In what is the biggest aircraft engine-sourcing contract by an Indian company, government-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) would manufacture over 1,000 Honeywell TPE331 aircraft engines for the US company.
The value of the contract or the period of delivery could not be immediately ascertained. But aviation analysts say a TPE331 engine costs $200,000 in the open market.
The engines are essentially used to power turbo-prop aircraft such as the Jetstream of BAE Systems and the Island Hopper of Integrity Aircraft Holdings, both carry around 20 passengers.
HAL will build and sell these engines in the global market. HAL has made 200 of these engines for the Indian military services, including the National Coast Guard, Navy and Air Force.
Honeywell officials said the agreement is an expansion of the relationship between the two companies dating back to 1983, when HAL first began licensed production of TPE331-5 engines.
Honeywell sources said nearly 13,000 such engines have been sold since 1965 for use in regional airlines, utility and agricultural aircraft, and the company continues to ship new TPE331s for various new applications and offers upgrade kits for each engine.
The Indian company provides full maintenance and service for these engines at its facilities in Bangalore and it is expected that the firm will manufacture the engines at this facility as well.
So far, the Indian aerospace firm has been exporting sub-systems, forgings and components for engines through its equal joint venture in Bangalore with Snecma of France— Snecma-HAL Aerospace Pvt. Ltd—set up in 2005.
HAL now makes Honey-well’s TPE331-15, and design, make & assemble engines for firms such as Rolls-Royce and Turbomeca. Last September, HAL signed a pact with Pratt & Whitney to co-develop and convert FT-4000 aero engine to generate electricity.