We Invest Over GBP1.3 Billion in R&D Each Year, 2/3rd of Which is Dedicated to Improving the Environmental Performance of Our Products, Minimising the Impact of Our Engines
You have tied up with a number of companies in India such as Infosys, Godrej, etc. for different services in the recent years, also offering mentorship to start-ups in India. What is the long-term goal for collaboration as far as India’s defence sector industries are concerned?
Rolls-Royce shares a rich heritage of partnership with the Indian defence forces, dating back over eight decades when it powered the country’s first air force and navy carriers. Today, over 750 Rolls-Royce engines across 10 engine types power Indian military aircraft.
Collaboration has been at the heart of this partnership, demonstrated by successfully transferring whole-engine capability, knowledge and expertise in multi-national combat engine programmes. Over the past 60 years, Rolls-Royce engines have been made in India, under license by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), the largest defence manufacturing company in India and a public sector company. Rolls-Royce has also built successful partnerships with leading private sector players like Bharat Forge, Godrej & Boyce, Force Motors and the Tata group and MSMEs and start-ups.
The vision for the future will be not just technology transfers and manufacturing but creating a broader ecosystem that includes co-design, co-development, co-manufacturing, supply chain and support. This entails capability creation and skilling, and at Rolls-Royce we consider this one of our core strengths. In India, we are already nurturing skills, developing local supplier base and building capabilities to match global standards of quality and delivery.
With a growing engineering footprint in India, we seek to establish a robust ecosystem to enable co-creation across the entire value-chain – from research, design and development to manufacturing, integration, maintenance and repair.
Going forward, we seek to embrace opportunities to co-develop and co-manufacture for the growing aerospace and defence sector with the right Indian strategic partners. This way we not only create value and contribute to local economies but also create an ecosystem that enables the sustainable growth of the sector.
How do you see India as a market for marine engines? Do you have any future plans, like the GSL partnership, in the naval applications?
The global marine engines market is projected to grow at a healthy rate based on factors such as growing marine freight transport and tourism, but we also foresee strong growth in defence and security sector applications led by a challenging global geo-political environment.
India’s long coastline of 7,517 kilometres and the new global geo-strategic environment demands a stronger Indian Navy than ever before. The rapid modernisation of the modern Indian Navy to improve its position in the vital Indian Ocean Region (IOR) is testimony to this shift. To be sure, the Indian Navy is a cohesive three-dimensional force capable of operating above, on and under the surface of the oceans.
Rolls-Royce products are aligned with India’s defence policy in the army, navy and air force segments. We are firmly committed to serve the needs of the Indian Navy and are keen to customise our advanced technology products to best serve the navy’s power needs. Our involvement in naval propulsion spans 50 years and has seen the company pioneer some of the most important technical advances in marine propulsion including the use of aero gas turbines for surface ship propulsion.
Always at the forefront of technological developments, Rolls-Royce offers the capability to design, build, deliver and support naval systems tailored to meet specific customer requirements. Our naval expertise provides advanced system solutions for customers world-wide.
Today, with gas turbines on many key programmes and with customers in all geographical regions, we look forward to familiarising our naval defence customers with the Rolls-Royce MT30.
Designed for the 21st century and derived from aero Trent technology, MT30 is the world’s most power dense marine gas turbine in service today. MT30’s excellent power density and reliability allows the ship to operate anywhere in the world without loss of performance or power and reduced through-life maintenance, from the start of the programme up to the end of the ship’s 30-year life.
2008 marked the entry into service for the MT30 powering the US Navy’s first Littoral Combat Ship, USS Freedom. With over a decade in service, the MT30 has demonstrated excellent performance, powering the ship to speeds in excess of 40kts.
Now selected for over seven ship types, MT30 has become the gas turbine of choice for many of the World’s advanced naval programmes including the Republic of Korea Navy, the Royal Navy, the Royal Australian Navy, the Royal Canadian Navy, the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force. There is much potential for this product to power the vessels of the Indian Navy and we are committed to serve them.
Do you have any other current engagements with the Indian Navy, are any partnerships happening in the foreseeable future?
Rolls-Royce is a long-term partner of both the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard, with our MTU engines powering many Indian Coast Guard and Indian Navy vessels. Our Service teams are present at several locations along the Indian Coastline to serve the needs of customers.
Our Power Systems division is a world-leader in large reciprocating engines, propulsion and distributed energy systems. Within the shipping sector, the company has established a long and successful partnership with some tens of thousands of engines in operation around the globe and on all seas.
Looking to the future, our ‘Propulsion System Integration’ (PSI) capability will further help in offering of complete drive-line integrated system solutions to naval customers across the world.
The MTU Marine Automation EM 50-2 Integrated Bridge System is a modern integrated bridge that forms the central point of access to all information crucial to safe and efficient ship operation. With this new solution, information previously scattered over diverse displays is now collated at a standardized display using a single graphic interface which enables faster overview using an ultra-modern visuals concept.
The captured data can also be stored and transferred for further analysis at a later date. These findings can then be used, for example, to increase availability, reduce life-cycle costs and further enhance operational reliability.
From our Naval Defense business, we hope to familiarise customers with our MT30 marine gas turbine. Derived from aero Trent technology, the Rolls-Royce MT 30 has become the gas turbine of choice for many of the world’s advanced naval programmes and we are keen to serve the needs of the Indian Navy for future naval combat readiness.
With such a wide product portfolio, we offer immense synergies for the growing Indian Naval market.
Has the company been able to capitalise and benefit on the country’s flagship ‘Make in India’ programme? How was your journey so far under this programme in India?
Rolls-Royce has been a proponent of the ‘Make in India’ vision for over 60 years, having pioneered the manufacturing partnership model for our engines to be ‘Made in India’ under license by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in 1956.
We have since expanded our supply chain in India through various partnerships, working to strengthen the sourcing ecosystem in India over several years. One of the biggest initiatives in this area is our joint venture with HAL called International Aerospace Manufacturing Pvt. Ltd. (IAMPL), to manufacture aero-engine components for the technologically advanced Trent family of civil aero engines. Today, IAMPL is a fully accredited benchmark manufacturing facility within the Rolls-Royce supply chain, operating the latest technologies to the highest levels of aerospace compliance. The JV manufactures more than 130 different aero-engine components used across the Trent family of products.
In addition, Force MTU Power Systems is our joint venture between Force Motors Limited and Rolls-Royce Power Systems. As part of the joint venture, Rolls-Royce Power Systems has partnered with Force Motors to move the manufacturing of the entire line of 1,600 series MTU engines and generator sets from Germany to the manufacturing facility at Chakan near Pune, by 2020. On completion, the facility will manufacture Series 1600 units and generator sets for both Indian and global markets.
We also source various components from local entities such as Bharat Forge, Godrej & Boyce, Tata and others, with a further goal of sourcing complex commodities from India over the coming years. We continually work with our supply chain partners to build capabilities and strengthen skills to enable the aerospace sourcing ecosystem here to meet global quality standards.
Rolls-Royce is also a big consumer of services from India. We are adopting a ‘Digital First’ strategy, discovering new efficiencies with IoT and accelerating data innovation.
The Rolls-Royce Aerospace Engineering Centre in Bangalore has over 600 engineers contributing to global aerospace engine programmes, including supporting new product design, development and manufacturing as well as service and repair engineering activities for existing Rolls-Royce engine fleets. Another 1,300 high-skilled engineers work exclusively for Rolls-Royce through outsourced agreements with TCS and QuEST. In addition, R2 Data Labs is our acceleration hub for data innovation, developing data applications that unlock design, manufacturing and operational efficiencies and creates new service propositions for customers.
As we look at the future, we believe that collaboration and co-creation will define the growth and development of the sector. India today has the width and weight to invest in co-creation programmes through collaboration with willing global players to co-develop relevant technologies and intellectual property (IP) in critical areas. With a co-owned IP in areas of strategic importance, not only can India commercialise production locally, but also use its base to become a global supplier and exporter of defence technologies. A thriving local industry powered by India’s own technology will provide an apt platform for its skilled and ambitious workforce.
It is with co-creation and co-development programmes that ‘Make in India’ will find its true calling, and our commitment to support India’s goals of indigenisation and self-reliance remains as strong as ever.
How long do you think diesel engines (marine applications) will be around, is there a shift happening towards electric and gas-powered technologies or any other environment-friendly options?
How do the Rolls Royce engines fare on carbon and particulate emissions, what is the company doing to cut down harmful emissions from engines?
Innovation is at the heart of Rolls-Royce. Throughout its history, Rolls-Royce pursued ever cleaner, safer and more competitive power – developing ground-breaking technologies and providing the world’s most powerful and efficient aero-engines.
Rising global population and prosperity are leading to increasing demand for travel, trade and energy. At the same time, there is growing demands for cleaner, safer and more competitive power, driven by a new era of more sustainable transportation and an increased understanding of the science of climate change.
Our commitment is to continuously improve the environmental performance of our products and services, by focusing on three main areas:
- Supporting our customers by further reducing the environmental impact of our products and services;
- Developing new intelligent technology for future low emissions products whilst enhancing mission capability;
- Maintaining our drive to reduce the environmental impact of our business activities.
As we move to a low carbon global economy, our engines will become part of broader, hybrid systems with lower emissions and lower environmental impact. These systems will deliver more power; essentially more electric, more intelligent power. We already have extensive experience in providing electric and hybrid-electric propulsion systems for naval marine applications. By leveraging our engineering talent and capability we can unlock new business opportunities and deliver more efficient products and services. We invest over GBP1.3 billion in research and development each year, two-thirds of which is dedicated to improving the environmental performance of our products, minimising the impact of our engines. Rising energy demand in developing countries in combination with expansion of renewable energy sources will increase the demand for flexible power solutions and products beyond combustion engines (for example, micro-grid, hybridisation, electrification, energy storage and gasification).
Our Power Systems business offers customers a range of propulsion and power generation systems. We are developing a range of completely integrated hybrid ship propulsion systems under the MTU brand, consisting of internal combustion engines, electric drive modules, transmission systems, batteries, monitoring and control systems, in addition to other electronic components. The hybrid propulsion system offers the flexibility of being able to manoeuvre very precisely using the electric motor, or to deliver a powerful bollard pull using the entire power output of the diesel engines and electric motors combined. The combination of diesel engines and electric motors, in addition to batteries, will offer our customers significant benefits in a variety of marine applications.
At Rolls-Royce, we capture vast amount of data in everything we do, whether it is engineering components or systems, manufacturing parts, assembling equipment, testing or monitoring health of equipment in service. Using this data innovatively also gives us opportunities to improve productivity, efficiency and ultimately provide better services for our customers while reducing the environmental impact.