FIDAE: Rockwell Collins shows KC-390 avionics

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Rockwell Collins (Hall E, stand C34) is showcasing the Pro Line Fusion flightdeck in development for Embraer’s KC-390 airlifter, using its Virtual Avionics Procedures Trainer. The KC-390 marks the first military application for Pro Line Fusion, which is widely deployed in the commercial sector.

Alan Prowse, Rockwell Collins vice-president and managing director Americas, forecasts that the Latin American market will generate revenues of approximately $5 billion for the company over the next five-year period, representing growth of 15-20%.

Rockwell is also focusing on promoting its capabilities for special mission aircraft – used for roles including electronic warfare, signals intelligence, maritime patrol, border security and disaster recovery.

Prowse points out that because Rockwell adapts its commercial avionics for military applications, defence export restrictions rarely become an issue. “It becomes a lot easier,” he says.

Compared with the previous FIDAE show, “we’ve got more equipment down here – more people, and higher-ranking people”, says Prowse. He adds that some potential customers are considering using Embraer’s recently-developed Legacy 450 and 500 business jet aircraft as surveillance platforms.

Being demonstrated at FIDAE for the first time is Rockwell’s Wind Band HF system, designed to securely transmit high-bandwidth voice, data and video across continents in extreme environmental conditions. Also making its first appearance is the FireStorm integrated targeting system.

“On the government side we see good growth,” says Prowse. “On the whole, communications, border security and beyond-line-of-sight communications seem to be expanding requirements.”

Rockwell operates a couple of major facilities in Latin America, the largest of which is located alongside Embraer’s headquarters at São José dos Campos in Brazil. Last month Rockwell delivered the first HF radio manufactured in Brazil, and it will also locally manufacture control display units for the KC-390.

The company also employs 750 staff at its Mexicali facility in Mexico.