Pratt & Whitney has a longstanding association with the Indian civil aviation industry and its armed forces, spanning more than seven decades – starting with the ‘Parshuram’ Douglas DC-3 aircraft which entered service with the armed forces in 1947. Today, the company offers a diverse portfolio of advanced propulsion solutions to the Indian Air Force (IAF), including the F117 engines on the IAF’s 11 C-17 Globemasters and the PT6A turboprop engine on the 75 PC-7 trainers. In an exclusive interaction, Ashmita Sethi, President and Country Head, Pratt & Whitney India talks with Huma Siddiqui about the company’s contribution to the Indian initiatives Atmanirbhar Bharat and Make in India and many more.
How does Pratt & Whitney support the modernization of the Indian armed forces?
We also look forward to powering the IAF’s C295 aircraft fleet with our versatile, reliable and efficient PW127G engine family – and our iconic PT6A turboprop engines have also been selected by CSIR-NAL to power the SARAS MKI aircraft .
Our APUs (Auxiliary Power Units) also power India’s Netra Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEW&CS) which is naturally adapted from the Embraer E145J. The APS1000 APUs provide Netra’s ground power and air, and power mission critical equipment.
As makers of the world’s first fifth-generation operational engine, the F119 for the USAF’s F-22, the world’s most advanced fighter engine, the F135 for the F-35 and the revolutionary GTFTM (Geared Turbofan) engine, we have a history and expertise with advanced propulsion systems that is unparalleled in the world.
Can you elaborate on the capabilities of PW127G engines powering the C295 – the military transport aircraft for IAF?
We are delighted that the Indian Air Force (IAF) has chosen the Airbus Defense and Security (ADS) C295. And are proud that our PW127G engines power the C295, which is recognized worldwide as the next generation of Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue (FWSAR) and light and medium transport aircraft.
The C295’s twin PW127G engines provide excellent fuel economy while cruising and provide exceptional range and endurance for time-critical missions. As it does in many jurisdictions around the world, when the C295 is in service with the IAF, it will perform essential missions in the service of the country’s approximately 1.3 billion citizens.
How can Pratt & Whitney support IAF capabilities through India’s MRFA program?
Pratt & Whitney powers not only a wide variety of aircraft, but also some of the most advanced fighter aircraft in the world. Therefore, as India selects its 114 fighters for the MRFA, we look forward to powering India’s F-15EX with our F100-PW-229 engines. The F100 engine has been entrusted by the United States Air Force to power every F-15 in its operational fleet since the aircraft’s maiden flight in 1972. With over 28 million flight hours, the F100 is an industry leader in fighter engine reliability; and his safety and performance record with the F-15 is unmatched. The F100-PW-229 is technologically fully capable of taking on the most challenging missions against any opponent – now and in the future. The engine’s fully modular architecture ensures ease of service and incorporates leading-edge materials, cooling and health management technologies, including some advanced 5th generation technology. The latest upgraded F100-PW-229 is also fully capable of integrating with the F-15EX’s fly-by-wire flight control system.
Such advanced and superior features, as well as its quality and value throughout its life cycle, will provide the IAF with a superior propulsion system for this critical aircraft and for their missions.
How does Pratt & Whitney help maintain its engines? What is your take on MoCA’s new MRO policy?
Pratt & Whitney has a comprehensive global engine repair and overhaul service and support backed by a state-of-the-art OEM-owned service network and designated engine facilities. When it comes to India’s military aviation, Pratt & Whitney’s sizeable fleet and growing number of engine maintenance solutions support the IAF’s mission readiness.
We welcome the Indian government’s policy of accelerating India’s growth as a global MRO hub and also believe that it will be important in the future to focus on ‘community’ between civil and defense aviation to generate the scale needed to drive growth and boost investment in the sector.
You talked about community. Can you give some examples of common propulsion between civil and defense platforms?
If you look at the Pratt & Whitney family of engines and APUs in India itself, the PT6A for the PC-7 and the NAL-SARAS are some good examples. Our APS1000 APU offers Netra, which is naturally adapted from the Embraer E145J. Powering the incoming C295s, the PW127G is part of the versatile and reliable PW100 engine family that has fulfilled a variety of missions and needs across the spectrum.
Another great example is the V2500, an incredibly versatile engine. Not only was it the driving force behind India’s renaissance of private aviation in the mid-2000s with IndiGo’s 100 A320ceos, but today it continues to power major commercial, cargo and military platforms. For example, the Embraer C-390 Millennium military transport aircraft is powered by the robust and reliable engines of the V2500 series and helps improve the platform’s capabilities to operate in a variety of terrains and altitudes, similar to those in India.
What is Pratt & Whitney’s investment in India’s aerospace and defense ecosystem and what are your future plans to contribute to India’s journey to the Atmanirbhar Bharat and Make in India initiatives?
Pratt & Whitney supports the government’s vision for Atmanirbhar Bharat and is committed to continuing to support other key initiatives such as Make in India, Skill India and Start-up India. Working with India on indigenous platforms like the NAL-SARAS MKI or the Netra is just one aspect of that. We have also invested in strengthening the country’s aerospace ecosystem.
As part of these investments, we established our India Customer Training Center (CTC) in Hyderabad. Launched in 2015, the Hyderabad center is one of three Pratt & Whitney training centers operating globally, offering specialized DGCA and EASA Part 147 approved training. The center provides advanced training for aviation customers, MRO operators, as well as skills development programs in industry and universities, to drive the growth of the aviation sector in India. Since its launch, the India CTC has delivered 11,500 student days of training to more than 39 operators representing more than 27 nationalities.
Another example of our continued involvement in the growth story of aerospace in India is our R&D presence through the Center of Excellence (COE) at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru. Since 2012, the COE has been engaged in state-of-the-art research in the field of advanced materials, combustion and mechanical design. The center has also recently expanded its capabilities with research into advanced gas turbine technologies.
In the field of innovation, we also continue to work with start-ups in India and the world. Our Innovation Challenge, conducted with T-Hub, Hyderabad, saw more than 60 Indian and global space startups propose Computer Vision, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine learning (ML) solutions to optimize aircraft engine inspections with less human intervention.
Our commitment to India is more than just the market it represents; and we see India as a mutual partner for success. We will continue to build our presence in India through partner investments in innovation, research, supply chain and sustainability – partnering with leading Indian aerospace suppliers. We look forward to sharing more about how we are accelerating our presence in India soon.
This post Pratt & Whitney supports Atmanirbhar Bharat and other initiatives: Ashmita Sethi, President and Country Head was original published at “https://www.financialexpress.com/defence/pratt-whitney-supports-atmanirbhar-bharat-and-other-initiatives-ashmita-sethi-president-and-country-head/2467071/”