[Avionics Today 07-14-2015] French Search and Rescue (SAR) manufacturer McMurdo made a major expansion into the growing Chinese domestic aviation market last week, securing a $2.4 million contract with Aviation Industry Corp. of China (AVIC) subsidiary Harbin Aircraft Industry Group (HAIG). The deal spans 10 years and will make McMurdo's Kannad Integra Emergency Location Transmitters (ELT) standard production equipment on AVIC's current line of AC312 helicopters and Y12 fixed wing aircraft.
McMurdo's Kannad Integra ELT uses the International Cospas-Sarsat Program, which is known globally for detecting and locating emergency beacons. Photo: McMurdo Group.
AVIC is the latest international expansion move for McMurdo, which also announced the opening of its new Emergency Readiness and Response Experience Center in the Washington, D.C., area to demonstrate the latest SAR innovations and technology developments as well as real-time demonstrations of the entire search and rescue process from distress beacon activation to satellite-based location detection. Going forward, the company is looking to further expand its aviation market position in China, along with other parts of the Asia-Pacific region.
"With China being one of the world’s most rapidly growing aviation markets, we are excited by the opportunity to position the McMurdo brand and the Kannad Integra ELT with other aircraft manufacturers whether commercial aircraft, general aviation planes, business jets, helicopters or airlines," Christian Belleux, aviation/military business manager for the McMurdo Group. "This win will be a catalyst in our efforts to expand our aviation presence in other parts of Asia."
McMurdo is also looking to expand its domestic partnerships with Chinese aviation Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and suppliers as well, to capture the anticipated future demand for new aircraft by Chinese and Asia Pacific carriers. Between 2015 and 2034, operators in the Asia-Pacific region will require a total of 14,330 new aircraft deliveries, according to the latest Current Market Outlook (CMO) from Boeing.
On its side, AVIC has also been making headlines lately for a number of deals to boost its capabilities and innovation, starting earlier this month by giving approval to Swedish firm CybAero in early July to deliver the first of 70 APID One unmanned helicopters that it currently has on order under an eight-year, $84 million contract. At the end of June, AVIC agreed to purchase U.S.-based automobile parts maker Henniges Automotive, and in April at the 2015 Asian Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (ABACE) the Chinese aerospace and defense company celebrated the delivery of the first Chinese-built Cessna Citation XLS+ under its joint venture partnership with Cessna.
"JR-Tech, based in the New Baiyun International Airport of Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China, is a high-tech conglomerate with diverse capabilities including aviation materials trading, component maintenance, ground support equipment development and sales," said Belleux. "JR-Tech, as our key Chinese aviation partner, has been instrumental in developing the relationship with AVIC and positioning the Kannad Integra ELT as part of the AVIC aircraft designs. We will continue to work closely with JR-Tech as we identify new aviation opportunities in China."
According to Belleux, AVIC selected the Kannad Integra ELT because of its dual-antenna and dual-GPS design, with both a built-in internal antenna and embedded GPS receiver.
"The Kannad ELT’s Integrated 406MHz antenna, built-in GPS and ARINC 429 Navigation Interface — for redundant GPS acquisition — enable critical location and positioning data to be sent even in the event of an aircraft antenna cable break or an aircraft GPS system failure," Belleux said.