Honeywell sees significant potential for upgrades in the Japanese defence sector, with an emphasis on engines and platform connectivity.

Tim Van Luven, vice president of APAC Defense at Honeywell, says that the company’s broad product range means there are opportunities across a number of platforms.

One Honeywell programme involves the upgrade of 140 generator control units (GCU) across the Japan Air Self Defense Force’s (JASDF) fleet of Boeing F-15 fighters. Flight Fleets Analyzer show that the JASDF operates 155 single seat F-15J and 45 two-seat F-15DJ fighters with an average age of 30 years.

Van Luven says that the new GCU reduces hung starts for the fighters’ Pratt & Whitney F100 engines, and improves reliability.

Another programme involving Honeywell is an engine upgrade across Tokyo’s fleet of Kawasaki-built CH-47 Chinooks. This sees the T55-L-714 replacing the less powerful T55-L-712. Tokyo operates 99 CH-47s with an average age of 17.9 years. Honeywell ships upgrade kits that are then installed by Kawasaki.

On the connectivity front, Van Luven says that the company aims to leverage its strength in the commercial connectivity space to bring high bandwidth to military aircraft. K-Band satellite communications, for example, allow intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft to transmit high resolution imagery.

Another area where the company sees potential for this is in the emergency medical services (EMS) helicopter space. In this application, an EMS helicopter can transmit real-time data about a patient’s condition to hospital on the ground.

Van Luven says EMS is a “potentially huge market” for the company.