Safran Helicopter Engines has established a second assembly line at its plant in Grand Prairie, Texas, to produce Arriel 2E engine for the U.S. Army’s new Airbus Helicopters UH-72B Lakota. Deliveries of these helicopters to the Army began in September. The engine had been exclusively made in France.
“Assembling this variant in Texas reflects our commitment to the helicopter industry to invest and grow our U.S. presence, bringing us closer to our customers, and allows us to provide increased capability and proximity support,” said Thierry Derrien, president and CEO of Safran Helicopter Engines USA.
Safran assembles, tests, and supports several Arriel variants in Grand Prairie, including the -2D for the Airbus H125 and the -1E2 for the U.S. Army UH-72A Lakota, which has more than 900 engines in its fleet. The Arriel also powers the U.S. Coast Guard’s fleet of 102 Airbus MH-65 Dolphins.
More than 3,000 Arriel series engines are in service throughout the U.S. and some 12,000 Arriel engines have been produced and collectively have amassed more than 50 million flight hours. The Arriel family, with power ratings between 650 and 1,000 shp, is installed in more than 40 different rotorcraft models. According to Safran, an Arriel-powered helicopter takes off every 15 seconds every day.