Rolls-Royce is well-positioned to support such a collaboration with its ecosystem of strategic local partnerships, strong supply chain, rich talent pool, digital solutions and service delivery capabilities in India
Executive Vice President Business Development & Future Programmes, Rolls-Royce
Indigenisation in defence is critical for achieving self-reliance and developing capabilities within the country. India has already taken several steps towards the creation of a domestic defence manufacturing ecosystem with the support of the private sector and global partners.
The evolution of its indigenisation policy towards codevelopment and co-production in partnership with global companies has also provided the much-needed impetus to the growth of the local defence industry. With geopolitical and economic crises affecting world stability, a robust and self-reliant defence ecosystem will help develop India’s strategic capability, boost manufacturing and exports as well as contribute to economic and security resilience.
While efforts in this direction have been significant, India can accelerate its progression towards critical technology development and ownership through programmes that will lead to the creation of technological capabilities within the country. This will ensure long-term benefits and opportunities for further customisation and exports.
The Indian government’s goal of achieving true self-reliance will actually be realised through end-to-end capability creation and ownership of intellectual property (IP). Here, a mutually rewarding partnership with a willing ally could prove beneficial.
The United Kingdom is one such country that is ready to go one step further, enabling not only technology transfer but the co-creation of capabilities in-country. The UK industries, with the support of the UK government, have a proven history of partnerships with other nations that have resulted in successful programmes. These include the EJ200 (developed with Germany, Spain and Italy) and the ongoing next-generation Global Combat Air Programme (being developed in collaboration with Italy and Japan), wherein Rolls-Royce has played a critical role in the success of the collaboration. With a proven legacy of technology development collaborations and demonstrated technical know-how, the UK can complement India’s own technical and resource strengths and capabilities for joint development. As the two countries have pledged their commitment to greater cooperation in defence and security, it is an opportune time to build on the relationship.
Rolls-Royce is well-positioned to support such a collaboration with its ecosystem of strategic local partnerships, strong supply chain, rich talent pool, digital solutions and service delivery capabilities in India. We have been serving the Indian armed forces for nine decades and are committed to strengthening this relationship. Rolls-Royce’s India presence is backed by over 100 years’ experience in engine design, development and manufacturing, particularly in the complex, gas turbine-based aero-engine segment. All these factors make us a potentially game-changing partner for India’s combat engine programme. We are offering a co-development model that leads to IP ownership in India, naturally followed by co-production and co-manufacturing opportunities. Such co-development will result in the creation of capability in-country to indigenise defence technologies.
India’s defence industry is at a transformational tipping point. Aimed at rapid indigenisation, the government’s efforts have been directed towards revamping the manufacturing ecosystem with a focus on technological innovation, enhancing capacity and building a robust supply chain to meet both domestic and international demand. At this point, a strategic collaboration that results in both technology and capability creation would accelerate India’s goal of becoming a leading global defence hub.