Rolls-Royce, the British engineering company, has expressed interest in partnering with India for combat engine development, using a unique co-creation model where the intellectual property for the technology will be created and owned in India.
The UK and India have agreed to work closely to support India's indigenous development of the Light Combat Aircraft Mark 2 (LCA Mk2) as part of a "2030 Roadmap.
" The UK has already demonstrated its support by pre-approving an export license "Permissions List" for combat engine technology transfer.
Deepening Defence Cooperation
According to top officials at Rolls-Royce, the company's eagerness to partner with India in the development of combat engines is part of their commitment to deepening defence cooperation as a key pillar of the India-UK Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
The partnership between Rolls-Royce and India will see the creation and ownership of intellectual property related to the technology within the country.
This will provide India with a significant opportunity to explore possibilities in the global market, given the country's technological know-how and know-why.
Interview with Kishore Jayaraman and Alex Zino
Kishore Jayaraman, President – India and South Asia, and Alex Zino, Executive Vice President – Business Development and Future Programmes, Rolls-Royce, discussed the company's interest in partnering with India in a recent interview with Financial Express Online.
Jayaraman expressed his excitement at the recent Air India deal, which he says will significantly impact Rolls-Royce's presence in the defence sector.
He added that the company has always believed in the art of the possible and has been looking for ways to expand in India. He cited the company's journey between defence aerospace and civil aerospace, including the establishment of IAMPL (International Aerospace Manufacturing Pvt. Ltd.) and the formation of a civil aerospace supply chain in India.
Jayaraman also noted that the company's technology has been trusted by India for many years, which he believes will translate into the trust necessary to power Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) and other defence programs.
Zino stated that Rolls-Royce is committed to serving the Indian government, whether it be through the industrial base, directly to the armed forces, or into other departments through digital capabilities.
He added that the Air India deal completed a missing piece of the jigsaw, allowing the company to look at the whole and take the next step in its journey.
Rolls-Royce's Next Steps in India
Rolls-Royce has sold engines to India since the 1930s, and in the last 50 plus years, the company has transferred advanced manufacturing and process-related technology, allowing for the creation of joint ventures and the development of aerospace capabilities.
The next step for the company is sharing know-how and know-why, allowing for technology to be created in India for India and used by India in its procurement processes.
Rolls-Royce has already been answering RFIs for AMCA since 2013-14, and the company is ready to serve India from India with the technology it has created. Jayaraman and Zino emphasized that the company's focus is on making sure that through government collaboration and cooperation, Rolls-Royce can serve India from India.