Aerospace manufacturer Pratt & Whitney sees an opportunity to train frontline engineers of Indian Air Force (IAF) on its engines at its India Customer Training Center (CTC) in Hyderabad. The company today powers IAF’s Boeing C-17 transport aircraft and Pilatus PC-7 trainer aircraft with its F117 turbofan and PT6A turboprop engines, respectively.
The Indian Air Force is also looking at the Airbus C295, which is a versatile and efficient tactical military transport aircraft, powered by two Pratt & Whitney’s PW100 turboprop engines.
“We are actively exploring new avenues to support our armed forces, and our Hyderabad centre has the capabilities to train IAF’s frontline engineers on Pratt & Whitney engines,” Amit Pathak, GM, Pratt & Whitney India.
The Boeing F-15EX fighter is also under consideration for India’s multi-role fighter programme, and Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 engine is suited to power the platform. “The F100-PW-229’s fully modular architecture ensures ease of maintenance, and incorporates leading-edge technologies in materials, cooling, and health management – including some advanced fifth generation technologies,” he added.
Pratt & Whitney along with other Raytheon Technologies’ companies such as Collins Aerospace, employs over 5,000 employees in India. “A significant part of this employee base is located in Hyderabad – along with large engineering teams working for our suppliers, like Cyient and Belcan, who support our global programmes,” Pathak said.
India as a key market provides a mix of aerospace talent and innovation. The company believes that the country also has the potential to be a hub for next-gen aerospace technology startups.
“Collaborating with T-Hub Hyderabad, we launched an innovation challenge that invited global startups to simplify aircraft engine inspection using technologies such as computer vision and artificial intelligence. The innovation challenge saw participation from over 70 startups from 14 countries – and two out of the three startup finalists were from India. We are now working with the finalists to further enhance their ideas for potential applications,” he added.
Pathak emphasised that the company will continue to explore more such opportunities in growing its innovation, services, MRO (maintenance, repair & operations), and R&D footprint in the country.