Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), India’s state-owned aerospace company, plans to develop an indigenous turboshaft jet engine for 7,000-lb and 10,000- to 16,000-lb class helicopters, a move one official believes might help the country become a “global hub of aeronautical development.”
Hindustan announced its plan during a first run of its latest turbofan engine for military trainer and business jets. Attendee and Indian Defence Minister Manhoar Parrikar said that an indigenous helicopter engine might help address India’s upcoming need for roughly 4,000 to 6,000 such engines in the next 15 to 20 years.
In its twin-engine configuration, the Hindustan Turbo Shaft Engine (HTSE-1200) will be used in airframes comparable in class to the light combat and advanced light helicopters relied on heavily by the Indian armed forces. But those helicopters currently use the Shakti, an engine custom-designed for Hindustan by France’s Turbomeca.
Hindustan and Turbomeca also signed a joint venture agreement on June 18 at the Paris Air Show to build an MRO facility within 60 km of Bengaluru. The facility will support the Shakti and Turbomeca’s TM333—the engine initially installed on the Druhv light combat helicopter.