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DSEi 2011: Rockwell Collins targets European C3 market

12th September 2011 - 10:15 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Rockwell Collins believes that Europe will continue to be an important market for its C2 and C3 products despite reductions in defence budgets, Claude Alber vice president and managing director for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) told Shephard on the eve of DSEi.

‘We are well positioned for growth in the market,’ Alber stated. ‘We have about $1 billion sales in EMEA on total sales of $4.7 billion [annually] for Rockwell Collins,’ he added.

The company has 2,200 employees in the region, which is just over 10 percent of the company’s total. That includes those working in Rockwell Collins subsidiaries in Germany, France, Sweden and the UK.

Both the number of employees and the revenue from EMEA has doubled in the last decade.

Alber believes that footprint and the current concerns of defence ministries in the region are positioning the company for growth. ‘We believe that the increasing demand for interoperability between the US and European countries and within Europe itself will drive a lot of new opportunities for our company,’ he stated.

Rockwell Collins believes it can carve out a niche that will see it exploit the space between increased defence cuts and the billions of investment needed to update C3 systems in Europe. ‘European nations will look more and more at solutions that are either initiated in Europe or off the shelf – all of this, including the need for coalition interoperability, plays to Rockwell Collins strengths both in the US market and here in EMEA to bridge the two worlds.

‘We are not a C4I system supplier as such, but we are a C2, C3, system supplier,’ Alber explained. ‘For example we are providing the Link 16 ground system to the Finnish Air Force.

‘We have the engineers needed to customise and deliver the most cost-effective solutions to European MoDs or the major defence companies,’ Alber continued. In addition, Alber does not believe that current US International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) are too much of a challenge.

Pointing to some of the work the company has done in the US on software defined radios and standards, Alber said that the company had then been able to develop a version of its technology that was exportable. ‘Now as a result we have international, exportable software defined radios that will be used in Europe.’

Looking beyond Europe Alber said that the biggest area of growth for his part of the business was the Middle East and in particular the UAE and Saudi Arabia , which are both looking to modernise their C3 infrastructure. ‘Saudi is the fifth largest defence budget in the world and the UAE is also investing a lot,’ he stated. He concluded that African business was also increasing, but from a very low base.

The Shephard News Team


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