A320neo eyed by Collins as long-term avionics opportunity

Washington DC
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Rockwell Collins' chief executive sees a potential long-term opportunity for avionics upgrades for the Airbus A320neo.

CEO Clayton Jones says the re-engined A320 will have a long service life, and there may be "a block point change at some point of time" on the avionics suite. In that event, the airframer might decide to buy new electronic technologies that offer more reliability and less weight, he says, creating an opportunity for Collins to gain market share.

Jones' comments at the Credit Suisse Aerospace and Defense Conference highlight the different strategies on avionics taken by Boeing on the 737 Max and its rival.

In May, Airbus decided to re-select current A320 avionics supplier Thales to continue providing the cockpit suite for the re-engined version of the aircraft.

Boeing, however, decided to upgrade the re-engined 737 Max cockpit with Collins large format displays, replacing products formerly supplied on the 737NG by Honeywell.

The 737 Max win is considered a coup for Collins, which has steadily increased its presence at Boeing with avionics placements on the 787 and KC-46 tanker.

Collins also sees an opportunity to extend its gains at Boeing with the possibility of the 777X widebody. Honeywell is the existing avionics supplier for the 777 family, but Boeing could consider alternatives as it considers a re-engined and possibly re-winged version of the large airliner.