British aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce Holdings on Thursday opened Asia’s first service delivery center in Bengaluru to provide localised engineering support and solutions to engines that power the planes for the Indian Air Force, the Indian Navy and the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
Rolls-Royce is aiming to improve the frontline capability of over 750 aircraft engines being used by defence as well commercial aircraft such as Jaguar combat aircraft, the C-130J, Sea King, among others.
“We have the engineering capability, have built the ecosystem for supply chain and now we need to make sure the next step is to serve our customers by being present locally, which means a new capability enhancement and that is the new service delivery centre,” said Kishore Jayaraman, president-Indian and South Asia, Rolls-Royce.
The company said that the Bengaluru centre will provide real-time solutions to customers through the MRO (maintenance repair and overhaul) support, fleet management, supply chain coordination and will also collaborate with the armed forces to provide immediate support.
The centre will also operate as a base from where field service representatives can be rapidly dispatched to frontline bases, at remote locations to provide on-ground technical support.
Highlighting the need for local presence, Lee Doherty, senior vice-president, defence, Asia Pacific, said the company transferred 138 issues to its service centre in Bristol last year. He said India is also the only operator of the Jaguar combat aircraft and is the largest operator of the Hawk.
Rolls-Royce, which has customers in more than 150 countries, has been a strategic partner to the Indian Air Force since 1933. The company currently employees more than 1,700 engineers in India, with around 500 in Bengaluru itself.
Jayaraman said that the company is now aiming to leverage its operations in India to create the next generation of products that can be exported globally. India is an emerging market and there is huge opportunity for everyone, he said.
“The talent that exists in India, the demographic dividend and demand, and they will be the future of India’s growth. U.S. making In India with products created in India will be the future,” he said.
“We have already started on the journey and have looked at what we can do and is trying to figure out how to make it happen. For that, we are open to collaboration and partnerships ,” Jayaraman said.