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Rocking well all over the world

Posted 14 June 2017 · Add Comment

Technology giant Rockwell Collins was at IDEX but Alan Warnes discovers it is about a lot more than just defence.

Although headquartered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, no one understands the needs of the international market better than Rockwell Collins.
Its recent purchase of Florida-based B/E Aerospace, a leading interiors provider, for a massive $8.3 billion, will connect the company with even newer markets.
The company cut its teeth in flightdeck avionics, cabin electronics, mission communications, simulation and training, and information management, all delivered by a global workforce and a service and support network that crosses more than 150 countries.
Colin Mahoney, Rockwell Collins senior vice president, international and service solutions said: “We have had a presence in the UAE for more than 20 years. It has been a key to our success here. We have a strategic capability with AMMROC and, in Saudi Arabia, we work with AEC.”
The company is investing in a number of partnership agreements in the region. These include a training opportunity with Khalifa University in the UAE. It began two years ago and is expected to expand. The latest class of interns will begin working at the company’s sites in Europe and the Middle East.
Talel Kamel, Rockwell Collins managing director for the Middle East, Turkey and North Africa, said: “We are proud of this collaboration, which enables us to share our knowledge and expertise in domains such as avionics and communication with the students, while at the same time establishing a talent incubator to support our further developments in the region.”
Last December, Rockwell Collins signed an agreement with Taqnia Defense to collaborate on military rotary and fixed-wing avionics opportunities in Saudi Arabia. Work will focus on aircraft manufactured, assembled and upgraded in the kingdom.
Mahoney continued: “We could partner with Taqnia on all kinds of aircraft retrofits. We can partner in technology evaluations to include our commercial flightdecks.”
Rockwell Collins has been a supplier to the armed forces in Saudi Arabia for more than 50 years and is already manufacturing and supporting avionics and military communications in the kingdom with a private Saudi company.
The agreement with Rockwell Collins is another step in the evolution of local Saudi aerospace industry capabilities, which is fully in line with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program 2020.
“Around 7% of what we do in the company is in the MENA region and that is set to increase with the acquisition of B/E Aerospace, which was announced last October,” said Kamel.
Acquiring B/E Aerospace will allow Rockwell Collins to integrate its smart technologies into the cabins of big airliners.
Mahoney is excited about the acquisition. “Pre-B/E, our sales are around $5 billion but with B/E it grows to $8 billion. They offer bespoke services – first class and very customer-focussed. The interior systems division will be the fourth division after commercial, government systems and management information services.”
In the combined company, Rockwell’s content on the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 will triple, while narrow-body content is doubling. It will see the Rockwell Collins overall business shift to a 55% commercial 45% defence mix.
Mahoney added: “Strategically, it is more effective to expand our footprint in markets where we are already established. We reviewed our international strategy about eight years ago and we realised there was the opportunity to accelerate international [business]. As a result, 42% of our market is outside the USA today; the acquisition expands that to more than half.”
By mid-March, the majority of Rockwell Collins and B/E shareholders approved moving forward with the deal. A company spokesman said: “We are on track for the completion of various anti-trust regulatory reviews – approvals are still needed from the European Union, China and the Philippines. Regulatory approvals have already been received from the US, South Korea and Turkey. We don’t foresee any issues.”
 

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