New design and testing begins at HAL’s Aero Engine R&D Center in Bengaluru

Defense Secretary Shri Giridhar Aramane inaugurated a new design and test facility at the Aero Engine Research and Development Center (AERDC) of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in Bengaluru, Karnataka on December 29, 2023. AERDC is currently involved in design and development activities. Several new engines including two strategic engines – Hindustan Turbo Fan Engine (HTFE) of 25 kN thrust to enhance capability for trainers, UAVs, twin engined small combat aircraft or regional jets and 1200 kN to power light and medium aircraft. Thrust's Hindustan Turbo Shaft Engine (HTSE) is used on heavy duty helicopters (3.5 to 6.5 tonnes in single/twin engine configuration).

The new state-of-the-art facility spread over 10,000 square meters has specialized machines, advanced setup leveraging computational tools, in-house fabrication facility and two test beds for testing HTFe-25 and one test bed each for testing HTFe-1200. Are present. And the upcoming JV engine for IMRH will be co-developed by Safran, France and HAL. Additionally, the newly developed facility will have set-ups for testing Jaguar's air generators, Gas Turbine Starter Unit (GTSU) – 110 M2 and 127E of Light Combat Aircraft, Indian Multi-Role Helicopter and Auxiliary Power Units of Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft. Are. Gas Turbine Electrical Generator (GTEG)-60 for An-32 aircraft. Set-ups to conduct various critical tests for engine components and Line Replacement Units (LRUs) have also been installed within the new facility.

Appreciating the work being done by HAL, the Defense Secretary said that the government has confidence in the ability of defense PSUs to make the country self-reliant. “The manufacturing sector is the future of the country and in the coming decades, HAL should focus on mastering technologies for all types of aircraft.

Highlighting the role of unmanned aircraft in future warfare, the Defense Secretary encouraged HAL to collaborate with other private companies to develop new platforms. He inspected the manufacturing range of various engines and testing test sites and also visited the Aerospace Division of HAL.

Shri CB Ananthakrishnan, Chairman and Managing Director (Additional Charge), HAL, said, “The development of this facility is an important milestone in the growth path of HAL. “This is a testament to our commitment towards achieving ‘self-reliance’ in aero-engine design and development.”

Established in the 1960s, the center holds the unique distinction of being the only design house that has developed test beds for engines of both Western and Russian origin. The Center has successfully developed and certified PTAE7 engine, India's first indigenous turbojet engine to power Lakshya (Unmanned Aircraft), Gas Turbine Electrical Generator GTEG-60, Air Starter ATS 37 for starting AN-32 aircraft. And Adour-MK is the air manufacturer to start with. The Shakti engine is to power the ALH to support the MK 804E/811 engines on Jaguar aircraft and the AD804/811 engines on Jaguar aircraft.

Pavita Jones