December 4, 2022

Collins Aerospace expanding F-35 and CH-47F support for the Royal Netherlands Air Force

  • Collins is the OEM for key components of F-35 helmets
  • Collaborating with the Royal Netherlands Air Force and the Netherlands Organization for applied scientific research (TNO) on dynamic testing environments for F-35 pilots
  • Creating in-region F-35 helmet and CH-47F avionics service center

Soesterberg, The Netherlands, Collins Aerospace signed two new Letters of Intent (LOI) with the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) building upon existing projects in support of their F-35 and CH-47F programs.

As part of the first LOI, Collins plans to integrate its F-35 simulator helmet into TNO’s ultimate motion simulator, DESDEMONA, at the RNLAF’s F-35 Pilot Readiness Center (PRC) in Soesterberg, The Netherlands. This simulator’s spatial disorientation program will help provide insight into physiological dynamics that may further drive helmet innovation, like better understanding adverse conditions as they occur to ensure pilots maintain control of their aircraft. This joint initiative will develop a single, integrated training environment to provide new operational benefits to the F-35 community.

“Offering F-35 pilot dynamic training and testing in the human centrifuge, as well as the DESDEMONA simulator, will be a high-end capability within our PRC F-35 concept,” said Major General Elanor Boekholt-O’Sullivan, Deputy Commander of the RNLAF. “Together with our partners, we are supporting the 5th generation of dynamic testing, training and helmet fitting, while driving continued innovation.”

“Offering F-35 pilot dynamic training and testing in the human centrifuge, as well as the DESDEMONA simulator, will be a high-end capability within our PRC F-35 concept. Together with our partners, we are supporting the 5th generation of dynamic testing, training and helmet fitting, while driving continued innovation”

-Major General Elanor Boekholt-O’Sullivan, Deputy Commander of the RNLAF

Collins has been working with the RNLAF for the past year to develop the world’s first PRC outside of the United States delivering on-location helmet fitting and dynamic testing for F-35 pilots. The PRC, located at the RNLAF’s Center for Man in Aviation, recently achieved Initial Operating Capability.

Collins signed another LOI together with the RNLAF with the intention of creating a service center at the Logistics Center Woensdrecht (LCW) Air Base. The new center will help provide a robust and agile supply chain for both the F-35 Helmet-Mounted Display and CH-47F avionics components to support the RNLAF and other operators in the region. Work to establish the F-35 and CH-47F avionics depots, and to place local support personnel, is slated to begin in early 2026.

“Collins Aerospace and the RNLAF are working toward a common goal of supporting the F-35 helmet and maximizing the availability of CH-47F avionics in-region,” said Lisa Steffen, vice president and general manager, Avionics Service and Support for Collins Aerospace.

“We’re currently providing Performance Based Logistics (PBL) avionics support to the Air Force’s CH-47F fleet at the Gilze-Rijen Air Base, and we look forward to now bringing depot repair capability for the F-35 and CH-47F platforms at LCW – both of which will provide seamless support to the armed forces.”

“Collins Aerospace and the RNLAF are working toward a common goal of supporting the F-35 helmet and maximizing the availability of CH-47F avionics in-region. We’re currently providing Performance Based Logistics (PBL) avionics support to the Air Force’s CH-47F fleet at the Gilze-Rijen Air Base, and we look forward to now bringing depot repair capability for the F-35 and CH-47F platforms at LCW – both of which will provide seamless support to the armed forces”

-Lisa Steffen, vice president and general manager, Avionics Service and Support for Collins Aerospace

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