Safran and Aero Engine Corporation of China sign a MoU to strengthen industrial cooperation on the WZ16 French-Chinese helicopter engine.
During French President Emmanuel Macron's State Visit to China, Safran and Aero Engine Corporation of China (AECC) have signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen their industrial cooperation. The agreement was signed in Beijing by Alexandre Ziegler — who recently joined Safran as Senior Executive Vice President, International and Public Affairs — and AECC Chairman Cao Jianguo. It will focus on the WZ16 — a French-Chinese helicopter engine jointly developed and built by Safran Helicopter Engines and AECC. Also known as the Ardiden 3C, the WZ16 is a new-generation turboshaft in the 1,700-2,000 shp range. Certification by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) was announced on October 10, 2019. The Ardiden 3C was certified by EASA in April 2018. The engine is installed in the AVIC AC352 helicopter which maiden flight took place on December 2016. Certification of the AC352 helicopter is planned for 2021.
Through this MoU, Safran Helicopter Engines and AECC agree to study opportunity for a joint venture in China to support and maintain in-service WZ16, prepare and launch production ramp-up of WZ16 to deliver a first order of 120 engines and discuss opportunity for 100 additional units as well as new applications for WZ16, including turboprop variant for fixed-wing aircraft.