Snecma opens Indian subsidiary

Bangalore May 9. The advanced light helicopter (ALH) and advanced jet trainer projects at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will get a boost with the French aerospace major, Snecma, opening its Indian subsidiary with a design and research centre here.

While these two aircraft use engines and equipment from Snecma, made under licens<149>e, local assembly and manufacture of engines for Mirage 2000 fighters is possible, whenever the IAF orders more of them, Jean-Paul Bechat, Chairman and CEO of Snecma companies, told presspersons here on Thursday. Snecma also makes landing gear for Jaguars. Snecma Aerospace India will have an initial investment of Rs. 20 crore and an all-Indian workforce.

To begin with, it will carry out design studies on behalf of Snecma companies, including development of on-board software.

The development of the local R&D centre to support the group's future collaboration with the Indian aerospace industry is also being planned.

Over the next two years 100 Indian engineers will be recruited. The HAL has been in technical collaboration with the Snecma group's Turbomeca for the ALH engines and the French company also has an ongoing collaboration with the Gas Turbine Research Establishment. Snecma is already involved in the joint development of a more powerful engine for the ALH, named Shakti, with the HAL.

Philippe Humbert, Vice-President, International Development, said HAL would also manufacture, under licens<149>e, the TM 333 engine for the ALH.

The agreement with HAL is likely to be signed in two months.

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