India Eyes Self-Reliance In Aero-Engine Component Manufacturing As DRDO Develops Critical Near Isothermal Forging Tech

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The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has established the near isothermal forging technology to produce all the five stages of high-pressure compressors (HPC) discs out of difficult-to-deform titanium alloy using its unique 2000 MT isothermal forge press.

The Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL), a premier metallurgical laboratory of DRDO at Hyderabad, developed this technology.

“This is a crucial technology for establishing self-reliance in aero-engine technology. With this development, India has joined the league of limited global engine developers to have the manufacturing capabilities of such critical aero engine components,” the Ministry of Defence said in a statement.

DMRL has transferred the technology to M/s MIDHANI through a licensing agreement for technology transfer (LAToT) to meet the bulk production requirements.

Using the isothermal forge press facility available at DMRL, Hyderabad, bulk quantity (200 numbers) of HPC disc forgings pertaining to various compressor stages have been jointly (DMRL and MIDHANI) produced and successfully supplied to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bengaluru, for fitment into Adour Engine that powers the Jaguar/Hawk Aircrafts.

DMRL developed this forging technology by integrating various science and knowledge-based tools. The methodology adopted by DMRL is generic in nature and can be tuned to develop other similar aero-engine components.

The compressor discs produced using this methodology met all the requirements stipulated by the airworthiness agencies for the desired application.

Accordingly, the technology was type certified, and a letter of technical approval (LoTA) was accorded. Based on the exhaustive component level and performance evaluation test results, HAL and Indian Air Force cleared the components for engine fitment.