Rockwell Collins to manufacture F-35 optical assemblies in Australia
Rockwell Collins has entered into a long-term agreement with Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) to expand manufacturing of the optical assemblies for the Electro-Optical Distributed Aperture System (DAS) on the Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) F-35 aircraft. Rockwell Collins is qualifying its facility in Melbourne, Australia, to produce these assemblies. This is in addition to manufacturing that is already occurring at the company’s facility in Carlsbad, Calif.
“With the support and investment of the Commonwealth of Australia, we’re proud to be on the path to be manufacturing 40 percent of this vital assembly in Australia,” said Nick Gibbs, managing director of Australia, for Rockwell Collins. “Our employees are very excited to be part of the F-35 supply chain with our new state-of-the-art precision optics manufacturing capability.”
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The establishment of this capability is a significant achievement for Rockwell Collins in Australia and Australian industry. The contracted activity represents a challenging manufacturing task in support of the F-35 program and positions the company's Melbourne facility for future electro-optical production and sustainment programs.
The DAS is a multifunction infrared system that provides passive, spherical battlespace awareness for F-35 pilots by simultaneously detecting and tracking aircraft and missiles in every direction, as well as providing visual imagery for day/night navigation and targeting purposes. DAS imagery projected onto the pilot's helmet-mounted display provides the capability to look at targets and terrain through the floor and wings of the aircraft. The DAS works in conjunction with the Northrop Grumman AN/APG-81 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and other onboard systems to give pilots an unprecedented degree of situational awareness.
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Source : Rockwell Collins