State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has inked an agreement for a joint venture with French aerospace firm Turbomeca to maintain, repair and overhaul aeronautical engines in India and overseas, HAL said on Wednesday.
"The JV will provide maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) for Turbomeca and Shakti engines fitted on our helicopters, being operated by military and civilian customers," HAL said in a statement here.
An agreement to set up the JV was signed by officials of both the firms at Le Bourget on the margins of Paris Air Show earlier in the day.
With a fleet of about 1,000 engines, including 250 TM333 and 250 Shakti-make, Indian armed forces are the largest operators of Turbomeca engines in the country.Shakti is the Indian version of Turbomeca Ardiden 1 engine, co-developed with HAL and produced at its helicopter division in Bengaluru under licence.
"The JV is a new step in our long partnership with HAL to offer MRO support to customers in India and other countries," Turbomeca vice-president Franck Saudo said on the occasion.
"The partnership reflects our strong relationship for providing customer support in the engine MRO," HAL chairman and managing director T. Suvarna Raju.
The JV will boost the NDA government's 'Make in India' drive in view of a forecast that about 1,000 Shakti engines will be air-borne in the coming years.
Shakti is fitted in HAL's Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv.
The engine has been selected to power HAL's Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) and the new Light Utility Helicopter (LUH), a three-tonne single engine aircraft being developed by the Indian defence major.