Can you talk more about ‘Co-creating the future with India’ vision?
Our theme at Aero India this year is “Co-creating the future together” — which translates to recognising the deep relationships we have built up over many years, moving beyond just ‘Making In India’ and really looking for opportunities to create the Indian defence aerospace future together.
India’s vision to achieve better defence preparedness, indigenous advanced technology and a robust manufacturing footprint creates opportunities for OEMs. At Rolls-Royce, our deep relationships with local partners coupled with our engineering and supply chain capabilities as well as our commitment to India’s socio-economic initiatives enables us to embrace opportunities to co-create, co-develop and co-manufacture with the right Indian strategic partners.
Make in India is the main theme of the government; RR has been doing this for some time in India. What’s new?
The “Make in India” initiative has offered several opportunities for collaboration between Indian and foreign industries in defence sector. It also offers potential to the private sector and SMEs to build base to become part of the global supply chain of the world’s multi-billion defence market. Opening the sector to ‘modern’ technology is also a step in the right direction in the journey towards skill development and jobs creation. At the same time, indigenous manufacturing sector will also benefit immensely with modern technologies and best practices being shared by global OEMs. We have been ‘Making in India’ through HAL for over 60 years now from licenced assembly to now licenced manufacture and MRO. However, in order to achieve things on the ground, all three key stakeholders — the government, foreign OEMs and the private domestic Indian industry, needs to come together to play their respective parts to perfection. It is important to not just focus on manufacturing and technology transfer but on creating a broader ecosystem that includes co- design, co-development, co-manufacturing and support. This entails capability creation and skilling rather than just technology transfer and it is something that Rolls-Royce considers as one of its core strengths.
How do you plan to co-develop and co-manufacture with Indian partners?
The fact that we have been in India for over 80 years means that the partnerships have worked well for us. With all our key partners, we’ve grown from strength to strength as India goes through various stages of modernisation. Our partnership with HAL is over 60 years old and even today the Adour Mk871 continues to be made in India by HAL, with Rolls-Royce support, which is an excellent example of our long-term commitment to develop the Indian Aerospace ecosystem. IAMPL is an extremely successful joint venture between Rolls-Royce and HAL, producing parts for our aero engines for global use. We are keen to build on this success in future. With the current focus on Make in India and strategic partnerships, there is immense potential available for collaborations and technology sharing for OEMs.
Our partnership with the Strategic Manufacturing Skills Council for defence sector and with Rajiv Gandhi National Aviation University (RGNAU) enables us to build future competencies required by the Indian A&D industry. Overall, we are building an ecosystem that will allow us to eventually embrace opportunities to co-develop and co-manufacture with the right Indian strategic partners.
What are the new plans for the Indian market, especially as India is planning to get an international company to make fighter jets here?
We believe India has great indigenous capacity and capability to design, develop and manufacture a leading-edge combat aircraft engine. This can naturally be accelerated by technology transfer and close collaboration with international partners. Naturally Rolls-Royce’s perspective will be on the engine solutions for any future combat aircraft. Given our experience in executing multinational combat engine programmes and as the only company to have transferred whole engine capability outside of our home, we are perfectly positioned to support India’s future programmes such as the AMCA. This will not only provide India with a combat engine, but will also create capability, capacity and skills necessary to sustain such programmes in the long run.