Home Indian Aerospace Industry DRDO Chief meets Safran CEO at M88 Engine facility; Safran shows commitment for co-development of AMCA engine

DRDO Chief meets Safran CEO at M88 Engine facility; Safran shows commitment for co-development of AMCA engine

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DRDO Chief meets Safran CEO at M88 Engine facility; Safran shows commitment for co-development of AMCA engine
Safran official handing over a M88 engine model to DRDO Chief Dr. S. V. Kamat at Safran engine facility (Image Credit : Twitter @SafranEngines)

Source : Indian Defence Analysis

DRDO Chief meets Safran CEO at M88 Engine facility; Safran shows commitment for co-development of AMCA engine
Safran official handing over a M88 engine model to DRDO Chief Dr. S. V. Kamat at Safran engine facility (Image Credit : Twitter @SafranEngines)

DRDO Chief meets Safran CEO at M88 Engine facility; Safran shows commitment for co-development of AMCA engine

On 22nd June 2023, GE Aerospace has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to produce fighter jet engines for the Indian Air Force. Eight F414 engines have already been delivered as part of an ongoing development program for LCA Mk2. This engine will not only power LCA MK2 but also AMCA Mark1 and TEDBF. The version of F414 which will be made in India with is F414-INS6 engine. In addition, GE will continue to collaborate with Indian government on the AMCA Mk2 engine program.

The GE & HAL collaboration has cleared the way for development and production of LCA Mark 2, AMCA Mark 1 and TEDBF fighter jets.

AMCA Mark 2 Engine

India is now, exploring the partner to collaborate on the development of a more powerful engine which will power the AMCA Mark 2 fighter jets.

While AMCA Mk1 will fly on the existing 90kN class GE F414 engine, AMCA Mk2 will be powered by a more powerful engine to be co-developed.

The Times Now has reported on 25th June 2023 that Safran offer to co-develop engines include full ToT and no restriction on stopping any access to sensitive data.

On 27th June 2023, Safran Aircraft Engines has informed about the meeting between DRDO Chairman and CEO of Safran Engines at a facility where key parts of French M88 engines are produced. Safran has reiterated its commitment towards Make-In-India by developing an aerospace ecosystem and supporting the co-development of a new engine to power the AMCA.

French Snecma (now Safran) Engine Variants

As we all are aware that the Snecma M88 is a French afterburning turbofan engine developed by Safran Aircraft Engines for the Dassault Rafale fighter jet. The M88 develops 73 kN/ 16,500 pounds of thrust with afterburner. There are different variants of M88 engines for different types of fighter jet:

1. M88-2 : This engine produces 50 kN of dry thrust & 75 kN with afterburners. This engine powers the Rafale fighter jets.

3. M88-3 : This engine produces 93 kN of thrust with afterburner. It is developed for a single-engine light combat aircraft.

4. M88-4 : This engine produces 105 kN of thrust with afterburner. It is developed for medium-weight single-engine fighter jet.

What Safran could offer GTRE?

It is highly likely that France engine maker Safran may offer M88-4 engines or its variant to India as its close to AMCA thrust requirement but still under power.

Safran and GTRE may work on the scaled-up version of this engine to be able to generate thrust close to 125 kN which is almost 20% increase in the output of the M88-4 engine and won’t be an easy task. At the same time, they must ensure that its compact in size or else AMCA Mark-2 will have to undergo structural changes. ADA & GTRE will have to plan ahead for these upcoming challenges.

Safran is also working on engine development as a part of 6th generation fighter jet program called Future Combat Air System (FCAS) program aimed to develop a sixth-generation fighter jet for Europe. France, Germany & Spain are jointly working on development along with Airbus. The fighter jet will have much higher thrust requirement when compared with existing fighters like Rafale. Higher thrust means higher temperature will be experienced inside the engine core and fan blades. The temperature can reach as high as 1827 degree Celsius at the turbine jet inlet which is 250 degrees more than what is experienced by M-88 engines. The metal alloys present in the M-88 engines cannot sustain such high temperature. To achieve this French General Directorate of Armaments (DGA), French national aerospace research center ONERA and Safran are working on accelerating the development of “new metal alloys and multilayer systems for high-temperature applications on turbine blades and disks”. DRDO Chief meets Safran CEO at M88 Engine facility DRDO Chief meets Safran CEO at M88 Engine facility DRDO Chief meets Safran CEO at M88 Engine facility DRDO Chief meets Safran CEO at M88 Engine facility DRDO Chief meets Safran CEO at M88 Engine facility DRDO Chief meets Safran CEO at M88 Engine facility DRDO Chief meets Safran CEO at M88 Engine facility IgMp

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