Safran Helicopter Engines has received European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) type certification for its Ardiden 1U turboshaft engine, installed in India’s HAL Light Utility Helicopter (LUH).
Since its first ground test in 2015, the Ardiden 1U maturation and certification campaign has accumulated around 1000 of hours of operation, in testbeds or in flight, confirming the high reliability and performances inherited from the previous variant, said Safran in a statement.
LUH is a new three-ton, single-engine, multipurpose helicopter being developed by Indian state-owned company Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) to replace the aging Cheetah (locally built French Aérospatiale SA 315B Lama) and Chetak (locally built Aérospatiale Alouette III) helicopters used by the Indian Armed Forces. The rotorcraft made its maiden flight in September 2016.
“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 & 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”, said Benoit Gadefait, Vice President Medium Helicopter Engines Programs at Safran.
The 1U is a derivative of the 1,400 shp Ardiden 1H1 engine with increased power 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 Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) of which more than 250 units are in service.
With more than 1,500 units in service, Safran is the leading supplier of turboshaft engines to Indian Armed Forces helicopters. Safran Helicopter Engines also supplies engines to all new-generation HAL rotorcraft.