Safran has been a supplier to the Indian armed forces since the 1950s, providing engines and/or equipment for combat airplanes and helicopters, including Jaguar and Mirage 2000 fighter fleets, Hawk trainers, and HAL Dhruv and Cheetah helicopters.
Safran Helicopter Engines is teaming up with HAL to develop the Shakti engine for the Dhruv helicopter. Arrangements have been finalized to provide powerplants for the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) and the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) to be manufactured by the Indian company HAL.
Safran Electronics & Defense operating through its local subsidiary Safran Electronics & Defense Services India Pvt. Ltd., also provides a wide range of avionics equipment (inertial navigation systems, flight control systems and autopilots) and optronics systems for a number of combat platforms, including aircraft, submarines, artillery systems and tanks.
Almost all Indian military aircraft use Sigma 95N navigation systems as a result of a long-standing partnership with HAL. Safran Electronics & Defense Services India Pvt. Ltd. provides maintenance and customer support for these systems. The Sigma 95N navigation system was also selected for the first prototypes of the MALE (medium-altitude, long-endurance) drone being developed by India.
In early 2012, the Rafale International1 consortium began exclusive negotiations with the Indian government to supply Rafale multirole fighters featuring major Safran systems, including the engine, landing gear, and the inertial navigation system. These negotiations led to the announcement in 2015 of an initial intent to purchase 36 Rafales.
1 The consortium consists of the main partners involved in the Rafale multirole fighter: Dassault Aviation, Safran and Thales. It is tasked with marketing the Rafale worldwide.