Taking India’s vision of ‘Make-in-India’ for the world, Defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has entered into an agreement with Rolls-Royce to manufacture “Adour Engine” parts for Rolls-Royce’s international defence customer base.
Notably, different variants of the Adour engine power the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Jaguar fighters and a fleet of Hawk advanced jet trainers (AJT). Interestingly, the Indian Air Force operates the world’s largest serving fleets of both these aircraft, which are equipped with HAL manufactured & supported Adour engine variants under the license of Rolls-Royce.
With this partnership, Rolls-Royce aims to boost the ecosystem for Adour engines in India with HAL’s existing capabilities for manufacturing and support for the Jet engines. The agreement was signed and exchanged between Mr. B Krishna Kumar, Executive Director (Engine & IMGT), HAL, and Mr. Abhishek Singh, Senior Vice President – Defence, India and Southeast Asia, Rolls Royce.
“With over 30 years experience of supporting repair and maintenance services for the Adour engines in India, HAL has the capability and capacity to support a large defence customer base. This is the first order for the supply of spares for the Adour Global Supply chain. We plan to be a key player in the supply chain of Adour engines and expect more orders to follow. We look forward to working with Rolls-Royce to build on this capability to serve the global market for the supply of spares and MRO of Adour engines. This new partnership will create avenues for the two companies to expand the defence sourcing footprint in India,” Mr R Madhavan, Chairman and Managing Director (CMD), HAL asserted on the occasion.
Deciphering Adour Engine
Adour is a twin-spool, counter-rotating turbofan engine whose defence segment is a market pioneer in aero engines for defence transport and patrol aircraft. The Jet engine meets the dual requirements of both ground attack and advanced training, for either land-based or carrier operations with strong positions in combat and helicopter applications.
The turbofan engine can deliver thrust in the range of 5,000 to 8,000 lb, which enables the operator increased thrust, increased life leading to reduced life cycle costs, and greater performance. The evolution of Adour engines has resulted in the continuous introduction of new technology in each engine variant. For example, the Adour Mk 951 features a Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC).
India’s Jaguar aircraft is powered by two Adour MK 804 / MK 811 Engines. With two-stage low pressure and five-stage high-pressure axial flow Compressors, the Adour engine is driven by separate, single-stage high pressure and low-pressure turbines.
Intake Diameter (m): 0.564
Length (m): 2.90
Weight (kg): 794
Thrust: 2500 (dry), 3737 (wet)
Specific Fuel Consumption(kg / kg-hr): 0.80
Make-in-India for the world
“Since the Adour engines would continue to serve in India for the longest time, we want to ensure that we build a supply chain that is self-sufficient so that it can support older engines that will continue to fly in India,” said Abhishek Singh, who heads Rolls-Royce’s regional defence business.
He further added that several Adour engines variants are in service in Southeast Asia and in western countries such as the US, UK, and others. The engine spares manufactured in India will find their way into our supply chains and from there to the operators around the globe.
Additionally, during Aero India 2021, Rolls-Royce and HAL inked a pact to establish an Authorized Maintenance Centre for Adour at HAL to support international military customers and operators.
The three-point initiative
In collaboration with HAL, Rolls-Royce aims a three-point initiative. The first is to equip Indian manufacturers with the know-how, experience, and processes to manufacture complex parts that require a lot of high-technology processes. This will enhance current capabilities and make India Atmanirbhar (self-reliant).
Secondly, expanding India’s export portfolio would enhance supply chain efficiency. Lastly, since the Adour engines will continue to fly in India for the longest time, a self-sufficient supply chain would be in place to support those older engines.