New Delhi: The Defence Secretary, Giridhar Aramane inaugurated a new design and test facility at HAL’s Aero Engine Research and Development Centre (AERDC) in Bengaluru on Friday. Hailing the important work being done by HAL, Aramane said, “HAL has received applause at the highest levels and the government trusts your capability to deliver and make the country self-reliant. The manufacturing sector is the future of our country and 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.”
Thrusting on the role of unmanned aircraft in the future warfare, he encouraged HAL to collaborate with other private companies to develop new platforms. “HAL is the largest Defence PSU in India and I want it to become the top ten companies in the world,” he added. He had a look at the manufacturing range of various engines and test beds. He also paid a visit to HAL’s Aerospace Division.
Speaking on the occasion, HAL's CMD (Addl. Charge) CB 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.” The new facility spanning over 10,000 sq. meters has been established under the modernisation plan.
HAL's Director (Engg, R&D) Dr DK Sunil outlined the design perspectives of HAL’s R&D initiatives.
The AERDC is 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, UAV’s, 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/ twin engine configuration).
The new state-of-the-art facility houses special machines, advanced setups leveraging on computational tools, in-house fabrication facility and two test beds for testing HTFE-25 and one testbed each for testing HTSE-1200 and upcoming JV engine for IMRH to be co-developed by Safran, France and HAL.
In addition, 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 and LRUs have also been established within the new facility.
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. The Centre has successfully developed & 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.
Senior officials from HAL, IAF, GTRE. ADA, NAL, CEMILAC and ADE were present on the occasion.