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Rolls-Royce celebrates 75 year partnership at Aero India


Rolls-Royce will emphasise its position as an established and powerful partner in India at Aero India 2007, from 7 to 11 February.

The company will be exhibiting the Adour Mk871 engine, which will power the new fleet of Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF) on its stand. (Hall C, 5.2-5.4).

Also featured on the stand will be two of the company’s helicopter engines. The Model 250 powers the Bell 407 and is currently under evaluation by the Indian Army for its Shen helicopter. The RTM322 also has strong opportunities in India, powering the EH101, which is being considered by the IAF, and the NH90, which is competing for the Indian Navy’s requirement.

This year, Rolls-Royce celebrates the 75th anniversary of its partnership with the Indian aerospace industry. In 1932 the company supplied Gipsy engines to power the Dragon Rapide DH-89 aircraft operated by Tata Airlines, the forerunner to Air India, and thus began a relationship that has continued to grow ever since.

Martin Fausset, Managing Director of Rolls-Royce Defence Aerospace said: “We are rightly proud of our rich history of collaboration with the Indian aerospace industry but we are also working closely with our customers and HAL to ensure that we continue to make history.

“The delivery of the first Adour-powered Hawk trainers later this year will open a new chapter in our partnership and we are excited about the huge opportunities that exist to expand it even further, both with new engine sales and innovative support arrangements.”

This year also marks a new long-term partnership between Rolls-Royce and India on advanced technology development. Rolls-Royce will collaborate in a research project aimed at developing alloys for use in ‘greener’ aircraft engines, working with teams from Imperial College, London, and Indian institutes to design ‘self-actuating’ components suitable for use in aero engines. This project is a winner in a new UK-India Education and Research Initiative.

Today, Rolls-Royce has more than 1,300 engines in service in India, mainly as a result of long-term defence programmes, but all four of the company’s global market sectors – civil aerospace, defence aerospace, marine and energy – are well represented in the country.

In 2006, the company celebrated the 50th anniversary of its partnership with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in Bangalore, the largest defence manufacturing company in India. The partnership started with the licensed production by HAL of the Orpheus in 1956.

The relationship continues to flourish, with HAL partnering Rolls-Royce on the Adour Mk871 engine that will power the Indian Air Force’s new fleet of Hawk trainers. HAL will assemble 42 of the engines at its facility in Bangalore, where it has been assembling Adour Mk811 engines for the Jaguar since 1978. HAL became a supplier to Rolls-Royce in 2003 and began exporting ring forgings to the UK for use in civil aero engines.

The two companies recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to pursue collaboration on engine component design and manufacturing, allowing a broader partnership on more strategic initiatives, including advanced engineering. The MoU could potentially include a variety of work in India related to the design, manufacture and assembly of components for Rolls-Royce engines across aerospace segments. This year Rolls-Royce has also opened a supply chain office at HAL facilities to further develop the engine division as a key supplier to Rolls-Royce.

Rolls-Royce and Bell Helicopter Textron are partnering on a proposal to the Indian Army for its Shen Helicopter programme. The proposal includes the Bell 407 helicopter, powered by Rolls-Royce Model 250 engines. The Shen programme involves the purchase of up to 197 helicopters and a significant number of engines would be manufactured by HAL as part of the proposal.

The RTM322 turboshaft engine powers the three-engine AgustaWestland EH 101Merlin military helicopter, and two twin-engine military helicopters, the NH Industries NH90 and the AgustaWestland WAH-64D Longbow Apache. The RTM322 has been selected for approximately 60 per cent of EH101 current fleet, and over 90 per cent of the NH90 fleet.

Approximately 1,600 RTM322 engines, including orders and options, have been announced for NH90, WAH-64 Apache and EH101 helicopters.

Both the RTM322 and the Adour engines are designed and produced by the Rolls-Royce Turbomeca joint venture.

In November 2005, Rolls-Royce established of a wholly-owned subsidiary in India to manage the growing volume of engineering work that it is sub-contracting in the country. Based in Bangalore, Rolls-Royce Operations India Pvt Ltd enables the company to take advantage of the capability that exists in India to develop, reliably and to consistently high-quality standards, affordable aero-engineering solutions - including engineering analysis and design capability.

The Rolls-Royce Regional Office is located in New Delhi. The Marine office is located in the city of Mumbai. Smaller customer-support and project offices are located in Bangalore, Goa, Karwar and Palam.


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