WASHINGTON ― French company Safran and Indian firm Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. are creating a joint venture to develop helicopter engines in the Asian nation, Safran announced Friday.

The partnership is expected to focus on powering India’s 13-ton multirole helicopter in the making, further promoting the country’s economic initiative Atmanirbhar Bharat, meant to boost self-reliance for domestic industry, the news release said.

“The creation of this new joint venture marks a turning point in our relationship with HAL and the Indian [Ministry of Defence] with the development and production of a new generation of helicopter engine,” said Franck Saudo, the CEO of Safran Helicopter Engines. “With a fleet of over 1,000 engines, India’s Armed Forces are one of the largest operators of Safran-designed helicopter engines.”

The two companies have worked together for more than 50 years, previously partnering on helicopter engines such as the Shakti and Ardiden 1U variants.

Hindustan’s chief managing director, R. Madhavan, said he looks forward to the development of the multirole helicopter and its naval variant.

In March, the two companies broke ground in Sattari for a new facility under their Helicopter Engines MRO Private Ltd. joint venture to provide maintenance, repair and overhaul services for TM333 and Shakti engines for India’s military.

The facility is expected to be operational by the end of 2023.

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