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To better support key Army Aviation priorities and provide a venue for company-wide and industry collaboration, Collins Aerospace (a unit of Raytheon Technologies) announced the opening of a new Customer Experience Center in Huntsville, Alabama. With its proximity to Redstone Arsenal, the new facility will allow Collins to work closely with the service and industry partners on critical Army Aviation initiatives, including Future Vertical Lift and enduring fleet modernization, while providing configurability to evolve with the Army’s needs. The center will also act as a testbed and demonstration area for emerging technology, supporting the Army’s “Fly Before You Buy” procurement strategy.
“Our Customer Experience Center in Huntsville is the first of its kind for Collins—established with the express purpose of delivering integrated, innovative solutions to Army Aviation for its most important programs,” said Dave Nieuwsma, president, Avionics for Collins Aerospace. “Collaboration will be the facility’s central focus. Collaboration with the Army, collaboration with industry, collaboration across Collins and collaboration with our sister Raytheon businesses in Huntsville.”
Demonstrating Transformational Technology
To address Army Aviation’s future needs, it is imperative to combine the best-of-the-best technologies from across the industry as well as within the wide Collins portfolio. Collins’ six strategic business units are working together to develop integrated offerings that incorporate the best technology of multiple product lines. For example, Collins’ Mission Systems and Interiors businesses have jointly designed an integrated antenna and light system. By combining a high-performance communications antenna with state-of-the-art exterior lighting in a single offering, the system eliminates exterior components while reducing weight and drag—a key priority for Future Vertical Lift. The Customer Experience Center will serve as a hub for this kind of Collins-wide cooperation and a venue to engage with industry partners to demonstrate collaborative opportunities to support the Army.
“By working across our broad portfolio of tip to tail technologies, we are uniquely positioned to create cutting-edge, integrated solutions for the Army,” said Phil Jasper, president, Mission Systems for Collins Aerospace. “This kind of innovation is increasingly essential for the service’s Future Vertical Lift program to meet its targets for speed, range and payload capacity, and equally important for its fleet modernization objectives.”
Open Systems Center of Excellence
Collins will use the center to demonstrate modular open system architectures at the aircraft and sub-systems levels, designed to help the Army avoid vendor lock and realize more effective platform sustainment from efficient product upgrades. The Customer Experience Center will showcase a number of the company’s open system solutions including its MOSARC™ avionics architecture, Mission System for Air Launched Effects, FlexLink™ adaptive connectivity and Perigon™ flight control and vehicle management computer.
In addition, the center is equipped with a mock military rotorcraft outfitted with current and emerging Collins products. This vehicle allows visitors to test Collins and non-Collins products in operational scenarios through a simulated flying experience and will ultimately allow industry partners to integrate their products into the platform’s open systems for testing.