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DSA 2018: Honeywell Shares Its Regional Plans

May 7, 2018

Via Wikimedia Commons.

North American companies enjoyed a strong presence at last month’s Defense Services Asia 2018 held in Kuala Lumpur. The leading arms show in the region just marked its 30th anniversary with a record number of visitors–the organizer claims 50,000 warm bodies poured in–and 30 national pavilions were set up to cluster the exhibits by country.

One of the big names present at DSA 2018, which took place from April 16 to 19, was Honeywell Aerospace. The company’s PR reached out to 21st Century Asian Arms Race (21AAR) for a discussion about their potential breakthroughs in ASEAN and the full range of Honeywell’s specialties.

Much of what VP for Aftermarket Sales in the Asia-Pacific Tim Van Luven told 21AAR came from a two week email correspondence. In these, he shared a detailed overview of Honeywell Aerospace’s portfolio in Malaysia. This includes an upcoming C-130 modernization program for the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF). According to Van Luven the manufacturing facility operated by Honeywell in Penang would be perfect for the task as it can install three critical subsystems. These are the RDR-400M Weather Radar System, a radar altimeter, and an Embedded GPS Inertial Navigating System that’s referred to as the Honeywell EGI.

Van Luven added that should a need arise for an overhaul of the RMAF’s F/A-18 multirole fighters, Honeywell Aerospace is especially suited for the job. He also identified three other local markets where Honeywell Aerospace is active–Indonesia, South Korea and Thailand. In the former, Honeywell Aerospace is supplying engines for the NC212i light transport assembled by a state-owned manufacturer. Then Van Luven revealed his company is responsible for supplying “critical components” for the KAI T-50 that’s been adopted by the air forces of South Korea and Thailand.

Van Luven did mention three aircraft models that Honeywell Aerospace is capable of upgrading should it win government contracts to do so. These are the C-130 Hercules, the F-16 Fighting Falcon, and the CH-47 Chinook. Honeywell Aerospace also offers “connected battlefield technologies” for local air forces. First is the Jetwave Satellite Communication Hardware. Second is the Viper high-speed data terminal. Third is the Aspire 150, 350 and 200 comms system for civil and military helicopters.

When asked about the regional push for UAVs, with ASEAN militaries embracing locally designed airframes, Van Luven volunteered a detailed rundown of what Honeywell Aerospace can provide drone manufacturers.Van Luven revealed UAV platforms like the MQ-9 Reaper, the Predator, the X-47B and K-MAX are using Honeywell’s inertial navigation system and the company has three decades of experience with unmanned systems. He did mention Honeywell Aerospace’s TPE331-10 engine powers the MQ-9 Reaper.

Van Luven acknowledged Indonesia’s status as a “priority market” and emphasized Honeywell Aerospace’s partnership with PT Dirgantara Indonesia that now spans four decades.

Malaysia will likely remain an attractive destination for the US military-industrial sector and its related industries. During DSA 2018 so many American firms were at the show offering a dazzling variety of products–from apparel to spare parts–for a well-known end user. Although regional competition is stiffer than it used to be, with China and Turkey having their own crowded pavilions at DSA 2018, the Malaysian security force’s broad inventory of US-made equipment should stay in use for another decade.

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