Rockwell Collins Eyes India's Military Needs

 - February 7, 2013, 6:26 AM

Rockwell Collins sees big opportunities in India for military avionics and communications systems, according to Ram Prasad, the U.S. electronics group’s managing director for India. He told AIN that the company is in the early stages of establishing a teaming relationship with Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), which is looking to increase indigenous content in Indian military systems.

Separately, Rockwell Collins is actively pursuing the Indian Air Force’s software-defined radio (SDR) program. “We have also responded to RFIs [requests for information] from the Indian Army, but most of their big communications procurements are still in the future,” said Prasad. “We have a number of SDRs that we think will fit in the Indian market. For airborne programs, we have the 629F-23 4th generation ARC-210, and RT-8400 5th generation Talon 2. Both of these SDRs leverage our extensive history in building airborne V/UHF radios,” he added.

In the field of unmanned systems, the company believes that its digital flight control system, data links and sensors could contribute to future projects being pursued by India’s Defense Research Development Organization.

Looking ahead, Prasad believes offset work associated with wider Indian defense contracts will be increasingly important to Rockwell Collins. Having started with a design center in Hyderabad in 2008, the company says it is looking at continued investment through steady growth and strategic alliances. “We’ve made a big difference in this timeframe,” said Prasad. “We’ve hired top talent and today most of the work centers on the design of display applications for commercial and military customers and Flight Management Systems.” Today, the company has a staff of 500 in India with plans to grow to 600 by end 2013.

The Rockwell Collins exhibit at this week’s Aero India show includes a synthetic vision system for helicopters, an avionics procedures trainer and an engine instrument display system.