Rolls-Royce has agreed to buy the electric and hybrid-electric aerospace propulsion activities of Siemens (the eAircraft business). The acquisition is expected to complete late 2019, following a period of employee consultation.

The eAircraft business, based in Germany and Hungary, employs around 180 specialist electrical designers and engineers who have been developing a range of all-electric and hybrid electric propulsion solutions for the aerospace industry.

The eAircraft team and Rolls-Royce have worked together on the E-Fan X demonstrator project which, when flying, will demonstrate hybrid electric propulsion at the scale required to power regional aircraft.

Rob Watson, Director of Rolls-Royce Electrical, said: “Electrification is set to have as dramatic an impact on aviation as the replacement of piston engines by gas turbines. We are at the dawn of the third era of aviation, which will bring a new class of quieter and cleaner air transport to the skies.”

“We have already made significant strides in realising our strategy of ‘championing electrification’ and this move will accelerate our ambitions in aerospace by adding vital skills and technology to our portfolio.”

As part of this agreement, Rolls-Royce will look for opportunities to work with Siemens as both companies recognise the importance of helping to support national and international goals of CO2 emission reductions for the benefit of society.