Safran Helicopter Engines and ZF Aviation Technology have signed an MoA to strengthen their collaboration to offer a turboprop engine based on the Safran Ardiden 3 turboshaft. While the agreement announced on Tuesday is for European military applications—specifically the unmanned, training, and transport segments—the 1,700- to 2,000-shp Ardiden 3TP is also seen as a potential commercial competitor to the Pratt & Whitney PT6 and GE Aviation Catalyst turboprop engines.
ZF Aviation Technology will provide the propeller reduction and accessory gearbox of the Ardiden 3TP, while MT-Propeller will supply the propeller. The Fadec-equipped engine will be optimized for operation at medium and high altitudes, up to 45,000 feet.
In addition to using the core from the Ardiden 3 turboshaft engine, the turboprop variant will feature technologies developed by Safran through a Clean Sky 2 Tech TP demonstrator undergoing ground testing since last June. Tech TP offers 15 percent lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions over current engines, Safran said.