Boeing’s new $35-billion contract to build refueling aircraft for the military will bring hundreds of jobs to Iowa. The biggest celebrations may be in Boeing’s home state of Washington, but approximately 200 jobs could be created in Cedar Rapids, where aircraft electronics supplier Rockwell Collins is based.
Rockwell’s long been tapped to supply Boeing’s “NewGen Tanker” project, which won out over the European Aeronautics Defense and Space Company, or E-A-D-S. Rockwell spokeswoman Pam Tvrdy says it’s still too early to know when the new hires will happen.
“We do know that engineering and manufacturing, development, that part of the program is going to be including significant development work for Rockwell Collins,” Tvrdy says, “so once we get the official subcontract award and really scope out what’s going to be required for the program, we’ll have a better idea of what our employment needs will be.”
Tvrdy says most of what you’ll see in the cockpits of the NewGen Tankers will be Rockwell Collins equipment. She says that includes things like the actual displays that the pilot looks at they’re flying, the flight management systems, communication systems, navigation systems. “All of the things that we refer to as the brains of the planes.”
Rockwell Collins was also set to supply E-A-D-S, though for significantly fewer components than it will give Boeing. In promotional tours, Boeing has said the project will bring Iowa some 800 jobs and 40-million dollars in annual economic impact.