Singapore Air Show

Honeywell’s move in Asia is now starting to pay off

 - February 2, 2010, 6:37 PM

Honeywell’s recent move to quite literally get closer to its defense customers around the world is paying dividends quickly in Asia, as the U.S. group seeks to capitalize on the fact that military markets here are growing by between 4 and 8 percent each year–unlike those in the West that are flat or shrinking. “We’ve embarked on a plan to put our business and sales leadership in the regions [of the world] and we are carefully studying this on a country-by-country basis to see where we need to expand our presence,” said Marc McGowan, defense and space vice president. “It’s working: our [contract] win-rates are high and we are seeing very healthy growth.”

A prime example of new work in the Asian market is the re-engining of the
Singapore air force’s Boeing Chinook helicopters with Honeywell’s T55 turboshafts. Deliveries of the aircraft have just been completed.

Now Honeywell is responding to an Indian request for proposal on plans to re-engine the Sepecat Jaguar ground-attack aircraft, for which a decision is expected next year. It is offering the F125IN turbofan–a derivative of its business jet powerplant adapted to include an afterburner and delivering more thrust. McGowan told AIN that since the U.S. company established a permanent presence in the country it has seen “a sea-change in the relationship with India on defense-related items.” The company is also talking to officials in New Dehli about the possibility of providing a modern cockpit for the Indian military’s Russian Mi-17 helicopters.

In Taiwan, Honeywell has a joint venture with the government-owned AIDC group to build engines. It also has a presence in Pakistan, Thailand and Indonesia, as well as here in Singapore where it operates repair and overhaul shops performing work on avionics, aircraft components and auxiliary power units.

McGowan predicted that Asian governments will likely have a strong interest in Honeywell’s new T-Hawk micro air vehicle. The 17-pound aircraft inspect hazardous areas for security threats, taking off and landing vertically and flying at speeds of over 40 knots and at altitudes of more than 10,000 feet.