The joint venture (JV) to form the centre was signed by D K Venkatesh, Director (Engg, and R&D), HAL and Bruno Even, CEO, Turbomeca, at Farnborough International Airshow.
An HAL official said that the new centre would be coming up in Goa, the home state of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. The centre would be set up in 2017 with the first phase of operations expected to come up in 2019..
The new centre will provide Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) services for Safran TM333 and HAL Shakti engines.
The new centre, when established, claims to provide customers with 'first-class service' including optimised engine availability.
HAL CMD T S Raju said the JV reflected the close relationship between HAL and Safran Helicopter Engines established over the years.
"The JV places both partners on an ambitious path towards world-beating customer support in the field of engine MRO. The JV will provide the impetus for the 'Make-in-India' initiative since around 1000 Shakti engines are likely to fly in the coming years," says Raju.
Shakti engine powers Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv, Light Combat Helicopter and Light Utility Helicopter.
Serge Maillé of Safran Helicopter Engines termed the JV as a new step in the partnership with HAL.
"Together we are committed to delivering world-class support to our customers, both in India and throughout the region," he says.
HAL says with over 1000 engines, including 250 TM333 and 250 Shakti, India's armed forces are one of the largest operators of Safran-designed helicopter engines. Shakti is the Indian designation for the Safran's Ardiden 1, co-developed with HAL and produced under license.