Interview: Aerospace engines for India

Czech Republic-based PBS company creates some of the most efficient auxiliary power units and jet engines in the world. The boom in unmanned aircraft made 2019 one of the most successful for PBS in its history. Now PBS INDIA is planned to expand the business in the country, says Ing. Petr Motýl Ph.D. Member of the Board, PBS INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED.

Could you explain what would be the focus of PBS in India?
We offer jet engines, ECS, as well as the Safir 5K/G MIS auxiliary power unit (APU), which is a version of the Safir MIS designed for installation in current Mil helicopters as a replacement for the original competitive unit. The aim is to support our business activities in the Indian market.

Could you speak to  us  on  the  Company’s  involvement in India’s defence market?

We recognize the growing role of India in the worldwide economy,  as well as the fact that it will very soon become     the most populated country on our planet and country is  stable. We are pleased that the relationship  between  India and the Czech Republic  is  developing  well  and  also  feel that our company is received by Indian customers in a very friendly way and PBS is a welcomed guest there.  We intend   to develop our business activities in India primarily  in  the  fields of aerospace, precision casting and engineering.

We also have customers there in the field of cryogenic technology and our products can be applied, for example, in Indian space exploration programs or science. We established a new Indian company, PBS INDIA, based in Bengaluru.

Which are the defence  and  aerospace-related  products  of the Company having the highest demand?

These  are  definitely  APUs  for  Mil  helicopters.   However, the demand for our jet engines has recently been growing significantly. We offer to perform overhauls of our APUs in Mi-17 helicopters too. We are awaiting tenders for target drones in the field of jet engines. However, we are taking part in many other projects in India, and we are negotiating with big companies such as HAL, BEL, DRDO, and others.

Could you give us details of PBS major collaborations​ with other defence firms?
We are 200 years old company. Thanks to more than 50 years of experience in the production of aircraft turbine devices in PBS, our drive units are currently among the top worldwide in their category. At the same time, we are extending the performance spectrum primarily in our jet engines. As a result, we are increasingly implementing our products in important defence projects, particularly in Europe. The American market, where our interests are represented by PBS AEROSPACE Inc., is also important to us.

The deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is gaining relevance in the modern battlefield. How is PBS contributing to the development of advanced UAVs?

The boom in unmanned aircraft is one of the reasons why  2019 was one of the most successful for PBS in its history. However, the key is to react quickly to market demand and have readymade solutions adapted to customers’ needs as much as possible. This is also why we launched two new types of a jet engine in 2018. Due to this, we are also modifying our existing engines. The PBS TJ100, for example, has more than 20 client modifications. Last year, we finished the development of several oil-free versions of our engines. We also developed “marine” versions of our engines, which are specially designed to enable repetitive landing in saltwater. 

The auxiliary power units (APUs) of the Company installed in helicopters as well as a trainer and combat aircraft are among the most efficient in the world. Could you reveal whether PBS has plans to develop APUs for fighter aircraft?

PBS APUs are especially suitable for civil and military helicopters, light combat training planes, and business jet planes. For example, the Czech L-159 ALCA plane used, among others, by Draken International for training American pilots. Last year, we also continued our previous cooperation with Czech company Aero, for which we developed the air generator and APU for their L-39 Albatros aircraft. The Albatros is one of the most widespread training jet aircraft worldwide and for the new generation of this aircraft, named L-39NG, we have recently co-developed several systems. At present, we deliver, for example, the air conditioning system, some fuel system devices, the EMG-200 starter generator and other devices to Aero Vodochody for their L-39NG.

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