Dynamic Testing and Integrated Logistics Support
In two Letters of Intent with the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNlAF), Collins Aerospace has significantly expanded existing projects in support of the F-35 and CH-47F programmes, the company announced on 31 May.
Under the first agreement, Collins plans to integrate its F-35 simulator helmet into TNO’s (the Netherlands organisation for applied scientific research) ultimate motion simulator, DESDEMONA, at the F-35 Pilot Readiness Centre (PRC) in Soesterberg. This simulator’s spatial disorientation programme will help provide insight into physiological dynamics that may further drive helmet innovation, such as better understanding adverse conditions as they occur, to ensure pilots maintain control. This joint initiative will develop a single, integrated training environment to provide new operational benefits to the entire 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 Maj Gen 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.”
Collins has been working with the RNLAF for the past year to develop the world’s first PRC outside the US, delivering on-location helmet fitting and dynamic testing for F-35 pilots. The PRC, located at the RNlAF’s Centre for Man in Aviation, recently achieved initial operating capability.
A second agreement furthers the intention of creating a service centre at the Logistics Centre Woensdrecht (LCW) Air Base. The new facility will help provide a robust, agile supply chain for both the F-35 Helmet-Mounted Display and CH-47F avionics components, to support the RNlAF and other regional operators. Work to establish the F-35 and CH-47F avionics depots, and to place local support personnel, is scheduled to begin in early 2026.
“Collins Aerospace and the RNlAF are working toward a common goal of supporting the F-35 helmet and maximising the availability of CH-47F avionics in-region,” explained Lisa Steffen, VP/GM, 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.”