General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) have jointly announced that turbo-propeller engines, which power GA-ASI’s state-of-art MQ-9B Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS), will be supported by the HAL Engine Division at Bengaluru for the Indian market.
“GA-ASI is proud to collaborate with HAL on this prestigious project,” said Dr. Vivek Lall, Chief Executive, General Atomics Global Corporation. “HAL is the foremost Indian public sector Aerospace and Defence agency, and its vast experience in the domain of aero-engine technology makes it our natural partner in India.”
Though the turboprop engine fitted onboard the MQ-9B RPAS looks similar to other commercial engines in its category, it is unique in its configuration and operation, requiring special training and equipment to maintain, repair and overhaul.
The Expression of Interest was exchanged in presence of Mr. C B Ananthakrishnan, Chairman and Managing Director, HAL and Mr. Mihir Kanti Mishra, CEO (Bangalore Complex), between Dr. Vivek Lall, Chief Executive, General Atomics Global Corporation and Mr. B. Krishna Kumar, Executive Director (Engines & IMGT).
“HAL has been manufacturing and providing MRO support for TPE 331-5 engines for the last 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. I am glad that HAL Engine Division, Bangalore would be providing MRO support to the engine for MQ-9B RPAS, one of the most sophisticated equipment in the world,” said Mr. C B Ananthakrishnan, Chairman and Managing Director, HAL.
GA-ASI and HAL eagerly look forward to formulating a comprehensive engine MRO program for upcoming RPAS projects. This joint collaboration echoes India’s clarion call for ‘Atmanirbhar’ or ‘Self-Reliance’, while underscoring the deep industrial connection between U.S. and Indian Aerospace Companies.