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Safran Helicopter Engines and ZF Aviation Technology have agreed to strengthen their collaboration to offer a turboprop engine suitable for European military applications – specifically the unmanned, training and transport sectors.

ZF Aviation Technology is also confirmed as a strategic partner for the propeller reduction and accessory gearbox of the ARDIDEN 3TP engine, which will offer Europe's aerospace industry a mature design with competitive operating and maintenance costs. The 100% European solution will be based on Safran's ARDIDEN 3 core engine and feature technologies developed through a technology demonstrator currently under ground in France.

The ARDIDEN 3 is a new-generation core engine in the 1,700-2,000 shp power range. Two EASA-certified models, the ARDIDEN 3C and 3G, have completed over 10,000 hours of tests, confirming high levels of design maturity and competitive operating and maintenance costs. In addition, more than 250 ARDIDEN 1 engines have flown over 200,000 hours. The ARDIDEN 3 features a remarkably compact modular architecture, a best-in-class power-to-weight ratio and a low cost-of-ownership.

"With its adaptable architecture and flexible equipment integration, the turboprop engine meets our customers' requirements also in terms of easy serviceability and maintenance. At the same time, we are strengthening the importance of the European aviation industry not only by building up industrial skills, but also by creating and maintaining jobs in France and Germany during these difficult economic times," commented Burkhard Siebert, Head of ZF Aviation Technology’s product line.

Through this partnership, ARDIDEN 3TP will be designed, built and supported by state-of-the-art industrial capabilities in Germany and France. It represents a commitment to protect European interests on strategic fixed-wing programmes and will create future opportunities for export markets […] The pandemic crisis caused deep impacts across the aeronautic industry. European projects will play a crucial role of stabilization and support to our industries to sustain critical expertise and develop further innovations,” remarked Florent Chauvancy, Safran Helicopter Engines EVP OEM Sales.

The ARDIDEN 3TP will be optimized for operation at medium and high altitudes, up to 45,000 feet, and be easy to operate, thanks to a unique throttle and Full Authority Digital Engine and Propeller Control (FADEPC) controlling power and propeller pitch. MT-Propeller will contribute to the propeller solution.

The engine is based on Tech TP, a Clean Sky 2 research and innovation programme validating the technologies necessary to develop a new-generation turboprop. Since June 2019, tests have progressed at a steady pace. Featuring a compact and lightweight architecture, Tech TP offers 
15% lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions over current engines. It is one of the first Clean Sky 2 demonstrators to enter its test phase. More than 20 partners from eight European countries are contributing to the project.

The ARDIDEN 3 core engine. (Photo: Safran Helicopter Engines)

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