Rock­well Collins Em­i­nently Po­si­tioned for Part­ner­ships in In­dia


On Oc­to­ber 7, Rock­well Collins and Zen Tech­nolo­gies signed a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing to com­bine their strengths in sim­u­la­tion and train­ing to of­fer in­dus­try-lead­ing, high fidelity so­lu­tions to In­dian mil­i­tary cus­tomers. Rock­well Collins, based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, with fa­cil­i­ties in Hy­der­abad and near New Delhi, pro­vides world-class avi­a­tion sim­u­la­tion and train­ing prod­ucts, sys­tems and in­te­gra­tion so­lu­tions. Zen Tech­nolo­gies, based in Hy­der­abad, spe­cialises in sup­ply­ing in­dus­try-lead­ing ground mil­i­tary sim­u­la­tion and train­ing so­lu­tions. Talk­ing about this part­ner­ship and Rock­well Collins road map in the re­gion are Jim Walker, Vice Pres­i­dent and Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Asia Pa­cific and LeAnn Ridge­way, Vice Pres­i­dent and Gen­eral Man­ager, Sim­u­la­tion and Train­ing So­lu­tions, Rock­well Collins.

SP’s M.A.I. (SP’s): Could you tell us about how you ze­roed in on Zen Tech­nolo­gies for the part­ner­ship?

LeAnn Ridge­way (LeAnn): We have been look­ing for good part­ners in In­dia for quite some time. We have been fa­mil­iar with Zen Tech­nolo­gies for bet­ter part of last seven years. As po­lit­i­cal re­stric­tions open up in In­dia, it be­came ap­par­ent to us that the time was now to move for­ward to find the cor­rect part­ner. We have a due dili­gent process wherein we look at rep­u­ta­tion, per­for­mance, fi­nan­cials, ca­pa­bil­i­ties etc of many com­pa­nies and we found that Zen Tech­nolo­gies is one of the best part­ners for us to move for­ward.

The beauty of Zen is there is very lit­tle over­lap. Rock­well Collins has some ground ca­pa­bil­i­ties whereas Zen has more ad­vanced ca­pa­bil­i­ties. We see that as a syn­ergy. We both have a lit­tle bit of UAVs and there is room there where we can work to­gether. SP’s: Given their limited foot­print in aero­space mar­ket, was that some kind of an im­ped­i­ment to dis­cus­sions? LeAnn: No, not at all. It is one of the things that at­tracted us. When we looked at their ca­pa­bil­i­ties, fa­cil­i­ties, en­gi­neer­ing etc it be­came ap­par­ent that they are good part­ners for us to bring the air mar­ket here. We have prod­ucts in In­dia but we don’t have full flight sim­u­la­tors in In­dia. We see their com­bined abil­ity to pen­e­trate the mar­ket. We don’t see that as an im­ped­i­ment at all.

SP’s: Any sim­i­lar MoUs or joint ven­tures you have en­tered into in the Asian mar­ket?

LeAnn: In China, we have re­cently en­tered into a joint ven­ture with BlueSky. We have a good business model to grow in the re­gion.

SP’s: What are your ex­pec­ta­tions of the In­dian mar­ket? Is it a big mil­i­tary sim­u­la­tion mar­ket?

LeAnn: When we look at In­dia from a growth per­spec­tive, there are in­dige­nous full flight sim­u­la­tors. The mar­ket is ab­so­lutely ready for in­dige­nous make and the poli­cies and lo­cal pol­i­tics are shap­ing up around that. The so­lu­tions we have cre­ated are suit­able for In­dian mar­ket, we have done that in Brazil and China. In­dia is our next

op­por­tu­nity. The train­ing/sim­u­la­tion mar­ket dove­tails what the plat­forms are go­ing to be. When we look at the global mar­ket as far as air­craft plat­forms are con­cerned we no­tice that In­dia is the third largest mar­ket in terms of growth pro­jec­tions.

We are go­ing to fo­cus on mil­i­tary seg­ment as the com­mer­cial seg­ment is very com­pet­i­tive and sat­u­rated right now. For the se­lec­tive and col­lec­tive suc­cess, we will fo­cus on the de­fence mar­ket.

SP’s: Can you name the key plat­forms of mil­i­tary mar­ket where you are of­fer­ing so­lu­tions?

LeAnn: In the ro­tary-wing, we are well po­si­tioned with so­lu­tions for Chi­nook and Apache he­li­copters. Those plat­forms are com­ing into In­dia. For fixed-wing, we have so­lu­tions for all types of mil­i­tary mar­ket, PI8, trans­port tanker mar­ket etc. Rock­well Collins is em­i­nently po­si­tioned in the fighter mar­ket. We have visual so­lu­tions on F-15, F-16, joint strike fighter air­craft mar­ket. We have visual so­lu­tions on some Euro­pean fight­ers with BAe. We have good po­si­tions in the train­ing mar­ket for that seg­ment of the fight­ers.

SP’s: What about land sys­tems for the army... are you present with sim­u­la­tors?

LeAnn: We have JTAC (joint ter­mi­nal at­tack con­troller) for ground so­lu­tions for the dis­mounted sol­dier. We have also some main­te­nance so­lu­tions on MRAP and striker ve­hi­cles. Zen has lot of tech­nolo­gies for shoot­ers, tank sim­u­la­tors and that is very com­pli­men­tary to us.

SP’s: Jim, what are your thoughts on the Asian mar­ket, the chal­lenges and the op­por­tu­ni­ties?

Jim Walker ( Jim): The Asian mar­ket is a pretty big mar­ket for us. Rock­well Collins has a long his­tory of en­gage­ment in Asia-Pa­cific in terms of com­mer­cial so­lu­tions. We have po­si­tions on all the Air­bus and Boe­ing plat­forms. We have po­si­tions with most of the ma­jor air­lines, in­clud­ing the low-cost car­ri­ers. We dom­i­nate that mar­ket. As ca­pac­ity and air traf­fic grows within the re­gion, big­gest grow­ing re­gions in the world in terms of com­mer­cial air­craft, avi­a­tion business, we con­tinue to part­ner with those air­lines. We got a num­ber of key so­lu­tions that we of­fer such as avion­ics, air weather radar, TCAS (traf­fic alert and col­li­sion avoid­ance) so­lu­tions. We have brought into the mar­ket for sin­gle aisle jets, new in­flight en­ter­tain­ment sys­tems which we just launched in Bangladesh for Bi­man on its Boe­ing 737 air­craft.

As re­gards, business jets we are strong in Asia-Pa­cific, par­tic­u­larly in China. We have had very key suc­cesses in China hav­ing signed MoU with AVIC for sys­tems on MA700 re­gional air­liner. We are on board the ARJ21 and the C919 pro­grammes.

In terms of mil­i­tary sys­tem business, we have not been here as long as com­mer­cial business. But from the FMS and di­rect per­spec­tive we have been on most of the ma­jor plat­forms with US de­liv­er­ing in Asia-Pa­cific. They are based around Aus­tralia, Korea, Tai­wan, Sin­ga­pore and Ja­pan. As we move and grow into In­dia which is the Third largest grow­ing mil­i­tary mar­ket in the world, we see a num­ber of key niche ar­eas such as net­worked en­abled com­mu­ni­ca­tions, pro­vid­ing soft­ware de­fined ra­dio for the navy and also for the army in terms of bat­tle man­age­ment sys­tems.

Re­cently with Tata we have demon­strated to the Army the SDR and also the net­worked en­abled com­mu­ni­ca­tions which is a big part.

The sec­ond part is avion­ics. And we have po­si­tions on the Dornier, we have GPS so­lu­tions, elec­tronic coun­ter­mea­sures etc.

In terms of land sys­tems’ op­por­tu­ni­ties, we want to see what the mar­ket holds for In­dia. We can­not just build the mar­ket by pro­grammes be­cause it be­comes a bit lumpy. We have been do­ing lot to sell ba­sic prod­ucts through PSUs and pri­vate com­pa­nies as well. We

see the mil­i­tary mar­ket emerg­ing. SP’s: Which would be other im­por­tant mar­kets in the re­gion?

Jim: Aus­tralia, clearly be­cause of its length of time we have been there and the close re­la­tion­ship the US has with Aus­tralia. Korea is another one. We have strong part­ner­ships around the fighter, in­dige­nous he­li­copter pro­gramme and also the up­grades on Chi­nook and Black Hawk. Ja­pan is an emerg­ing mar­ket for us from a mil­i­tary sense. Aus­tralia, Ja­pan, Korea and In­dia are very key to Rock­well Collins.

SP’s: What is your take on ‘Make in In­dia’ pro­gramme and the in­crease in for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment an­nounced by the new gov­ern­ment?

Jim: The ‘Make in In­dia’ pro­gramme fits in very well with Rock­well Collins pro­grammes. We have tra­di­tion­ally long-term part­ner­ships with com­pa­nies where we de­velop tech­nolo­gies. We be­lieve that just man­u­fac­tur­ing within the coun­try is not go­ing to de­velop your ca­pa­bil­ity. What is go­ing to de­velop your ca­pa­bil­ity is trans­fer of tech­nol­ogy and co-de­vel­op­ment. Part­ner­ship with Zen is re­ally a clas­sic ex­am­ple of how we work to­gether. Over time we will build this re­la­tion­ship, trans­fer tech­nolo­gies and start on par­tic­u­lar pro­grammes. As we grow to­gether, the trust and re­la­tion­ship builds. The move by the Naren­dra Modi Gov­ern­ment to in­crease FDI pro­motes con­fi­dence into com­pa­nies like Rock­well Collins who want to have deeper re­la­tion­ship. We want to grow to­gether and go to the world to­gether.

SP’s: Do you have any road map worked out for ex­pan­sion in the mar­ket?

Jim: We have a road map. Net­work en­abled com­mu­ni­ca­tion has been fun­da­men­tal. It is our legacy, if you like. We have a num­ber of key pro­grammes we are work­ing on with Selex and BEL on the Fin­sas pro­gramme, with Tatas for the SDRr pro­gramme, and also for TCS so­lu­tions; and mov­ing for­ward we are look­ing at in­te­grated avion­ics and flight sup­plies of sen­sors etc. We have de­vel­oped Helisure, which pro­vides first of type for the pi­lot in terms of syn­thetic vi­sion and ter­rain aware­ness. There are niche tech­nolo­gies and ca­pa­bil­i­ties we have been renowned for and we want to bring them to In­dia.

LeAnn: With Zen Tech­nolo­gies, there is a unique value propo­si­tion Rock­well Collins has to of­fer and that no other com­peti­tor in train­ing and sim­u­la­tion has. We can bring to the mar­ket is in­te­grated avion­ics so­lu­tion in train­ing. We have found cost sav­ings for the end cus­tomer and also nearly one hun­dred per cent con­cur­rency in what we are co-de­vel­op­ing. That is a huge value propo­si­tion. That is when we know we have ar­rived.

SP’s: You have an en­gi­neer­ing fa­cil­ity in Hy­der­abad? Could you tell us how that fits into your plan?

Jim: The Hy­der­abad fa­cil­ity was es­tab­lished to pro­vide cou­ple of things, low-cost en­gi­neer­ing. From soft­ware ver­i­fi­ca­tion ca­pa­bil­ity to sys­tem en­gi­neer­ing, we are im­prov­ing the ca­pa­bil­ity. It helps us in prod­uct de­vel­op­ment and we use it for de­vel­op­ing new business within In­dia; and thirdly help us with en­gi­neer­ing support.

LeAnn: In the train­ing and sim­u­la­tion side, we are do­ing a lot of data­base de­vel­op­ment here in Hy­der­abad and that is hugely im­por­tant.

SP’s: How is the in­te­gra­tion with ARINC?

Jim: In Asia-Pa­cific it is do­ing par­tic­u­larly well. Ear­lier this year, we started lever­ag­ing each oth­ers prod­ucts. We have been able to iden­tify a num­ber of niche ar­eas where we can com­ple­ment each other.

LeAnn:: We have iden­ti­fied sev­eral ar­eas and Rock­well Collins is mov­ing into the vir­tual train­ing sce­nar­ios. We bring se­cure com­mu­ni­ca­tions, avion­ics, we bring di­verse range of ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

Jim Walker, Vice Pres­i­dent and Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor,

Asia Pa­cific, Rock­well Collins

LeAnn Ridge­way, Vice Pres­i­dent and Gen­eral Man­ager, Sim­u­la­tion and Train­ing So­lu­tions, Rock­well Collins

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