Rolls-Royce has agreed to acquire Siemens’ eAircraft business in order to accelerate its electrification strategy.

With 180 employees, Siemens eAircraft is engaged in the development of electric and hybrid-electric propulsion systems for the aerospace industry. It has locations in Munich and Erlangen, Germany, and Budapest, Hungary.

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

Siemens’ eAircraft has been cooperating with partners such as Airbus to create prototypes for propulsion systems with power ratings ranging from less than 100 to several thousand kilowatts.

Rolls-Royce Electrical director Rob Watson said: “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.

“It brings us increased scale and additional expertise as we develop a product range of hybrid power and propulsion systems. I look forward to welcoming our new colleagues into Rolls-Royce and working with them to pioneer new technologies and solutions.”

Siemens will continue to support the transition to electric aviation with its digital solutions portfolio.

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As part of the deal, Rolls-Royce will look for opportunities to work with Siemens to support national and international goals of CO2 emission reductions for the benefit of society.

Rolls-Royce said it has carried out successful ground tests of a hybrid propulsion system that can be utilised across a range of smaller transport platforms, including hybrid-electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles, general aviation aircraft, and hybrid helicopters.

Siemens CTO and COO Roland Busch said: “We will continue to cooperate with Rolls-Royce, in particular by making our digital solutions portfolio available in order to facilitate this major step toward sustainable, lower-emission aviation.”

The companies have not disclosed the financial details of the transaction, which is expected to be closed later this year.