Rockwell Collins, the Cedar-Rapids-based maker of avionics that’s one of Iowa’s largest employers, announced strong improvement in its quarterly report this week. Spokesman Jeffrey Moder says earnings were up 18-percent per share in the second quarter of fiscal 2004.He says they’re seeing growth continue in sales of Rockwell Collins systems to the government, as well as a turnaround in the once-slumping commercial airline market. Net income increased 20-percent to 71-Million, up from the 59-million they made in the second quarter a year ago. Overall sales to U.S. military programs rose by 27-percent, and the company saw a more modest increase in its commercial sales, which include not only navigation systems but in-flight electronics like airliner movies to entertain travelers. He says that 6-percent isn’t as high but it’s significant, and encouraging, since it shows an increase in the commercial business which was down or flat the last couple years because of 9/11 and other factors. Moder says the U.S. response to 9/11 isn’t entirely the reason for the increase in Rockwell Collins business with the military. Defense spending typically is planned far ahead, and isn’t just a reaction to events like the attacks of September 11, 2001, but he says when you’re involved in a conflict it does put the focus on defense budgets. While the Iowa maker of radios, computer and other sophisticated avionics will sell to the airlines of many other countries, Moder says when a request comes from a foreign air force the company goes by U.S. federal guidelines as to which of its products would be appropriate to sell to whom.