GRSE partners Rolls-Royce Solutions for building warship engines in India - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla

GRSE and Rolls-Royce Solutions will cooperate in the license manufacturing of high-tech marine engines MTU S4000 (Picture: signing of a memorandum of understanding)

By Vikas Gupta

Defence News of India, 29 January 23

In a major step towards reducing the imported content of Indian warships, Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Rolls-Royce Solutions from Germany for manufacturing high quality marine diesel engines in India.

The MoU was signed on Friday by the Heads of GRSE and MTU – Commodore PR Hari (Ret’d) and India’s Chief MTU, GS Selwyn – in the presence of the Navy’s Materiel Chief, Deputy Admiral Sandeep Naithani.

Defense shipyards have long been criticized for insufficient indigenization. Of the three main parts of a warship – the “floating”, “moving” and “combat” systems – only the “floating” component, which includes the ship’s hull and superstructure, has been 90% correctly indigenized.

The “displacement” component – which includes the engines, gas turbines, transmission, shaft and propellers – is rarely more than 50% indigenous. And only about 25% of the “combat” component – which includes sensors and weapons – is made in India.

Now the main component of ‘displacement’ systems – the engines or gas turbines – is expected to be indigenized, with GRSE partnering with Rolls-Royce to build engines in India.

Under the agreement, GRSE and Rolls-Royce Solutions will cooperate to manufacture the technologically advanced MTU S4000 marine engines under license. These motors, which generate a nominal power of 746 to 4300 kilowatts (KW), are known to be compact, reliable and easy to maintain.

“The MoU deals with the transfer of technology related to engine assembly, painting, parts supply and after-sales service for these engines which are to be assembled at the diesel engine plant of GRSE in Ranchi,” GRSE said in a statement on Saturday.

The S4000 engines will power Fast Patrol Vessels (FPV), Interceptor Boats (IB) and Fast Attack Boats (FAC) built by GRSE and other shipyards across the country. Until now, these warships have been powered by imported power plants, which reduces their native content.

The use of imported engines and gas turbines was even more widespread in large destroyers and frigates, which relied on Zorya gas turbines, supplied by Ukraine.

Meanwhile, other warships, such as the three Shivalik-class frigates, have been integrated with LM-2500 gas turbines supplied by General Electric, USA.

On the one hand, the Indian Navy indigenization department is pushing to indigenize the production of Zorya and LM-2500 gas turbines for larger warships. Meanwhile, with the MTU S4000 indigenized for mounting in the smaller FPV, IB and FAC, indigenization will be boosted at all levels.

MTU, which is a brand of Power Systems, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rolls-Royce.

GRSE said in a statement on Saturday: “The manufacture of these engines in India would provide a great opportunity for local industry, especially MSMEs (micro, small and medium-sized enterprises) involved in the manufacture of components and spare parts. .”