Rolls-Royce has signed its first strategic partnership agreement (SPA) with South African aerospace conglomerate Denel, it was announced at Asian Aerospace yesterday.

Under the agreement, Denel Aviation becomes the sole supplier of the gearbox for the Rolls-Royce Tay engine which could generate more than $30 million of aero-engine manufacturing work over seven years for the company which operates under the aegis of the South African department of trade and industry.

The Tay engine powers the Gulfstream GIV-SP, Boeing's 727-100 and the Fokker 70/100 aircraft. Denel already earns $8 million a year as the sole source of gearboxes for the Rolls-Royce RB211-535 under its risk and revenue sharing arrangement for the successful Trent engine. Earlier this year, Denel increased its participation in the Trent 500 programme.

This new programme for the Tay is the first project to be accepted under the SPA aimed at enhancing South Africa's manufacturing industry under the defence package which includes the BAE Systems Hawk trainer powered by the Rolls-Royce Turbomeca Adour engine.

The Tay project is one of the main Rolls-Royce contributions to the development of South Africa's industrial and defence capability through its support of the DTI's policy of industrial offset participation. Under the policy, major capital purchases from overseas will be used to stimulate the South African economy and general employment in line with the policy of the DTI.

Says Rolls-Royce's Ralph Murphy, director for Middle East and African affairs: "Rolls-Royce is committed to supporting the principles of the National Industrial Participation of the Republic of South Africa and is delighted to be involved in the signing of the first agreement in line with this programme."

Rolls-Royce's other links with the country include providing the latest standard RB211-524 engine - the G/H-T - for South African Airways' Boeing 747-400s and supplying the Adour engines for the BAE Systems Hawk trainers for the country's airforce.

Source: Flight Daily News