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​Rolls-Royce seeks to expand Indian partnerships

Rolls-Royce has indicated its openness to collaborating with more local partners in India, particularly in the manufacturing, MRO and airline sectors.

Speaking to FlightGlobal at Aero India in Bangalore, the UK engine maker's vice-president of customers for the country, Justin Mills, noted that it was working with the airframers to "break into the Indian market", particularly with its larger Trent engines which power widebodies.

Mills cites two key products the engine maker is pushing in the subcontinent: the Boeing 787-powering Trent 1000-TEN and the Airbus A330neo-powering Trent 7000.

He points out that the Trent 7000 has large numbers of components designed and manufactured in India, with the supply chain fully localised, and says the engine maker is looking to replicate this "end to end" process with other types.

At present, Rolls-Royce has two component manufacturing factories in India, supported by five "strategic" or tier-one suppliers.

"India is a massively important market to us and we are determined to win in India," says Mills. "The growth figures are colossal, but the number of widebody aircraft in India is still relatively modest. The potential [for widebody sales] in India is tremendous."

In terms of manpower, Rolls-Royce hopes to tap more local resources as it looks to invest in optimising its products, such as improving the fuel burn on its engines.

"There is just a fabulous base of talent in India, particularly in engineering... and that makes it a pleasant environment for us to operate in."

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