By Anurag Kotoky
BANGALORE Feb 6 Rockwell Collins Inc
will jointly bid with a unit of India's Tata Power Co Ltd
for a contract, expected to be worth $150 million to
$200 million, to supply radio equipment to the Indian Air Force,
the U.S.-based company said.
Rockwell Collins, a supplier of avionics and other
electronic systems for commercial and military airplanes, said
it would provide the technology for the contract, while Tata
Power's engineering unit would be the prime contractor.
"I don't know the exact number because it is a competition.
As of today we estimate (contract value) to be anything between
$150 million to $200 million," Ram Prasad, managing director of
Rockwell Collins India, said in an interview with Reuters on the
sidelines of an air show in the Indian city of Bangalore.
Utility Tata Power is part of the $100 billion salt-to-steel
Tata Group and also works with India's Ministry of Defense for
the development and supply of parts for products, including
missile launchers and air defense systems.
India, the world's biggest arms importer in recent years,
plans to spend around $100 billion over the next 10 years in
upgrading its mostly Soviet-era military hardware to keep pace
with China's ramping up of defense spending.
Rockwell Collins, which counts government agencies,
planemakers and airlines as customers, has reduced its business
in some defense segments and cut jobs as the United States has
moved to curb spending.
The company is, however, not worried about the Indian
government's plans to cut its own defense budget.
India is planning cuts to its budget this year, including
some affecting defense, to reduce spending by about 1.1 trillion
Indian rupees ($20.6 billion) in the current financial year, or
some 8 percent of budgeted outlay.
"I hear from everyone that no matter what, they will not
compromise on modernization. If that statement is true, which I
firmly believe should be true, then capital acquisition for
future use would not be affected that much," Prasad said.