operational by early 2020, and will provide maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) services for both TM333 and Shakti engines installed on HAL-built helicopters.

Courtesy: Safran