When UTC Aerospace Systems and Rockwell Collins banded to form Collins Aerospace, Canada - which provided a respectable C$1 billion in business to the group last year - was hardly top of mind. Top brass, who now had 300 global sites, 70,000 employees and US$23 billion in business to manage, had bigger fish to fry.
However, Canadian president and managing director Lee Obst sees a slew of opportunities to broaden its mission systems, tactical communications, avionics and other offerings. One possibility: to leverage Collins Aerospace's successes in the simulations field to add value to Canada's coming Future Aircrew Training programme. The idea is to provide government and private higher tier players with hardware, visual systems, live-virtual systems and other capabilities that fit into broader solution packages.
Collins Aerospace has already built two flight simulators for Canada's CH-148 helicopter programme and participated in projects with Bluedrop Learning Systems and CAE. Collins is also working with the Canadian government and prime contractors on the Future Fighter Capability Project bidding process to provide local support options no matter who emerges as the final winner.
The company's biggest hopes may be in targeted opportunities.
For example, it took advantage of increased interest in the days leading up to CANSEC to demonstrate its Coalescence mixed reality technology (pictured) to Canadian Department of National Defence personnel. The system, which merges real-world views and synthetic environments, is currently being tested in Orlando with an initial client. The technology could eventually have applications in land, sea and air training environments.
Collins Aerospace also demonstrated the advanced connectivity, situational awareness and decision-making capabilities in its Pro Line Fusion avionics system, as well as with Wideband HF and navigation solutions.