Appointments

Jetendra Gavankar is new Safran Helicopter Engines chief in India

Photo: Jeetendra S. Gavankar, the new Safran Helicopter Engines chief in India.

New Delhi: French aeroengines major Safran has appointed Jetendra S. Gavankar as its next managing director, a former Indian Air Force officer, for its helicopter engines unit in India.

Gavankar took over the new role from his predecessor Satish Kirtikar, who is retiring, according to a statement from Safran Helicopter Engines India Private Limited today.

“Jetendra will lead the company’s business in India and will be responsible for its strategic partnerships across the market and with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in particular,” the statement said.

Jetendra’s experience ranges from product development and core R&D to integration, upgrades, strategy and business development. “For 25 years, he served in the Indian Air Force (retiring as a Group Captain). He was Deputy Project Director at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and helped establish the defence and aerospace business for (the) Adani Group.”

Most recently, he was working as Director Engineering at Honeywell Technologies and Systems in Bangalore. Jetendra Gavankar (51) is a graduate of the Air Force Technical College, BITS-Pilani and IIM-Ahmedabad.

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“I am pleased to welcome Jetendra to our team,” Safran Helicopter Engines executive vice president for support and serivces Sébastien Jaulerry said in the statement.

“Jetendra joins us during extremely challenging times. Under his leadership, Safran Helicopter Engines will expand decades-long relationships with all its partners in India, consistent with the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat‘ vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Safran Helicopter Engines executive vice president for Original Equipment Manufacturer sales Florent Chauvancy said.

Safran Helicopter Engines India is based in Bangalore and is fully supports the company’s Indian customers, notably the Indian armed forces and coast guard. Its strategy is built around a long-standing cooperation with HAL and the Ardiden 1H1 engine, co-developed by the two companies and now in production under the ‘Shakti’ designation.

It powers HAL’s Dhruv and Light Combat Helicopter and more than 250 units are in service. Safran Helicopter Engines supplies engines to all new-generation HAL rotorcraft. The Ardiden 1U is an increased power derivative of the 1,400 shp Ardiden, certified in 2019 and destined for the LUH (Light Utility Helicopter).

With more than 65 years’ experience working in its core aerospace and defense markets, Safran has more than 1,500 units in service and is the leading supplier of turboshaft engines to the Indian armed forces helicopters.

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