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Safran Aerospace, a leading French aerospace company, has recently reached agreements with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to hand over the complete Transfer of Technology (ToT) for the SHAKTI 1H1 engines. These engines power Indian-made helicopters such as the ALH MKIII (Dhruv), MK IV (Rudra – WSI), and LCH (Light Combat Helicopter). This development marks a significant step forward in India’s indigenization efforts and its goal of manufacturing all components and subsystems domestically.

HAL has already manufactured 500 Shakti engines, but until now, the engines were partly manufactured by HAL under license from Safran. The Shakti engine is a derivative of the Safran Ardiden 1H1, specifically designed for high-altitude operations. India is the only user of the Shakti engines, which have demonstrated their reliability and performance in various operational scenarios.

The recent agreements between HAL and Safran will allow India to fully manufacture all components and subsystems of the engine within the country. Safran will provide the necessary Transfer of Technology for their portion of the system, which was previously handled by them. This development aligns with India’s vision of achieving self-reliance in defence manufacturing and reducing its dependence on foreign suppliers.

HAL has been the mainstay in the manufacturing of Indian helicopters, and it has played a pivotal role in the development and production of the Shakti engines. With the complete Transfer of Technology, HAL will now have full control over the entire manufacturing process, including rotor dynamic analysis, casing design, static parts stress analysis, HMU (Hydromechanical Unit) system design, and electrical harness system.
Additionally, HAL will be responsible for the design, development, certification, and manufacture of the oil cooling system, oil pump, filter unit assembly pipelines, and brackets. This comprehensive involvement in the manufacturing process will further enhance India’s capabilities in the aerospace sector and boost its technological prowess.

The Shakti engines have already been deployed in over 300 Indian helicopters, and HAL foresees a significant increase in demand for these engines shortly. HAL anticipates orders for 145 Light Combat Helicopters (LCH), another 100 Marine Dhruv helicopters, and approximately 50 more ALH-Dhruv helicopters. These orders signify the growing confidence in the capabilities of Indian-made helicopters and the Shakti engines that power them.

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