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Safran Helicopter Engines has received European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) type certification for its Ardiden 1U engine, installed in India’s LUH (Light Utility Helicopter).
LUH is a new three-ton, single-engine, multi-purpose rotorcraft designed by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) which made its maiden flight in September 2016. Since its first ground test in 2015, the Ardiden 1U maturation and certification campaign has accumulated around 1,000 of hours of operation, in test beds or in flight, confirming the high reliability and performances inherited from the previous variant.
Commented Benoit Gadefait, vice president of medium helicopter engines programs, “This certification marks a major milestone in both the Ardiden 1 program and our long-lasting partnership with HAL. The engine performs extremely well and has contributed to the success of the flight test campaign. Recently, the helicopter conducted “hot and high” tests in the Himalayas, showing its abilities to operate in this demanding environment. It took off from remote areas at more than 5,500 meters elevation in hot conditions (up to 30 C), lifting more than the expected payload. The engine revealed high level of reliability and performance, to the satisfaction of all the Armed Forces and Indian MoD representatives witnessing the tests. We remain fully committed to supporting HAL and their end customers as this Ardiden approaches entry-into-service.”
The 1U is a derivative with increased power of the 1,400 shp Ardiden 1H1 and includes an innovative control system specifically designed for single-engine rotorcraft. The Ardiden 1H1 was co-developed by Safran and HAL and is now in production designated ‘Shakti.’ It powers HAL’s Dhruv and Light Combat Helicopter and more than 250 units are in service. Safran Helicopter Engines supplies engines to all new-generation HAL rotorcraft.
With more than 65 years of experience working in its core aerospace and defense markets, Safran has a long-standing presence in India. The Group is committed to remaining a full-fledged technology partner in these sectors, predominately as a supplier of engines and/or equipment and support services for airplanes and helicopters.
With more than 1,500 units in service, Safran is the leading supplier of turboshaft engines to Indian Armed Forces helicopters.