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Navy League 2024: Collins Aerospace shows off latest cockpit technology

Collins Aerospace's sixth-generation cockpit demonstrator as seen at the Navy League Sea-Air-Space global maritime exposition in April 2024. (Janes/Jeremiah Cushman)

Collins Aerospace is demonstrating its latest cockpit technology for sixth-generation manned combat aircraft at the Navy League Sea-Air-Space 2024 global maritime exposition in National Harbor, Maryland, held from 8 to 10 April.

The technology demonstrator is conceptual and is being constantly upgraded with feedback from potential users, Tracy Miller, principal sales engineer, Collins Aerospace, told Janes on 8 April. The cockpit technology is intended to be ready for both US Air Force and US Navy sixth-generation aircraft programmes, he said.

The company is trying to understand air force and navy requirements and use what it learns from the demonstrator to potentially guide these requirements, Miller said. Collins Aerospace builds both the hardware and the software shown as well as the ACES 5 ejection seat in the demonstrator.

The system employs the company's Operational Reasoner algorithmic software, which seeks to turn the pilot “into more of a quarterback”, said Jack Jordan, advanced flight autonomy principal systems engineer at Collins Aerospace. Future aerial combat is assessed to have the pilot managing multiple unmanned assets.

The cockpit system provides mission information about each unmanned aircraft, including communication links, weapon status, sensor status, and how much time they have left on station. There is a display on the right side with symbols for the current task for each air vehicle and the time to next task, Jordan said. It is designed to provide the pilot with a quick view so that they can understand the current state of each aircraft.

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