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Collins Aerospace; “We are Committed to Our Customers and Partners in Turkey”

Defence Turkey caught up with Collins Aerospace Vice President - Middle East & Africa, Mr. Talel KAMEL, during IDEX 2019 to get first-hand information on the recently established company and ongoing transition process. We also took the opportunity to ask him about their goals and expectations for the Turkish market

Defence Turkey: How would you best describe Collins Aerospace, a unit of United Technologies Corp. Could you please provide some key facts about the company for our readers? 

Talel KAMEL: Collins Aerospace, a unit of United Technologies Corporation (UTC), is a leader in technologically advanced and intelligent solutions for the global aerospace and defence industry. Created in 2018 by bringing together UTC Aerospace Systems and Rockwell Collins, Collins Aerospace has the capabilities, comprehensive portfolio and expertise to solve our customers’ toughest challenges and to meet the demands of a rapidly evolving global market.

By building on the strengths and talents of UTC Aerospace Systems and Rockwell Collins, we have the ambition at Collins Aerospace to redefine aerospace and particularly what is possible in the areas of intelligent aircraft, integrated and optimized aircraft products and services, and advanced defence systems.

Defence Turkey: Can you elaborate on the core capabilities of Collins Aerospace, locally and around the world?

Talel KAMEL: With a team of 70,000 highly skilled and talented employees, including an engineering workforce of more than 16,000, Collins Aerospace has a strong global presence, with operations at 300 sites worldwide. Turkey is a key market for Collins Aerospace, and we are well positioned to deliver the solutions that our civil and military customers need. Our military solutions have been used by coalition forces in the region for years. Our offerings include secure communications, avionics, ejection seats, sensors to name a few. With ARINC, we are a leading provider of airport systems and critical infrastructure protection in the region. And on the commercial side, we were very successful in developing strong partnerships with airlines and operators.

Our organizational structure reflects our desire to ensure our customers have the broadest portfolio of solutions and systems at their disposal. Our six newly-defined strategic business units are centered on product capabilities to better serve our customers. They include: Avionics, Aerostructures, Power & Controls, Interiors, Mechanical Systems and Mission Systems.

Defence Turkey: Could you give us an overview of 2018 from Collins Aerospace’s point of view and could you elaborate on your targets for 2019?

Talel KAMEL: Collins Aerospace’s ambition is to redefine aerospace and it’s more than a bold statement. As global competition in the aerospace industry is growing in intensity, at Collins we want to lead the way in delivering on our customer expectations for speed, agility and value. Our combined strengths will provide the ability to deliver disruptive innovations thanks to strong resources invested in research and development. 

Defence Turkey: Could you elaborate on the targets of your company in the defence & aerospace sector and how do you envision the company ten years from now in the sector? What does the future hold for Collins Aerospace?

Talel KAMEL: Collins Aerospace wants to deliver the industry’s most advanced products and services portfolio. We enable high-integrity solutions across commercial, business, and defence spheres. Consider the future of intelligent aviation and defence ecosystem. Few companies touch more components of this ecosystem—or have more opportunities to create intelligent, interconnected systems that design-in performance and design-out cost—than Collins Aerospace. For example, a new aviation data-driven business model will soon enable airlines to access their data that’s delivered over our high-assurance global networks. For the first time, our customers will be able to easily manipulate this data for operational and market advantage. And whether it is airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; blended live and virtual training; or a ground-air network tailorable to mission needs, Collins Aerospace is committed to delivering strategic advantage in the battlespace of the future.

DEFENCE TURKEY: How much time, effort and money does Collins Aerospace set aside on R&D annually?

Talel KAMEL: Collins Aerospace invests US$2.5 Billion in R&D every year, which demonstrates our commitment to  innovation. 

Defence Turkey: What are the major programs, both domestic and international, that Collins Aerospace is currently involved in?

Talel KAMEL: On both the domestic and international sides we are involved in all major commercial and defence programs. We have a large portfolio of products and services to support our customers. Our ability to drive aerospace technical innovation, provide world class aftermarket support and maintain a relationship with our mutual airline customers that makes us a valuable partner to OEMs, and we’ll continue to make those big, bold investments, that will ensure we continue to be the aerospace provider of choice. 

Defence Turkey: Let us focus on Turkey. When did Collins Aerospace first start looking at Turkey? Both UTC (such as SEEK EAGLE/DB-110 recce pods) and Rockwell Collins (such as MFDs and CDUs manufactured by Aselsan under license, communications and electronic equipment and technical services for the TAF, image generation and new liquid crystal on silicon projection systems and MiQ seating platform for the THY airplanes) have been working closely with their Turkish military and commercial customers and partners to help Turkey, one of the world’s most promising high growth countries. How would you summarize Collins Aerospace’s involvement in Turkey over the last two decades?   

Talel KAMEL: Collins Aerospace has been involved in multiple endeavors supplying content on both military and commercial platforms and developing indigenous/local manufacturing capabilities. Collins Aerospace will continue to build upon existing partnerships.

Defence Turkey: How does Collins Aerospace approach the Turkish Armed Forces’ (TAF) ongoing defence and space related modernization programs such as the Turkish Air Force’s National Combat Fighter Aircraft (TF-X) and the Future Jet Trainer [T-X HurJet]? 

Talel KAMEL: Collins Aerospace’s expansive portfolio is uniquely positioned to provide the TAF with a suite of complimentary products and solutions. Collins defence ecosystems and connectivity are defining the battle space. 

Defence Turkey: Could you elaborate on the existing capabilities and performance of Turkish defence and aerospace companies?

Talel KAMEL: We are committed to the region in the long-term, and specifically to Turkey.  Our strategy is to continue to invest locally, helping to build a regional defence & aerospace industry, in line with the regional policies, develop new partnerships and train local talent to strengthen our presence.

Our objective is to continue to serve our customers in Turkey with the highest standards of operational excellence and help them in their future growth with the most innovative and trusted solutions and services. 

Defence Turkey: How can Collins Aerospace’s technologies can help Turkey achieve its defence and aerospace related aspirations?

Talel KAMEL: Expanding local capabilities of Collins Aerospace innovative technologies, and advanced solutions will have a positive impact on the defence and aerospace industry.  

Defence Turkey: Can you elaborate on the other military and commercial programs that Collins Aerospace would like to pursue in Turkey and cooperate on with local industry? What is the extent of your collaborations in Turkey?

Talel KAMEL: TF-X and HurJet are two strategic programs that Collins Aerospace is currently pursuing. Through increasing our existing presence and focusing on indigenous content and solutions. We are committed to growing and collaborating with local industry leaders in Turkey.

Defence Turkey: Around two decades ago a manufacturing licensing agreement was signed between Rockwell Collins and Aselsan for the local production of MFDs (such as MFD-268E3 and C5) and CDUs (such as CDU-900) for both helicopters  (such as Black Hawk, Sea Hawk and Cougar) and aircraft (such as CN235 and C-130) in TAF service. Rockwell Collins’ avionic and communication systems were also used under the HeliMod-II Program. Meanwhile during the Eurasia Airshow on April 25, 2018 UTC Aerospace Systems signed a wide memorandum of understanding with Alp Aviation to cooperate to begin phased production of components within UTC Aerospace Systems’ Kidde Dual Spectrum Automatic Fire/Explosion Suppression (AFES) Systems for military ground vehicles at Alp Aviation’s facilities in Eskisehir, Turkey. Can you elaborate on the current status of collaboration between Collins Aerospace and Turkish companies such as Aselsan and Alp Aviation? Do you have any plan to explore further opportunities to expand the extent of cooperation between Collins Aerospace and Turkish companies and to sign further cooperation agreements with other Turkish companies in the near future?

Talel KAMEL: Partnering for success through complimentary collaborations will enable Collins Aerospace and local partners to expand the existing reach. We will continue to explore and identify various avenues to collaborate.

Defence Turkey: Would you like to add anything in the way of a message to our readers? 

Talel KAMEL: Collins Aerospace is committed to our customers and partners in Turkey. We are redefining aerospace with an unwavering commitment to provide disruptive technologies to address the increasing demands of the future