Safran plays a full-fledged role in the development of the Indian air transport sector, mainly as supplier of engines, equipment and support services for both airplanes and helicopters.
In 2010 a facility was opened near the Hyderabad airport by CFM International, the 50/50 joint company between Safran and GE, to provide maintenance training for operators of CFM56 engines. More than 500 maintenance engineers and technicians are trained in this facility every year. Safran is also one of the leading suppliers of wheels and carbon brakes for the Airbus A320 and Boeing 787 commercial jetliners deployed in India.
Today, Safran provides engines and/or equipment for more than 70% of the airplanes and helicopters based in India and has more than 1,000 helicopter turbine engines in service.
Safran has been a supplier to the Indian armed forces since the 1950s, providing equipment for most of the country's military airplanes and helicopters.
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.
India’s armed forces are the leading regional user of helicopter engines designed by Safran (Artouste III B, TM333 2B2, TM333 2M2 and Shakti), along with the Adour turbofan (jointly produced with Rolls-Royce), deployed by the Indian Air Force. Safran supplies engines for all new-generation helicopters from HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics, Ltd.) and continues to develop its partnership with this leading manufacturer. In 2016, for instance, the two companies created a joint venture to provide support services for helicopter turbine engines deployed in India and throughout the region. This joint venture will initially provide maintenance services for the TM333 (designed and developed by Safran) and the Shakti (co-developed by Safran and HAL). The Shakti powers HAL’s ALH (Advanced Light Helicopter) and Dhruv, and was selected to power the LCH (Light Combat Helicopter) and LUH (Light Utility Helicopter), two machines now under development by HAL. Safran also supplies the autopilot for the ALH and LCH helicopters.
Safran supplies a wide range of avionics (inertial navigation systems, flight controls and autopilots) and electro-optical (optronic) systems for many different Indian combat platforms, spanning aircraft, submarines, artillery, tanks, etc. Nearly 800 combat aircraft deployed by the Indian air force and navy are equipped with Safran inertial reference systems. In 2015, Safran signed a technology transfer agreement with HAL, concerning the production and maintenance in India of Sigma 95 laser gyro navigation units for the Indian armed forces. Safran is also bolstering ties with local customers through its subsidiary Safran Electronics & Defense Services India, by developing maintenance and other services for Safran avionics, optronics and navigation systems deployed in India.
Supporting local research
Safran has established partnerships with leading Indian science and education institutions to foster the emergence of increasingly innovative technologies and solutions.
Safran’s collaboration with the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bengaluru and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Delhi, for example, focuses on advanced subjects such as “The Internet of Things” and processors and parallel processing.
Along the same lines, Safran is studying a project to set up an aerospace campus in India, in conjunction with local aviation and space companies.