Opportunities should be created by new and upgraded Chinese civil aircraft, resulting in local development and production before turning to supplying the international market, says Colin Mahoney, senior vice president of Rockwell Collins’s international business. Collins has cemented three joint ventures in China over the past 12 months, he notes.
Other Western companies working with the avionics and electromechanical systems subsidiaries of Avic are taking much the same approach, usually for the same reasons: there is more profit in a business that has enough scale and know-how to address the international market than there is in one that is limited to one or even several Chinese programs. Chinese partners, too, do not want to just stay at home.
For Rockwell Collins, Mahoney says new activities could be within the current scope of a joint venture; if not, a joint venture could expand to take on a new role, or a new joint venture could be set up to do it.
For most suppliers, the biggest immediate prospect is the MA700 turboprop airliner from Xian-based Avic Aircraft. The aircraft program was formally launched in December.