Safran Helicopter Engines has opened an assembly line for the Arriel 2E engine at its facility in Grand Prairie, Texas. Previously produced only in France, the engine powers the Airbus H145 and UH-72B Lakota helicopters. The Arriel 2E variant was certified in December 2012 and entered service in August 2014.
“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 Safran Helicopter Engines USA President and CEO Thierry Derrien.
In addition to the 2E, Safran’s Grand Prairie location is used for assembly, testing and support of Arriel variants including the 2D for the Airbus H125 and the 1E2 for the UH-72A Lakota. According to the company, it has produced more than 12,000 Arriel-family engines, which have logged over 50 million flight hours. Around 3,000 Arriel engines are currently in service in the U.S., about 900 of which are in operation as part of the U.S. Army’s Lakota fleet.