The Rolls-Royce (Chalet 93) test-and-assembly facility in Singapore has grown by leaps and bounds from a modest start-up in the 1950s to a regional center for civil aerospace, defense, power business, research technology activities, and several corporate functions. Today the facility is the only one outside the United Kingdom to produce titanium fan blades for its Trent engines.
Located at Seletar, the test-and-assembly site produces the Trent 900 (Airbus A380), Trent 1000 (Boeing 787), and Trent 7000 (Airbus A330neo) before they are sent to the airframers for installation on customer aircraft.
The Trent 7000 engine was specifically created for the A330neo jetliner. In developing the powerplant Rolls-Royce fused its experience on the Trent 700 to the architecture of the Trent 1000 and the engine technology of the Trent XWB.
Singapore is one of five Rolls-Royce global hubs. The other four are in India, China, the Middle East, and the United Kingdom. The Singapore hub covers Southeast Asia, the Pacific, and Turkey. Rolls-Royce has invested $511 million in the Seletar campus.
At full capacity the Seletar Assembly and Test Unit (SATU) can produce up to 250 engines of the Trent series per year, a company spokeswoman told AIN.
Rolls-Royce invests in research and technology in Singapore through its collaboration with local research partners A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology, and Research), Nanyang Technological University, and the National University of Singapore.
“Through these collaborations, we run research facilities that focus on remanufacturing and new manufacturing methods and other research labs that focus on areas such as electrical power and control systems, manufacturing and repair, technologies and computational engineering, automation, and digital technologies,” the spokeswoman said.
Rolls-Royce has 29 university technology centers around the world and last year the company invested $1.09 billion in research and development. The company employs more than 17,000 engineers.
According to the spokeswoman, Rolls-Royce is seeing higher growth in Asia-Pacific compared to other regions, highlighting widebody models such as the Airbus A350 and A330neo. The number of operators based in Asia-Pacific has risen to 24. On the outlook, Rolls-Royce sees growth and momentum in the Asia-Pacific region accelerating.
This growth is not just new products delivered to customers, but also the supply chain. She said the growth of the supply chain and the maintenance, repair, and overhaul network in Singapore is a big benefit not only to airlines but also to the other countries where Rolls-Royce is establishing supply chains.
“There is great growth we are seeing with new sales and deliveries," she said, "and that all helps with the economics and the development of the supply chain in the region."