Azad Engineering to build Advanced Turbo Engine for DRDO - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Friday 24 May 2024

Azad Engineering to build Advanced Turbo Engine for DRDO

Azad will start delivering fully integrated advanced turbo engines by early 2026

 

By Ajai Shukla

Business Standard, 24 May 24

 

Hyderabad based precision engineering company, Azad Engineering Limited (Azad), has secured a prestigious contract from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to function as a production agency for engines designed by the Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE), Bengaluru.

 

GTRE, the premier engine-design laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), has a record of failure in designing and developing high-powered aero engines, such as the Kaveri gas turbine, which was to power the supersonic Tejas Mark 1 fighter. The Kaveri has never been able to muster the 85 kiloNewtons (kN) of thrust needed for this.

 

The current, long-term contract, involves manufacturing and assembling what is being called an Advanced Gas Turbine Engine (AGTE). This is intended to power a range of defence applications, including the Kaveri turbofan engine for the Tejas fighter; the marine gas turbine engine (MGTE) for future Indian Navy warships and a gas turbine engine for powering the Indian Army’s tank and infantry combat vehicle (ICV) fleet.

 

Azad is required to start delivering its first batch of fully integrated engines by early 2026.

 

India has consistently demonstrated its ability to create top-notch engine designs with indigenous technology. The challenge for Azad Engineering will be to turn these exceptional designs into engines that deliver the desired output or meet mission-critical objectives.

 

Azad will now operate in three verticals: Power, aviation, defence and oil and gas. “We have now expanded our manufacturing capabilities to provide end-to-end production for a fully assembled advanced turbo engine… Our commitment to excellence positions us well to enhance India's defence manufacturing capabilities and establish a strong presence in the country's defence manufacturing landscape. These enhancements will enable us to serve a new era of defence applications," said Rakesh Chopdar, who heads Azad Engineering.

 

Azad manufactures complex and highly engineered precision forged and machined components that are mission and life-critical. Some of its products have a "zero parts per million" defect requirement.

 

These critical products include 3D rotating airfoil / blade portions of turbine engines and other critical components for (a) gas, nuclear and thermal turbines used in industrial applications or energy generation, and (b) defence and civil aircrafts and spaceships. 

 

Azad’s customers include General Electric, Honeywell International Inc., Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., Siemens Energy, Eaton Aerospace and MAN Energy Solutions SE amongst others.


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