• As India looks to purchase armed Predator Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) from the U.S., Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) and General Atomics announced at Aero India on Wednesday that the turbo-propeller engines that power the MQ-9B Guardian High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) RPAS will be supported by the HAL engine division for the Indian market.
  • The companies are looking to formulate a comprehensive engine maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) programme for the upcoming HALE RPAS projects, a joint statement said.
  • “HAL has been manufacturing and providing MRO support for TPE 331-5 engines for the past 40 years.
  • We are also establishing facilities for manufacturing TPE 331-12B engines for HTT-40 project. The engine used on the MQ-9B RPAS belongs to the same family of engines with upgraded configuration to adapt to the RPAS technology.
  • The Indian Navy operates two MQ-9B Sea Guardians taken on lease in 2020. A larger deal for 30 armed MQ-9Bs, 10 for each Service, is pending. Last year, the Defence Ministry ordered a reassessment of the requirements of the deal estimated at around $3 billion.
  • In another announcement, HAL and Germany-based HENSOLDT announced a collaboration agreement covering design/IPR Transfer for design and manufacturing of Obstacle Avoidance System (OAS) for Indian helicopters, primarily the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), and future exports.


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