We interviewed Bernd Ewers, Vice President Southern Europe, Customer and Account Management at Collins Aerospace. Expecting Spain to play a more important role in the European aerospace and defense market, Ewers explains the company’s commitment to the national market.
What areas does Collins Aerospace currently operate?
Collins Aerospace, part of Raytheon Technologies Corp., is a leader in technologically advanced and intelligent solutions for the global aerospace and defense industries. Are we filling key positions today? From avionics to landing gear, from gondolas to cabin seats, from fuel systems to connectivity and much more? In almost all aircraft we have extensive content on various UAVs, satellites as well as land and sea vehicles.
From a business perspective, we are one of the world’s largest providers of aerospace systems, avionics, interior systems and information management services for commercial aircraft, business aircraft and civil helicopters. We also offer integrated and intelligent solutions for passenger handling and facilitation, airport operations and baggage handling. Our solutions offer more safety and comfort for passengers, optimized operational efficiency, safe and reliable connectivity as well as better availability, maintainability and sustainability.
?? We are one of the world’s largest providers of aerospace systems, avionics, interior and information management services for commercial aircraft, business aircraft and civil helicopters. ??
From a defense policy perspective, we offer a wide range of progressive and battle-tested solutions. in the air, on land or on water, on manned and unmanned platforms alike? in the service of the fighters of today and tomorrow. Our intelligent military and defense solutions help our customers carry out their tasks in a safe, efficient and effective manner.
Collins employs more than 68,000 people in nearly 300 locations worldwide and has annual sales of around $ 26 billion (2019 data). In Europe, Collins Aerospace represents a collection of historic European aerospace and defense companies that have been an integral part of Europe’s industrial base for more than a century.
Our portfolio of products and services includes aircraft structures, mechanical systems, interiors, avionics, mission systems, as well as power and control systems and customer service. Collins Aerospace in Europe employs more than 13,100 people in the region at 88 locations in 15 countries. Europe accounts for 17 percent of Collins Aerospace’s total sales.
What is your current presence in Spain and what portfolio of products and services do you offer from this country?
Collins Aerospace currently has only a minimal presence in Barcelona and Getafe and employs a few dozen people through a subsidiary of our company Oxygen Systems. This subsidiary produces and supports the Eurofighter Oxygen LRIs and supports the final assembly lines of the A400M and C295 in Seville. Our Spanish site in Getafe has the potential to further develop autonomous support capacity for all Collins Aerospace Oxygen products in Europe, thereby investing in the development and R&D capacity of future products and systems.
What are your goals for the next few years in Spain?
Regardless of the above oxygen activities, Collins is considering building more capacity in Spain related to commercial aerospace and defense systems. Collins has a particular interest in working with Spanish industry and academia to share innovations and develop differentiated and revolutionary technologies as part of the upcoming European defense programs.
Spain will play a bigger role in the European aerospace and defense market and we believe Collins can help build capabilities in Spain. For example, at our subsidiaries in France or Germany, their respective governments entrust them with the protection of intellectual property, technology, manufactured products and support services developed locally in the most sensitive government programs. For example, Collins develops and manufactures the electromechanical actuation system for the French M51 rocket in France.
“Spain will play a more prominent role in the European aerospace and defense market and Collins can help build capacity in Spain.”
What programs is your company interested in?
FCAS (Future Combat Air System), in which the Spanish industry officially participates, is one of our core competencies at Collins Aerospace and represents one of Europe’s multinational priorities intended to dominate the multi-domain battlefield. Together with France and Germany, Spain is now leading the way in defining the next generation of combat air systems. We’re ready to help target and deliver features that deliver advanced integrated solutions and exceptional performance.
Other programs that we are actively participating in together with Spain are NATO’s AFSC (Alliance Future Surveillance and Control) program. Collins is involved in helping NATO define the future architecture.
In the near future, coalition missions and battlefields will be more closely linked than ever. You need to monitor multiple levels of security and protect each country involved in the mission in order to share information while maintaining its sovereignty.
Spanish industry is involved in many revolutionary technological developments such as Galileo’s PRS (Regulated Public Service) receivers, new tactical WFs or tactical data links for MUM-T communication (manned / unmanned) being the key elements of these futures systems become. With significant investments in these areas around the world, including Europe, Collins Aerospace can help develop these capabilities, primarily through our open architecture concepts that provide interoperability between nations and operational areas while dramatically improving mission efficiency.
Did you offer your skills to the Spanish armed forces? And also potential industrial partners?
Collins represents one of the largest European defense technology companies and already works with the Spanish armed forces directly or through our trusted partners such as Europavia. For example, we work with the armed forces in the field of tactical data connections.
We also work directly with the Spanish industry, namely Airbus or Indra, to provide systems and equipment on military platforms such as the C235 / 295, the A400M and the Eurofighter. We were selected for the C295, which will be the first fixed-wing search and rescue platform equipped with our Pro Line Fusion avionics. This flight deck implementation is a great example of how Collins Aerospace can apply the latest commercial avionics technology and incorporate it into military functions and capabilities to create the perfect fit for our customers. We also offer simulation and training solutions for commercial and military applications to Spanish customers.
Will the C295 be the first fixed-wing search and rescue platform to feature our Pro Line Fusion avionics?
International programs like FCAS require transnational industrial cooperation. What does Collins Aerospace offer in this regard?
With its strong presence in Europe and particularly in France and Germany, Collins Aerospace is already represented in two of the three FCAS states that already enable transnational industrial cooperation. That is why we are trying to strengthen and develop new associations in Spain as well.
For example, Collins is a key player in the NH90 and A400M programs as it provides various communication and navigation products, as well as mechanical systems such as hook and winch systems and flight control actuation systems for operational aircraft. (José Mª Navarro García)
Photo: Bernd Ewers, Vice President Southern Europe, Account and Customer Management, Collins Aerospace (Collins Aerospace)
Pro Line Fusion Avionics on the C295 (Collins Aerospace)
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