Rockwell Collins looking to expand design centres in Bengaluru, Hyderabad

Nayanima Basu New Delhi | Updated on January 20, 2018

A CH-47J Chinook heavy lift helicopter, escorted by an AH-64DJP Apache attack helicopter (top L), prepares to land Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force troops during an annual live fire exercise at the Higashi-Fuji firing range in Gotemba, at the foot of Mount Fuji in Shizuoka prefecture on August 18, 2015. The annual drill involves some 2,300 personnel, 80 tanks and armoured vehicles and some 20 aircraft and helicopters. AFP PHOTO / Toru YAMANAKA   -  AFP

Will revive partnerships with Tata Power SED

US-based Rockwell Collins is mulling expansion of its two India design centres – Bengaluru and Hyderabad – to serve its global operations in terms of developing software and high-tech programmes for aviation simulation, training and communication.

“We are here for the long-term. We will soon be utilising our India design centres for developing global programmes,” Sunil Raina, Managing Director, Rockwell Collins India.

Both design centres employ nearly 700 people.

Some of their present programmes include communications and navigation systems for Indian Air Force for platforms, including C-130, C-17 and new helicopters, Indian Navy for communications and avionics on platforms such as P8I and new helicopters and advanced telemetry system for the Indian Air Force.

The Cedar Rapids-based firm is one of the biggest suppliers to Boeing. It has been selected to develop its Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS) for 15 CH-47F Chinook helicopters.

The Ministry of Defence signed the deal to purchase 15 advanced multi-mission Chinook helicopters from Boeing for nearly $1.5 billion in October last year.

“Some amount of the work on CAAS cockpits for the Chinook choppers has been done at the IDC,” Raina added.

These centres will customise the CAAS software in terms of its implementation and testing to meet the safety needs of the Indian Army which will be using the Chinook. Integration work is scheduled to begin this year and run through 2018.

Software defined radio

CAAS is currently fielded on over 400 Chinooks worldwide and is expected to be installed in another 200 aircraft across the Army, Navy, Coast Guard and with services in partner countries over the next 10 years.

Raina said the company is also planning to revive its partnership with Tata Power Strategic Engineering Division to develop software defined radio (SDR) for the Indian Air Force. The JV was inked in 2003 but it did not take off then.

“We need to have strategic partners who will value addition in our programmes by customising them and help us in producing according to Indian needs. Hence, we are now planning to revive our partnership with Tata Power. We are looking for more such strategic partnerships,” Raina said.

A leader in airborne tactical communication systems, Rockwell Collins is also engaged in building network enabled communications systems, innovative avionics for commercial and military platforms, precision navigation systems, simulation and training, and nose to tail systems for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in order to align the needs of the Indian market.

Published on March 31, 2016

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