Aviation supply chain intelligence news – May 2015

Our latest update to the PMI Media Limited’s Aviation Supply Chain Intelligence database features two new aircraft types, the Antonov AN-178 and Dassault Falcon 8X

The Antonov AN-178 supply chain is notable for the appearance of a Saudi supplier, Taqnia, and China’s A-Star Science and Technology Company. In May Antonov the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) of Saudia Arabia announced the two organisations would jointly develop and build a new version of the AN-32 passenger and cargo aircraft, with Pratt & Whitney engines and Honeywell avionics. Over the last year Antonov has been seeking partners in India, China and Saudi Arabia to help finance and develop its production line of civil and military aircraft:  the An-148/An-158 range of regional passenger aircraft, the AN-178 transport – a military cargo version of the AN-148 – and the AN-32, AN-70 and AN-124 cargo aircraft.

In other developments, as part of the F-X2 partnership agreement, in which Saab will supply the Gripen to Brazil, Embraer will have a leading role in the overall performance of the programme. Embraer will also undertake an extensive share of work in the production and delivery of both the single and two-seat versions of the Gripen NG. Embraer will be responsible for extensive work packages in systems development, integration, flight test, final assembly and aircraft deliveries. Embraer will also participate in the coordination of all development and production activities in Brazil. Furthermore, Embraer and Saab will be jointly responsible for the complete development of the two-seat version of the Gripen NG. Embraer and Saab will build an Engineering Centre at Embraer’s industrial plant in Gavião Peixoto, in the state of São Paulo, to support operations of the Gripen NG fighters with the Brazilian Air Force. The implementation of the partnership for joint programme management between Saab and Embraer is subject to the F-X2 contracts between Saab and COMAER (Brazilian Air Force Command) becoming effective.

In terms of new manufacturing and assembly technologies, Pratt & Whitney has built its first PurePower® engine on its new automated horizontal assembly lines in Middletown, Connecticut, and West Palm Beach, Florida. Pratt & Whitney introduced the overhead-automated horizontal moving assembly lines for jet engines to prepare for production of its PurePower engine family, which has garnered more than 6,300 orders, including options by mid-2015. The horizontal assembly line is designed to boost the ergonomic benefits for the assembly teams working on the engines. The mechanic can adjust the engine up and down to their ideal work height, and can rotate the engine to help with difficult to reach areas. The new line is also safer because ladders and platforms have been fully eliminated, and there is no perching under the engines, bending, stooping and climbing. Pratt & Whitney has also installed a horizontal assembly line in the Mirabel Aerospace Center, Quebec, Canada.

We have also updated the following aircraft programmes with new supplier contracts:

  • Airbus A330 neo – Fokker, Korean Air
  • Bell V-22 – Spincraft
  • Boeing 737NG, Max and P-8 – Kaman (via Zodiac)
  • Boeing 787-9 – Quatro Composites, Ducommun (on the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000)
  • Bombardier CSeries – Pratt & Whitney
  • Cessna Citation X+ – CPI Aerostructures
  • Dassault Falcon 5X – Rockwell Collins
  • Embraer C-390 – Jabil Do Brasil
  • Eurofighter Typhoon – Jenoptik
  • Gulfstream G500/600 – GKN, Ducommun
  • Hawker Beechcraft King Air 350i, 250 and C90GTx – Rockwell Collins
  • Lockheed Martin F-35 – Splunk, Kopin Corporation (via Rockwell Collins), Kongsberg
  • Saab JAS39 Gripen – a partnership contract between Saab and Embraer for the F-X2, Finmeccanica Selex

In the engine library we have added a new engine, the PW307D and updated the PW1000G and Trent 1000 entries.


The market for ATM equipment and services in India 2015-2019

The  new PMI Media Limited study “The market for ATM equipment and services in India 2015-2019” reports that this market will be worth $1.28 billion between 2015 and 2019.

Our new study
· Analyses long term Airport Authority of India (AAI) technology upgrade strategies
· Reports on near-term AAI spending plans
· Highlights recent contract award information, focusing on strategic industrial partnerships
· Details specific opportunities in different markets for new systems
· Outlines the current Indian ATM equipment supply industry
· Details airport by airport spending plans
· Provides a detailed and comprehensive breakdown of ATM systems currently in operation throughout the country
· Provides forecast growth analysis for airport and en-route services
· Reports on underlying airline and population growth factors which are driving the market
· Reports on the impact of GAGAN on future navigational aid requirements

To order the Report, get details here

Slow, slow, quick  quick, slow…

Defence acquisition reform takes many forms. All of them involve complex equations between the procurement of effects-oriented equipment and services efficiently, in a timescale acceptable to all stakeholders and at a price that is affordable for the user and profitable for the supplier. Overlaid on this matrix, in many countries, are considerations of sovereign capability, security of supply and economic impact.

It is this last that leaps from the pages of the recently published report “Canada First: Leveraging defence procurement through key industrial capabilities.” The government seeks to bolster its indigenous industry and derive maximum potential benefit from the investment of public money in defence equipment and services by requiring bidders to provide offsets in specific areas of technology or service (such as cyber or training systems, for example) at increasingly high levels. In its bid to sell the F/A-18 Super Hornet to Canada, Boeing is already promising offsets amounting to 100% of contract value.

There’s nothing wrong with that. Indeed, on first glance, the 88-page report seems to promise some interesting and rewarding benefits stemming from the proposed reforms, which reach much further than the comments above might suggest. But there is a sting in the tail, as far as this writer is concerned, which threatens to negate all the good the proposed policy might bring.

One of the perennial challenges faced by small companies trying to obtain defence work is the gestation period of the acquisition process and the spiralling bid costs associated with it. A small company can often not afford the impact on cash flow that a sales decision cycle of two or three years will entail. So the process needs to be streamlined and shrunk.

Why, of why, therefore, has the government effectively done just the opposite. In order to implement and monitor the proposed new defence procurement strategy, a Defence Procurement Secretariat will be established within the Department of Public Works and an independent, third-party Defence Analytics Institute established to provide analysis and support. Long and somewhat bitter experience indicates this will add layers of bureaucracy, significant additional cost and potential aeons of time to an already cumbersome process.

Spending public money efficiently is a laudable ambition. So is making the process easy for one’s supply chain to be able to benefit from.