Kevin Kennedy, Vince Logsdon, Stephen Greene
Business Developers, Textron Systems
Expanding Capabilities in the Indian market
With offerings such as helicopters, weapons and unmanned aircraft system, American industrial conglomerate Textron Systems has a strong presence in Indian defence sector and is eager to consider a ‘Made in India’ approach within its product lines, share the business developers for Textron Systems.
How important is India market for Textron Systems? What are your expansion plans?
Kennedy: Every operational and market research report I read expresses the same truth: India is a growing market. We believe this and have a dedicated team helping us foster the relationships to profitably grow our presence in India. We have a solid foundation of past performance within the region that we aspire to continue to build upon, including our many current encouraging efforts underway there.
How is Textron Systems contributing to India’s defence sector in terms of infrastructure and modernisation needs?
Logsdon: We highly value our partnership with the Indian Air Force (IAF) and will remain fully committed to the future goals of the Indian military. The Jaguar integration programme will deliver a significant capability to the IAF. Sensor Fuzed Weapon (SFW) is a highly effective air-delivered area weapon designed to defeat an array of moving and fixed targets on land, at sea and in littoral environments. One SFW can neutralise many targets and do so nearly simultaneously, leaving an adversary no evasion time. First employed by the US Air Force in combat operations during Operation Iraqi Freedom, SFW is the only weapon of its class that meets and exceeds all US Department of defense mandates for multiple warhead munitions (greater than 99 pc reliability). SFW defeats enemy threats and achieves its mission leaving behind a clean battlefield. As the Jaguar programme concludes, we look forward to discussing emerging requirements with the IAF to help expand capabilities and enhance our relationship with the government of India.
What are the products that Textron Systems has for the growing internal security market in India?
Kennedy: Effectively securing a border requires three basic capabilities – awareness, decision making and synchronised response. With our cross-domain manned and unmanned platforms, as well as the addition of our unattended ground sensor systems, we are able to address awareness and synchronised response capabilities. In addition, our software solutions, like iCommand, provide leading edge decision making tools. We believe our system solutions help warfighters make informed decisions and execute them with agility and effectiveness.
What are your offerings in the area of unmanned systems?
Greene: Based on its experience and advanced multi-mission capability, we believe that the Shadow Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (TUAS) is the ideal platform for any tactical UAS need.
Shadow is the only TUAS in the world to have achieved nearly one million flight hours. Building upon this unmatched record of success, today’s Shadow Version 2 (RQ-7B V2) is an all-digital, modern system featuring increased endurance and payload capacity over previous versions, as well as an expanded data pipeline for greater information assurance and real-time dissemination. It is utilised by the US military for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, battle damage assessment, target designation, communications relay and most recently, for manned/unmanned teaming with Apache helicopters.
In addition, Textron Systems also offers a smaller, expeditionary UAS (Group 2 category) – the Aerosonde Small Unmanned Aircraft System (SUAS). The Aerosonde SUAS offers proven multi-mission performance in both military and commercial, land-and-sea based applications. With more than 100,000 flight hours of experience, the Aerosonde SUAS incorporates Lycoming’s EL-005 engine – the only system in its class with a propulsion system completely supported by a manned aviation engine expert. The Aerosonde aircraft is equipped for real-time, full-motion video and communications relay within a single flight, and offers dedicated space and power to integrate additional capabilities based on customer requirements. In addition, the Aerosonde SUAS is designed with a small footprint for efficient maritime operations without ship alterations.
How do you create value for customers?
Kennedy: Textron Systems has been a leading original equipment manufacturer for the US Department of Defense for more than a decade. This record can be attributed to Textron Systems’ many innovative solutions, which directly address the needs in many of the war fighting domains, spanning land, sea, air and even over the electromagnetic spectrum.
Our commitment to build, field, and sustain our innovative solutions keeps us engaged with our customer and committed to addressing those evolving requirements. We consider it our duty.
Where do you see, in terms of business units, the maximum potential for Textron Systems in India and if possible could you give us an insight into what kind of investments it is looking at?
Kennedy: Every year, Textron Systems conducts detailed operational and market research in order to focus on a specific market space that we believe we are uniquely qualified to address. We believe our newest initiatives fit squarely within the “seamless human-machine collaboration” market space, which the US Department of Defense is calling its “third offset.” We are excited about our future!
What are the potential areas of growth that the company sees in the coming future? Where do you see the company in the next five years in India?
Logsdon: Textron Systems Weapon & Sensor Systems anticipates future growth for the smaller precision weapon market. To meet this need, Textron Systems developed Fury and G-CLAW, precision guided weapon systems, which are based off of our long lineage of weapons and platform development expertise with the US government.
The new Fury lightweight precision guided glide weapon is equipped with a mature and proven warhead, and is guided by a GPSaided inertial navigation system with a semi-active laser seeker terminal guidance capability. The weapon’s tri-mode fuzing – impact, height of burst and delay – further enables a single Fury to address a broad target set, ranging from static and moving light armoured vehicles to small boats and personnel. The weapon system is designed for carriage on platforms ranging from small unmanned aerial systems to light attack aircraft. Fury is the ideal weapon for enhancing the tactical unmanned aircraft system mission. In addition, Textron Systems has enhanced its CLAW blast-fragmented unitary area munitions with guidance capability to create the G-CLAW for innovative delivery of precision effects against land and sea targets. The precision guided glide weapon system incorporates a height of burst sensor for optimal effects against a broad target set.
In addition to its flexible, multiple warhead lethal capability, G-CLAW’s modular design supports rapid incorporation of emerging technologies in guidance, seekers and effects. It can be adapted to changing mission requirements at minimum development cost. G-CLAW can be integrated onto an array of aircraft, including class IV unmanned aerial systems, light attack aircraft such as Textron Aviation’s Beechcraft AT-6, or converted commercial aircraft such as a Cessna Caravan, from standard rack dispensers.
Public-private partnership in aerospace is the need of the hour to propel government’s indigenization efforts through ‘Make in India’. How do you see the opportunity for Textron Systems?
Kennedy: We are glad to consider the “Made in India” approach within any of our product lines, as long as it makes sense for both the Indian and American teaming partners.