• Credit: Rockwell Collins
    Credit: Rockwell Collins

After weeks of speculation, United Technologies Corp. (UTC) has agreed to purchase avionics contractor Rockwell Collins in an estimated $30 billion transaction in a move to establish a new Tier 1 aerospace systems supplier.

Greg Hayes, UTC chairman and CEO, said the acquisition would add capabilities to UTC’s aerospace businesses and build up its complementary aerospace systems offerings.


Over the past 10 years we have focused on building capability in Australia to support the F-35


Kelly Ortberg, chairman, president and CEO of Rockwell Collins, will serve as CEO of the newly created business unit to be known as Collins Aerospace Systems while Dave Gitlin, president of UTC Aerospace Systems, will take over as president and chief operating officer of the business unit upon the deal’s completion.

Boeing said in an emailed statement it was skeptical the deal “would be in the best interest of – or add value to – our customers and industry”.

“Should we determine that this deal is inconsistent with those interests, we would intend to exercise our contractual rights and pursue the appropriate regulatory options to protect our interests.”

Credit: Rockwell CollinsAn F-35 optical assembly produced by Rockwell Collins in Australia. Credit: Rockwell Collins

ADM approached Rockwell Collins for comment but no reply was received prior to going to press. In addition to the production of optical assemblies (OAs) for the F-35 program, Rockwell Collins in Australia has also been successful in competing for maintenance work on the Australian F-35 and is planning to increase its footprint to include a manufacturing capability for critical test equipment that will be required by Australian and partner countries.

In April the company produced its 100th OA for the F-35 electro-optic distributed aperture system (DAS). 

“Over the past 10 years we have focused on building capability in Australia to support the F-35. The skills and expertise we have built at our company’s operations in Australia have been integral to the local capability we have developed for the Australian Defence Force, such as the Army’s Digital Terminal Control System,” Nick Gibbs managing director for Rockwell Collins in Australia said in April.

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