An alliance to make aerospace parts

An alliance to make aerospace parts

UK based Rolls-Royce, the world’s second-largest maker of aircraft engines after General Electric from the US, has been present in India for eight decades and contributes to the development and modernisation of Indian armed forces. In an interaction with Deccan Herald’s N V Vijayakumar, Rolls-Royce India and South Asia
President Kishore Jayaraman elaborates on the company’s plans to participate in India's growing aircraft engine indigenisation programme through the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

Can you briefly highlight Rolls-Royce’s history in India? Rolls-Royce has supplied 750 engines to armed forces till now. Going forward how do you view the opportunity in India?
Best known for making engines for the world’s biggest airlines and advanced military aircraft, Rolls-Royce’s long and distinguished association with India started eight decades ago when Tata Aviation Services launched its first aircraft powered by Gypsy engines. In 1933, Indian Air Force took to the skies powered by Bristol Jupiter engines. Today, Rolls-Royce and its joint venture companies directly employ 500 professionals. Around 1,000 engineers, through our strong partnerships with QuEST and TCS, work at Roll-Royce-managed engineering centres in Bengaluru.
In 2013, International Aerospace Manufacturing Private (IAMPL), a 50:50 joint venture company with HAL, became operational in Bengaluru to manufacture components for the Trent family of civil aero engines. Rolls-Royce has had a long and proud history of partnership with the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy since their establishment and we look forward to continuing this important relationship. As India gets ready to move on its growth path, we will continue to support the country with our powerful portfolio of products and services and the right combination of experience and advanced technologies.

What are your views on the ‘Make in India initiative’ by the Modi Government? What is the update on the IAMPL facility in Bangalore?
Rolls-Royce supports the Make in India initiative as it will not only help Indian industries become globally competitive but will also allow companies like us to further support the country’s modernisation needs. We are committed to supporting the government’s vision of positioning India as a global manufacturing hub. Our IAMPL facility – a 50:50 JV with HAL –  in Bangalore wasn’t required by an offset commitment but was the result of recognition of the value that both parties could add to each other.

Built with an investment of $25 million, this facility manufactures compressor shrouds and cones for Rolls-Royce gas turbines, both for new production and the aftermarket. Currently IAMPL ships more than 130 different engine compressor parts to Rolls-Royce aero engines facilities. It became operational in 2013 and has successfully reached full capacity in 2014. With over 140 people, IAMPL will produce 25,000 aerospace parts for Rolls-Royce in 2015 across a wide range of engine programmes, including for the Trent XWB. This facility represents another commitment to the long-standing partnership with HAL and the future of the Indian aerospace industry.

How does Rolls-Royce view the increase in FDI limit in the defence sector?
Defence technology comes with huge investments in research and development (R&D). With increased FDI limit, India can now focus on increasing its share of the defence budget to R&D, which is only 6 per cent compared with 15 per cent in France, and 12 per cent in the US. At Rolls-Royce, we believe that it will help catalyse rapid indigenisation and substantially increase the attractiveness of the sector as a place to transfer technology and set up a manufacturing hub.
We are already working with many partners in India which we are very proud of – TCS/ Quest, HAL, etc. With a higher FDI limit, there will be opportunities to further contribute to the development and upgrading of India’s defence sector by offering world-class innovative products and services.

What are the engines you are planning to showcase at Aero India 2015?
At Aero India 2015, we will highlight our ‘Partnership with India – Past, Present and Future’ by showcasing our technologically advanced and innovative products. At the booth we will feature our three innovative engines – the Adour, which powers the Hawk trainer, the Trent 700 from the Airbus A330 tanker aircraft, and the C-130J’s AE2100 engine.

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