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Safran, MTU Aero team up for next-generation military helicopter

June 22, 2023  By Helicopters Staff

Safran Helicopter Engines and MTU Aero Engines signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to create a 50/50 joint venture intended to develop a new engine for the European Next Generation Rotorcraft Technologies (ENGRT) project.

Safran explains both partners are convinced that European armed forces need a new 100 per cent European engine with advanced design maturity and affordable operating and maintenance costs, to power a military helicopter to enter service by 2040. MTU Aero Engines and Safran Helicopter Engines have therefore forged an alliance that will form the core of an extended European partnership involving industrial partners from several other European nations.

“This alliance project led by Safran Helicopter Engines and MTU Aero Engines is set to ensure European sovereignty for the ENGRT project,” said Cédric Goubet, CEO of Safran Helicopter Engines. “The engine design will be perfectly adaptable to the future helicopter requirements, while incorporating breakthrough technologies such as hybrid-electric propulsion. It will be one of the most important collaborative programs in the history of European defense.”

One of the main goals of this collaboration is to favour a future specific call for military helicopter engines in the European Defense Fund (EDF). Safran Helicopter Engines and MTU Aero Engines would then respond together with a capable consortium of partners.


“This future-oriented program is key to further reinforcing European sovereignty, strengthening the European supply chain and fostering collaboration between MTU and our long-standing partner Safran,” said Michael Schreyögg, Chief Program Officer of MTU Aero Engines. “It marks another milestone in Europe’s defense history. The ambition to power the next-generation military helicopter complements our companies’ already established joint initiative to power the next-generation fighter within the FCAS program.”

The ENGRT project will explore technology options anticipating the next generation of military rotorcraft slated to enter service by 2040. The project will analyze future military requirements in this area in cooperation with European armed forces. Concepts of potential operations will be defined and tested using simulation tools. Different configurations of rotary wings will be studied: conventional, convertible or hybrid helicopters. Operational simulations will be set up to evaluate these options and the different mission scenarios.


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