Yelahanka, Bangalore. 21 February 2019. “The vision for the future will be not just technology transfers and manufacturing but on creating a broader ecosystem that includes co-design, co-development, co-manufacturing, supply chain and support,” said Pankaj Kaushik, Vice President (Armed Forces & Government), Rolls-Royce, India and South
Asia in an exclusive conversation with ADU.
ADU. Since you have taken over as Vice President (Armed Forces & Government), Rolls-Royce, India & South Asia what will be your expansion plans both short term and long terms?
PK. Rolls-Royce is pursuing many opportunities in India, many of which strongly align with the Government of India’s Make in India agenda. We believe we not only have the right products and technologies to participate in all kinds of military aircraft programs, but also the desire to grow our footprint in India. We are continuously looking to develop local relationships. We are talking to several global aircraft OEMs to support them in their initiatives. We are very supportive of the Make in India initiative and are keen to co-develop & co-produce aero and marine engines in India.
ADU. What is the status of the Rolls-Royce JV with HAL?
PK. Rolls-Royce has played a pivotal role in India’s growth story. Our long and distinguished association with Indian Air Force (IAF) started in 1933, when IAF’s Westland Wapiti took to the skies powered by our Bristol Jupiter engines. Since then, we have further built and strengthened our relationship to turn it into one that will stretch far into the future. Our 60-year-old partnership with HAL which started with the licensed production of Orpheus engines is one of the longest in the history of aerospace in India. It’s been performing very well as per our expectations.
Rolls-Royce is very committed to build on the existing partnership with HAL. We are continuously exploring new areas where to collaborate and leverage each other’s strengths. We have established an excellent platform which is a true testimony of the Make in India initiative and our leadership wants to build on this platform. In addition to strengthening the support in existing program, we are very keen to see how we could get new work to HAL and leverage their excellent capabilities.
ADU. Though Make in India is not new for Rolls-Royce but how have you fitted yourself in the programme?
PK. As India progresses towards a developed economy, it is embracing technology at an increasing pace across all spheres of industry, society and nation building. The vision for the future will be not just technology transfers and manufacturing but on creating a broader ecosystem that includes co-design, co-development, co-manufacturing, supply chain and support. This entails capability creation and skilling rather than just technology transfer and it is something that Rolls-Royce considers one of its core strengths. A case in point is IAMPL which is a successful collaboration between Rolls-Royce and HAL and a great example for the Make in India programme. It’s been performing very well as per our expectations.
The Adour Mk804/Mk811 was made, and continues to be supported, in India today by HAL, with Rolls-Royce spares and support. This is an excellent example of Rolls-Royce’s long-term commitment to developing the Indian Aerospace industry and supporting India in its self-reliance drive.
ADU. What is the status of Defence Service Delivery Centre at Bangalore?
PK. The SDC based in Manyata Park in Bangalore has been operating for nearly two years and the technical support being provided to both IAF and IN are very valuable and have led to continued engine availability on-wing, resulting in improved customer satisfaction and better availability of aircraft to meet training and operational commitments. Among the key achievements are improved technical support at customer locations and better supply chain management of spares.
ADU. What are the tie ups Rolls-Royce has made with the Indian indigenous defence industry for managing the supply chain?
PK. India is at a crucial stage of transforming from a top regional player to one with global clout. Given the country’s geo-political and economic ambitions, it has prioritised indigenous development of modern defence hardware and technology. Rolls-Royce has been steadily building its capabilities in India, across engineering, manufacturing, supply chain, digital and customer support to support local growth. The Aerospace Engineering Centre in Bangalore has almost 600 engineers employed by Rolls-Royce for all its engine programmes; they are involved in various system design, development and technical support services. The facility houses a supply chain team who closely interacts with Indian Aerospace suppliers to source engine components in-country. The SDC based in Manyata Park in Bangalore has been operating for nearly two years and the technical support being provided to both IAF and IN are very valuable and have led to continued engine availability on-wing, resulting in improved customer satisfaction and better availability of aircraft to meet training and operational commitments. Among the key achievements are improved technical support at customer locations and better supply chain management of spares.
ADU. What are your expectations from this Aero India?
PK. As India continues to develop its capabilities in aviation industry, Rolls-Royce believes that this is the right time to step up discussions on its products & technology and fully participate in the evolving sector in the country. Aero India 2019 offers a platform to present our full range of power and solutions for aviation to support the growth needs of the industry. As a leading industrial technology company, we continue to expand our presence strategically, through collaborations with companies like Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), TCS, and QuEST. We are committed to further strengthening our partnerships to enable India to benefit from our innovative products, solutions and technologies. In line with our vision to pioneer the power that matters to our customers, we are well-positioned to offer our strong portfolio of more efficient and cleaner products and solutions and play a key role in India’s growing aviation sector.