Rockwell Collins Wins Airbus Contract

By George Ford, Reporter

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By Rachel Begle

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — It's been a good week for Rockwell Collins with the award of two major contracts.

On Monday, the Cedar Rapids company announced it has been selected by Airbus to provide the rudder and brake pedal assembly for the European aircraft manufacturer's A350 XWB aircraft. More than 600 of the extra wide body aircraft have been ordered by airlines throughout the world.

Rockwell Collins previously was awarded contracts for the A350 XWB’s communications, information management, landing and navigation systems. The contracts are valued at $2.5 billion over the life of the program.

Work on the A350 XWB contract will take place at Rockwell Collins’s locations in Cedar Rapids; Irvine, Calif.; Melbourne, Fla.; and Toulouse, France.

Over 70 percent of the A350 XWB’s airframe is made from advanced materials, combining 53 percent of composite structures with titanium and advanced aluminum alloys. The lighter-weight airplane, which will be available in 200-, 300- and 350-seat versions, reportedly will consume 25 percent less fuel than its Boeing competitor, according to Airbus.

With the first flight planned for this year, followed by a flight test campaign lasting a year, Airbus is targeting initial delivery of an A350 XWB to launch customer Qatar Airways during the first half of 2014.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Defense announced that Rockwell Collins has been awarded a $3.2 million Technology Investment Agreement through the Defense Production Act (DPA) Title III program to continue the next phase of a joint investment agreement for the Low Cost Military Global Positioning System program.

Previous phases of the DPA program aided Rockwell Collins in developing the next generation military GPS Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module. The device, which allows decryption of precision GPS coordinates, is the smallest, lightest weight and lowest power-consuming device of its kind available today.

“The DPA Title III program has supported us in making smaller, lower cost GPS receiver technology available for a broad range of important Department of Defense programs," said Bob Haag, Rockwell Collins vice president and general manager of Communication and Navigation Products.

To date, the low-cost GPS program has saved the government an estimated $100 million, and it's estimated that the Department of Defense will realize more than $300 million in additional cost savings and cost avoidance over the next five years.

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