HAL Selected to Offer Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul Services for GA-ASI MQ-9B Turbo-Prop Engines

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) have announced a new joint partnership to support turbo-propeller engines that power GA-ASI’s advanced MQ-9B Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) in India. As part of this partnership, HAL’s Engine Division in Bengaluru will provide maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services for the MQ-9B RPAS’s unique turboprop engine. This engine has a configuration and operation that is unlike other commercial engines in its category, and requires specialized training and equipment to maintain, repair, and overhaul.

The two companies exchanged an expression of interest in the presence of Mr. C B Ananthakrishnan, Chairman and Managing Director, HAL, and Mr. Mihir Kanti Mishra, CEO (Bangalore Complex). Dr. Vivek Lall, Chief Executive of General Atomics Global Corporation, and Mr. B. Krishna Kumar, Executive Director (Engines & IMGT) were also present. Dr. Vivek Lall expressed his enthusiasm for the collaboration and the opportunity to work with HAL on this project. He praised HAL as India’s foremost public sector Aerospace and Defense agency and noted its vast experience in the domain of aero-engine technology, which makes it an ideal partner for GA-ASI in India.

According to Mr. C B Ananthakrishnan, Chairman and Managing Director, HAL, the HAL Engine Division in Bangalore has been providing MRO support for TPE 331-5 engines for the last 40 years. HAL is also establishing facilities for manufacturing TPE 331-12B engines for the HTT-40 project. The engine used on the MQ-9B RPAS belongs to the same family of engines, but has an upgraded configuration to adapt to the RPAS technology. HAL is excited to provide MRO support to this engine for the MQ-9B RPAS, which is considered one of the most sophisticated pieces of equipment in the world.

This joint collaboration between GA-ASI and HAL reflects India’s clarion call for ‘Atmanirbhar’ or ‘Self-Reliance’ in the aerospace industry. The partnership also highlights the deep industrial connection between U.S. and Indian Aerospace Companies. GA-ASI and HAL are eager to formulate a comprehensive engine MRO program for upcoming RPAS projects, which will further strengthen their collaboration in the future.

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