Safran Helicopter Engines has opened a second assembly line at its facility in Grand Prairie, Texas in the United States (US) for the Arriel 2E engine. The first assembled and tested Arriel 2E engines have been delivered to Airbus. These engines power the UH-72B that have been delivered to the US Army as part of the newest Lakota helicopter. Also installed in the H145, the Arriel 2E was until now, produced in France. “Assembling this variant in Texas reflects our commitment to the helicopter industry to invest and grow our presence in the US, bringing us closer to our customers and allows us to provide increased capability and proximity support”, commented Thierry Derrien, President and CEO of Safran Helicopter Engines, USA. Safran Helicopter Engines assembles, tests and supports several Arriel variants at the Grand Prairie, Texas facility including the 2D for the Airbus H125 and the 1E2 for the UH-72A Lakota. The Arriel has a solid footprint in the US with more than 3,000 engines in service. The US Army is a major operator with over 900 engines in its Lakota fleet. The US Coast Guard’s fleet of Airbus MH-65 Dolphins is also powered by the Arriel engine.
With power outputs ranging from 650 to over 1,000 shp, the Arriel family powers over 40 different types of rotorcraft. Certified in December 2012, and in service since August 2014, the Arriel 2E is one of the latest variants. It offers 20 per cent more power than the current Arriel 1E2 fitted on the EC145. With over 12,000 engines produced and 50 million flight hours, the Arriel is the best-selling helicopter engine in its class. An Arriel-powered helicopter takes off every 15 seconds, every day.