skip to main content

Aero India 2023: GA-ASI MQ-9B to be supported by HAL

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited will undergo special training to maintain, repair, and overhaul the Honeywell TPE331-10 turboprop engine powering the GA-ASI MQ-9B SeaGuardian. (US Air Force/Senior Airman Haley Stevens)

Two General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) MQ-9B SeaGuardians being operated in India under a lease agreement are to be supported by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

The turbopropeller engines that power the MQ-9B high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) will be supported by the HAL Engine Division at Bangalore for the Indian market, HAL said in the statement on 14 February. The statement was issued at the Aero India 2023 show being held in Bangalore from 13 to 17 February.

HAL said it has the expertise to maintain the engines as they belong to a class of engines that the state-owned aircraft manufacturer has integrated with a new training aircraft. β€œHAL has been manufacturing and providing MRO [maintenance, repair, and overhaul] support for TPE331-5 engines for the last 40 years,” said C B Ananthakrishnan, chairman and managing director of HAL.

β€œWe are also establishing facilities for manufacturing TPE331-12B engines for the [HAL] HTT-40 project. The engine used on the MQ-9B RPAS belongs to the same family of engines with upgraded configuration to adapt to the RPAS technology,” he added.

According to Janes data, the MQ-9B is powered by a single Honeywell TPE331-10 turboprop engine. GA-ASI said in a statement that while the turboprop engine fitted onboard the MQ-9B RPAS looks similar to other commercial engines in its category, it is unique in its configuration and operation, requiring special training and equipment to maintain, repair, and overhaul.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...