US aerospace engineering firm ITT sees big potential for its air traffic manatement (ATM) systems in India's booming market for civilian air travel.
"The air traffic growth rates in India are very high," says James Cieplak, senior manager air traffic management international. "There are 25 big airports, and 400 airports in total. The ATM systems in India work well and are up to international norms, but eventually they will adopt next generation standards."
India's ATM system relies on radars based at the country's airports. While radar is effective at tracking aircraft, it is expensive, and eventually needs to be replaced, says Cieplak. ITT's alternative to this relies on radio stations and satellites to track aircraft, allowing for better accuracy and more frequent updates.
He notes that the US Federal Aviation Adminsitration adopted ITT's ADS-B system in 2007 in a $1.8 billion deal when it needed to upgrade the ATM system in the United States.
Aside from seeing opportunities to provide air traffic control systems to India, ITT is also looking at other opportunities such as night vision equipment, communications, and various other systems.
ITT also produces the sonbuoy dispenser for India's P-8I Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, as well as parts of the Boeing F-18 E/F Super Hornet's electronic warfare suite. The Super Hornet is among six contenders in India's medium multi-role combat aircraft competition.