The SNECMA M53 is an afterburning turbofan engine developed for the Dassault Mirage 2000 fighter by Snecma. The engine is in service with different air forces, including the latest Mirage 2000-5 and 2000-9 multirole fighters.

The engine was derived from the Atar series by adding a bypass duct aft of the 3rd compressor stage. The first 3 stages were enlarged to give an LP and HP section on the same shaft. It is a single shaft turbofan, or continuous bleed/bypass turbojet. It was originally called the Super Atar 9K50 and was designed for sustained flight at Mach 2.5. Flight testing started in July 1973 using a Caravelle flying test-bed and the engine first went supersonic in a Mirage F1 test bed at the end of 1974.

The engine was designed to have better performance than the latest Atar engines but simpler and less costly than the SNECMA TF 306 turbofan. The fan and HP compressor on the same shaft gave an engine with no restrictions on throttle movements, known as ‘carefree handling’, during flight.

The engine has a modular construction, first introduced on the Napier Eland turboprop and then later in a big way with the Pratt & Whitney JT9D engine. Modular construction allows sub-assemblies or modules to be changed without the need for full power testing of the engine after replacement. Modules are changed “on condition” by monitoring deteriorating trends in performance and mechanical measurements, such as exhaust gas temperature and oil samples, and by visually assessing blade clearances and high temperature distress on internal parts using borescopes.

Country: France

First run: 1978

Type: Afterburning single-shaft turbofan

Length: 5,070 mm (199.60 in)

Diameter: 796 mm (31.33 in) inlet

Maximum thrust: 64 kN (14,300 lbf) military thrust

Overall pressure ratio: 9.8:1

Bypass ratio: 0.36:1

Air mass flow: 92 kg/s

Turbine inlet temperature: 1 327 °C

Thrust-to-weight ratio: 6.5

Weight: 1,515 kg (3,340 lb)

Bourget Museum (ParisFrance)

Read more: History of engines with Martin Perez ...