Collins Aerospace has delivered the 1,000th electro-optical distributed aperture systems (EO DAS) for the multi-national Joint Strike Fighter program from its Australia-based operation.
Formerly called Rockwell Collins, Collins Aerospace is now a part of Raytheon Technologies after the merger of Raytheon and Rockwell Collins’ parent company, United Technologies Corporation (UTC) in April 2020.
Collins Aerospace’s Australian operation was one of two source supplier of EO DAS systems to previous contractor, Northrop Grumman and, as a part of Raytheon, will likely continue that arrangement as Raytheon will take over production of EO DAS from 2022.
The EO DAS is a system of seven electro-optical and infra-red (EO/IR) sensors on the F-35’s nose, lower and upper fuselage that provides passive situational awareness of potential targets or threats on the ground or in the air, and presents it as part of a ‘god’s eye view’ of the battlespace on the aircraft’s large screen cockpit display, and on the pilot’s helmet display.
“The EO DAS optical assembly is critical to detecting threats, by warning the pilot of incoming aircraft and missile threats and providing day/night vision and fire control capability,” Defence Minister Senator Linda Reynolds said in a statement. “It collects real-time, high-resolution imagery from six infra-red cameras mounted around the F-35 and sends it to the pilot’s helmet-mounted display.”
With the aid of a nearly $1 million grant from the New Air Combat Capability – Industry Support Program, Collins Aerospace has also opened a new facility in Lane Cover in Sydney to perform maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade (MRO&U), and component manufacturing for the F-35 flight simulators’ ProSim projectors.