Honeywell sees an opportunity to offer key systems upgrades to help extend the life of Malaysia’s ageing military aircraft fleet.

Derek Lockett, director of sales Asia-Pacific for Honeywell, says the firm is expanding its presence in the region, mainly through the addition of sales staff.

One area where it sees strong potential in the region, as well is in Malaysia, is the addition of Wi-Fi aboard transport aircraft. Lockett notes that there is a race among commercial airlines to equip aircraft with Wi-Fi so that passengers can remain in contact even when airborne, and that the US company is a major player in the airliner connectivity space.

“Normally during a 12-hour [Lockheed Martin] C-130 flight, soldiers will be sleeping,” says Lockett. “If they can use their secure networks while airborne it will make for a more efficient mission.”

Another product he mentions with regard to Malaysia is Honeywell’s health and usage monitoring system, which he also feels could benefit the country’s C-130s. Such a system can update maintenance crews before a component or system suffers an issue. This aids in preventative maintenance, and can boost aircraft availability by 20%, he adds.

Other upgrades for ageing transports in the region include equipment that would bring them up to speed with modern commercial aircraft, such as terrain collision avoidance and enhanced ground proximity warning systems.

Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that the Royal Malaysian Air Force operates 14 C-130s, with an average age of 32.8 years.

Honeywell also has used the 21-25 March Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace show to announced a deal with Indonesian airframer PTDI for the sale of 34 TPE331 turboprop engines. These will power NC212is produced by the Indonesian firm.