HAL’s New Design and Test Facility for Aero Engine R&D Inaugurated by Defence Secretary

Defence Industry

Bengaluru: A new design and test facility at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s (HAL) Aero Engine Research and Development Centre (AERDC), Bengaluru was inaugurated on December 29 by Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane.

Currently involved in the design and development of several new engines, including two strategic engines — Hindustan Turbo Fan Engine (HTFE) of 25 kN thrust for powering trainers, UAVs, twin-engine small fighter aircraft or regional jets, and Hindustan Turbo Shaft Engine (HTSE) of 1200 kN thrust for powering light and medium weight helicopters (3.5 to 6.5 tonnes in single or twin engine configuration), the AERDC’s new state-of-the-art facility houses special machines, advanced setups leveraging computational tools, in-house fabrication facility, and two test beds for testing HTFE-25, and one test bed each for HTSE-1200 and upcoming JV engine for IMRH to be co-developed by Safran of France and HAL.

Additionally, the newly developed facility has setups for testing air producer of Jaguar, Gas Turbine Starter Unit (GTSU) – 110 M2 and 127E of LCA, Auxiliary Power Units of IMRH and AMCA, Gas Turbine Electrical Generator (GTEG) – 60 for AN 32 aircraft. Setups to carry out various critical tests for engine components. Line Replaceable Units (LRUs) have also been established within the new facility.

Inaugurating the facility, Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane said, “HAL has received applause at the highest levels and the government trusts your capability to deliver and make the country self-reliant. Manufacturing sector is the future of our country. In the coming decades, HAL should focus on mastering technologies for all types of aircraft. Think ahead as the entire paradigm of warfare is changing.”

Highlighting the role of unmanned aircraft in future warfare, he encouraged HAL to collaborate with other private companies to develop new platforms. “HAL is the largest DPSU in India and I want it to become one of the top ten companies in the world,” he added.

HAL CMD (Addl Charge) C B Ananthakrishnan said, “The development of this facility marks a key milestone in HAL’s growth trajectory. It is a testimony of HAL’s commitment towards achieving ‘Aatmanirbharta; in aero-engine design and development.”

Spanning over 10,000 sq. metres, the new facility has been established under a modernisation plan. The Centre, established in the 1960s, holds the unique distinction of being the only design house that has developed test beds for engines of both Western and Russian origin.

According to the company release, the Centre has successfully developed and certified PTAE-7 engine, the first indigenous turbojet engine of India powering Lakshya (unmanned aircraft), Gas Turbine Electrical Generator GTEG-60 for starting AN-32 aircraft, air starter ATS 37 & air producer for starting Adour-Mk 804E/811 on Jaguar aircraft, and Shakti engine for powering ALH to support Ad804/811 engine of Jaguar aircraft.