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Rockwell Collins receives additional guidance and navigation systems production order for UK WATCHKEEPER program


CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa . - Rockwell Collins, through its recent acquisition of Athena Technologies, today announced a follow-on production order for Athena 411 integrated inertial navigation, global positioning, and air data attitude heading reference systems (INS/GPS/ADAHRS). UAV Tactical Systems Ltd. (U-TacS), the joint venture between Thales UK and Elbit Systems based at Leicester, U.K., awarded the contract to Rockwell Collins.

The Athena 411 systems will provide guidance and navigation, including dual redundant INS and quad redundant air data, to the WATCHKEEPER UAV, the largest UAV program outside the United States.

The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence (MOD) awarded the WATCHKEEPER contract worth $1.2 billion (£800 million) to a team led by Thales UK in 2005. The MOD will use WATCHKEEPER to provide essential surveillance and reconnaissance to protect British troops during times of war. System flight tests of WATCHKEEPER began this month.

“We are very pleased to continue to provide our Athena guidance and navigation systems to this extremely important, high profile international UAV program,” said Dr. David Vos, senior director of control technologies for Rockwell Collins. “The Athena 411 meets Watchkeeper’s Defence-Standard requirements and provides the highest performance at the best value. Weighing only 2.2 pounds or 1 Kg, it is the lightest, smallest and most affordable COTS GuideStar with tactical grade performance.”

Purchased by Rockwell Collins in April 2008, Athena Technologies has built a reputation as a premier developer and producer of navigation and control systems. Founded in 1998, the company produces the GuideStar family of versatile, compact and cost-effective flight control systems for applications such as commercial aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles.


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