PBS keen to Expand Presence in India
Czech Republic-based PBS Velka Bites 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 a new company, PBS INDIA, based in India is planned to expand the business in the country, says Ing. Petr Motýl Ph.D. Member of the Board, PBS INDIA in an Interview with Aeromag.
Could you explain what would be the focus of PBS Velka’s participation at the upcoming DefExpo 2020 at Lucknow, India?
Our trade fair stand will present the PBS TJ100 and PBS TJ40-G1 jet engines, as well as the Safir 5K/G MIS auxiliary power unit (APU), which is a version of the Safir 5K/G MI 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, because we intend to strengthen our presence and take part in many interesting tenders.
Could speak to us on the Company’s involvement in India’s defence market?
We recognise 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. The GDP growth rate of the Republic of India is among the swiftest in the world, while economic growth in the 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 programmes or science. We plan to establish a new Indian company, PBS INDIA, based in India.
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. In the future, we will perform overhauls of our APUs in Mi-17 helicopters in the Indian market. Safir 5K/G MI APUs are operated in approximately 150 helicopters in India. We are awaiting tenders for target drones in the field of jet engines. One of the biggest tenders for PBS TJ40 engines should conclude very soon and another tender for drones suitable for our PBS TJ100 and PBS TJ80 jet engines has recently started. 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 Velka’s major collaborations with other defence firms?
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 Velka Bites 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 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 salt water.
The auxiliary power units (APUs) of the Company installed in helicopters as well as trainer and combat aircraft are among the most efficient in the world.Could you reveal whether PBS Velka 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 Vodochody, 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.