Rockwell Collins (Stand 2659) announced at the Dubai Airshow several contracts with Middle Eastern airlines and business aircraft operators for avionics, in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems and flight support services. Other agreements, with air forces and aircraft manufacturers, have been disclosed, too.
Alpha Star Aviation Services, a Riyadh, Saudi Arabia-based operator and business aircraft management specialist, has signed a multi-year contract for Rockwell Collins’s Ascend flight information solutions. These include scheduling and dispatching, flight planning, international trip support, fuel pricing, weather, ground-handling, regulatory compliance assistance and data link communications.
Oman Air has selected a Rockwell Collins weather radar, a navigation receiver and a traffic alert system for 11 Boeing 737NGs due to be delivered from late 2014. The MultiScan threat detection radar is designed to better identify and analyze thunderstorm cells and turbulence, without the need for pilots to constantly fiddle with tilt adjustments. The GLU-925 multi-mode receiver enables the aircraft to use required navigation performance (RNP), area navigation (RNAV) and ADS-B functions. The TCAS II is based on Rockwell Collins’s TTR-2100 traffic computer, which also enables future ADS-B IN applications.
Turkish Airlines has also selected the GLU-925 and the MultiScan radar for 17 Airbus A330s, 25 A320s, 20 Boeing 777s and 20 737 NGs. The carrier has also added the SAT-2200 satcom, which enables airborne connectivity for both passengers and the flight crew. Deliveries of Rockwell Collins products on Turkish Airlines’s new aircraft are scheduled to begin next year.
Saudi Arabian Airlines is upgrading its entire fleet of six full-flight simulators with Rockwell Collins’s EP-8000 image generation system. Deliveries are planned so start by year-end.
Emirates has entered a five-year exclusive agreement for its flight simulators, which starts with Rockwell Collins providing 10 visual systems featuring the EP-8000 image generator and liquid crystal on silicon (LCoS) projectors. Under another five-year agreement, Emirates will benefit from fixed repair costs and guaranteed turnaround times for avionics MRO services on its entire fleet.
The Royal Air Force of Oman has chosen Rockwell Collins’s Flight2 avionics to upgrade its C-130s. Work is planned to begin by year-end.
For U.S. and Coalition forces, Data Link Solutions, a Rockwell Collins joint venture with BAE Systems, will provide multifunctional information distribution low-volume terminals. These will provide real-time data communications, situational awareness, navigation and digital voice in a jam-resistant, crypto-secured package. The contract is valued at $18.5 million.
Also on display here is the RealFires military simulator, unveiled earlier this month. RealFires is integrated with the Firestorm targeting system and is designed to facilitate command, control and communications for field training of tactical air-control parties, air-support operations centers, air-liaison officers and unmanned aircraft operators.
In Link-16 terminals, Rockwell Collins offers the TacNet Tactical Radio, which it said is one-fourth the size and weight of current terminals.
With aircraft manufacturer Pilatus, Rockwell Collins has signed a long-term agreement to provide simulation and training products. The first ones will be EP-8000 and EP-80 image generators and SpectraView displays for customers in Asia and the Middle East.
Also highlighted here at the Dubai air show is the new Rockwell Collins Paves on-demand IFE system, which is to enter into service in early 2015. Paves features a high-definition (HD) touch screen display, and maintenance is simpler, thanks to a quick-release mechanism for removal. For business jets, Rockwell Collins is showcasing its Venue cabin management and HD IFE system. After having installed Venue on more than 300 business and VIP aircraft, Rockwell Collins hopes to persuade more Airbus ACJ and Boeing BBJ owners to purchase the system.
For helicopters, both civil and military, Rockwell Collins has developed the HeliSure product line, which includes H-SVS and H-TAWS (the rotary-wing variants of synthetic vision and terrain awareness and warning systems).
Rockwell Collins has signed an agreement with OSN, a provider of entertainment content, for HD, high-compression MPEG-4 programming. This will be made available on the Tailwind 500 and 550 in-flight direct broadcast satellite TV systems. Current Tailwind operators that want to subscribe to OSN programs will require a hardware update, which Rockwell Collins will be able to perform starting in early 2014.
Rockwell Collins Opens its Doors
Rockwell Collins held an open day at its Burgess Hill facility near London Gatwick Airport on November 5. Among technologies demonstrated was an early example of the JSF simulator, which will be fixed-based with a dome and moving image but can be used to qualify pilots for the aircraft, which has only a single-seat version. The company was particularly keen to demonstrate its RealFires joint fires effects simulator which fully integrates its FireStorm targeting system and facilitates command, control and communications for field training of tactical air controllers, air support operations centers and unmanned systems operators.
Claude Alber, v-p and managing director EMEA, told AIN the company was now “positioned for growth thanks to three major strategies: developing the core business [e.g. 787 cockpit, CSeries or in defense KC-46 tanker or Embraer’s KC-390]; growing internationally; and growing through acquisitions.”
He recognized that “the world is switching from a U.S. to an international market… we need to understand what drives the international market as it’s very different to what drove the U.S. market.” In the Middle East, the company now has 300 employees and it has subsidiaries in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, a regional headquarters in Dubai, and a new facility in Riyadh. “Obviously the Middle East is an important market for us on both the commercial and the military side. We’re well-placed on a number of contracts.” He mentioned in particular FireStorm for the UAE armed forces.
Alber concluded by saying that its strategic objectives included the capture of new positions with European OEMs, and to adapt the portfolio to local requirements. “The focus in on the Middle East and Russia, the two growth areas; Europe is flat from a market standpoint.”