Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) appears to be close to completing its Pratt & Whitney PT6 turboshaft (or turboprop) maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) facility.
In his presentation to the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), the Chairman of PAC – Air Marshal Arshad Malik – invited the Pakistani private sector to invest in PAC Kamra’s engine MRO work, specifically in the Rolls Royce T56 and Pratt & Whitney PT6 (Dawn News).
PAC announced its intention to establish a PT6 MRO facility in October 2015 through a tender calling upon a vendor with “vast experience of PT6 engine overhauling” in line with European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certifications.
Notes & Comments:
The Pratt & Whitney PT6 is an extensive line of turboprop and turboshaft engines. At first glance, one can point towards support Pakistan’s fleet of Bell 412EP and Leonardo AW139 helicopters. The investment could even indicate an intention on the part of the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Interior to procure additional units of either (or both) helicopter models in the long-term.
However, it is also worth noting that the PT6 is among the most widely adopted turboprop/turboshaft engines in existence today, and that too with an incredible diversity of applications in the form of many American and European aircraft, and even a few Chinese solutions as well (e.g. the Z-15 utility helicopter).
In other words, PAC could be planning to position itself as a MRO source for foreign public and private sector PT6 users as well, which could echo the Pakistan Ministry of Defence Production (MoDP)’s goal of equipping the country’s state-owned defence industry entities to operate with less government support.
Interestingly, the PT6 MRO facility would also lay the groundwork for supporting future acquisitions using this propulsion platform. For example, should the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) opt to replace its aging T-37 Tweet basic jet trainers with a modern turboprop, such as the Turkish Aeronautical Industries (TAI) Hürkuş or Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano (both of which use the PT6) PAC would be partway ready in supporting the platform. The PT6 MRO facility does not guarantee this, but it does make the option more feasible.