India’s DRDO and French Sarfan to co-develop engines for fighter aircraft

15 July, 2023 | Anupam Shrivastava

Engine National

India and France made a momentous decision on Friday to expand their collaboration in advanced aeronautical technologies by jointly developing a combat aircraft engine.

India and France made a crucial agreement on Friday to continue their innovative defence collaboration in cutting-edge aeronautical technology by assisting in the development of a combat aircraft engine.

Prior to the end of this year, the French company Safran and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will collaborate to draft a roadmap for this project.

They also chose to assist the Safran Helicopter Engine-led Indian Multi-Role Helicopter [IMRH] program’s industrial collaboration for the motorization of heavy-lift helicopters. Following meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the statement.

‘Horizon 2047: 25th Anniversary of the India-France Strategic Partnership, Towards A Century of India-France Relations’ was adopted by the two leaders. In the cooperation for security and sovereignty statement, it was discussed how to jointly develop sovereign defence capabilities.

It said that France is one of India’s most important allies in building a self-sufficient defence industrial and technology foundation.

“India and France are committed to cooperating in the co-development and co-production of advanced defence technologies, including for the benefit of third countries,” the statement read.

“In line with their outstanding cooperation in military aviation spanning over five decades, India and France welcome the timely delivery of the 36 Rafale ordered by India. In the future, India and France will extend their ground-breaking defence cooperation in advanced aeronautical technologies by supporting the joint development of a combat aircraft engine. (A roadmap on this project will be prepared[TT1] [P2] between Safran and DRDO before the end of this year.) it stated.

Indian Multi-Role Helicopter Engines to be jointly co-developed with Safran Helicopter Engines

“They also support industrial cooperation for motorization of heavy-lift helicopters under the Indian Multi-Role Helicopter [IMRH] programme with Safran Helicopter Engine, France,” the statement added.

A shareholders’ agreement for engine development has been reached, according to the statement, between Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), India, and Safran Helicopter Engine, France, to enable advancement on the IMRH programme.

“These ventures are in line with the spirit of trust that prevails between India and France in the sharing and joint development of critical components and technology building blocks, based on the successful Indo-French experience in technology transfer,” it read.

With French companies, India held advanced-stage conversations about jointly building the engines for the IMRH and fifth-generation fighters being built by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

According to government sources, discussions with French companies are ongoing over the co-development of high-powered engines for the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) that Defence Research and Development Organisation is now designing and developing.

For the co-development of an engine for the Indian multirole helicopter that HAL is developing for numerous tasks in the above 12-tonne class, the Indian aerospace public sector company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited has also been in negotiations with French companies.

The arrangement to purchase stronger engines for both of the indigenous AMCA aircraft’s intended variants had been “progressing well” in discussions between the DRDO and French engine manufacturer Safran.

The AMCA’s requirements are designed in such a way that powerful engines are necessary. India and France are long-standing strategic allies in the Indo-Pacific, according to the Horizon 2047 declaration.

India and France share high level of mutual trust and shared commitment: Horizon 2047 Statement

“Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1947, and the upgrading of the partnership to the strategic level in 1998, our two countries have consistently acted together, building on a high level of mutual trust, shared commitment to the principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter and common values rooted in international law,” the Horizon 2047 statement said.

“To mark the 25th anniversary of the Indo-French partnership, both countries agree to adopt a roadmap to set the course for the bilateral relationship up to 2047, which will celebrate the centenary of India’s independence, the centenary of the diplomatic relations between the two countries and 50 years of the strategic partnership.”

“They agree to work within the framework of a partnership between equals, in consonance with their respective sovereign and strategic interests, as they have done since 1998. In order to further deepen this Strategic Partnership, and in keeping with universal values of liberty, equality, democracy and the rule of law, India and France have decided to strengthen cooperation in the sectors of the future, so as to reinforce their sovereignty and decision-making autonomy, and to respond together to the major challenges confronting our planet, including through the cooperation between India and the European Union.”