Priorities are “Efficiency and Operational Readiness”
On 1 August, MTU Turbomeca-Rolls-Royce ITP (MRTI) announced that, with its partners, MTU Aero Engines, Safran Helicopter Engines, Rolls-Royce and ITP Aero, it has approved Atelier Industriel de L’Aéronautique de Bordeaux (AIA) as the world’s first MTR390-Enhanced maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) workshop.
The MTR390 is a turboshaft engine featuring a free power turbine and is the exclusive propulsion system for Airbus’ TIGER helicopter. The production engines of the basic -2C version were delivered from 2002-2010, including 242 engines for the German-French-Spanish TIGER programme and 52 for Australia’s ARH. In collaboration with ITP Aero, the development of an enhanced engine version providing 14% more power (dubbed the MTR390-E) was concluded in 2011. Firm orders have been received for a total of 492 MTR390 engines, of which 475 have already been delivered and have accumulated 200,000 flight hours without mishap.
At the facility in France, which obtained approval four months ahead of schedule, all variants of the MTR390 family of engines will be maintained in the future, especially the propulsion systems operated by the French armed forces. Currently, the first helicopters powered by MTR390-E engines can also be repaired and overhauled on site. In January, MTRI approved AIA Bordeaux for overhaul of Line Replaceable Units (LRUs) for all participating nations. Approval of another MTR390 MRO shop, in Albacete, Spain, is scheduled for April 2019. In both instances, MTU provides project management.
“Trust, proximity, reliability and expertise are the essential ingredients for a partnership with our customers in any military engine programme,” underlines MTRI Managing Director, Werner Burger. “With the opening of two MRO shops specialising in the repair of MTR390-E engines, we aim to drive the development of customised and flexible service concepts, which will be implemented in close consultation with the customers. Efficiency and operational readiness are the first priorities.”