Collins Aerospace and the Royal Netherlands Air Force launch Europe’s first F-35 Pilot Readiness Center

  • Center to provide in-region F-35 pilot helmet fitting, calibration and training
  • Establishes field service support to improve pilot and fleet readiness

SOESTERBERG, Netherlands (July 15, 2021) – Collins Aerospace, a Raytheon Technologies business, and the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) have established the world’s first F-35 Pilot Readiness Center outside of the United States. The new Pilot Readiness Center is located at the RNLAF’s Center for Man in Aviation based at Soesterberg, The Netherlands.

The dedicated in-region center provides the RNLAF, and its international customers with the local tools and support to maintain and improve fleet and pilot readiness, including helmet fitting, calibration, centrifuge, flight simulators and altitude chamber training.

“As F-35 fleets continue to grow across the globe, in-region support to assure mission readiness is an absolute necessity”, said Lisa Steffen, vice president and general manager, Avionics Service and Support for Collins Aerospace. “Helmet fitting coupled with extensive training provides a unique opportunity to gain insight into physiological dynamics that will drive innovation and ultimately will bring benefits for the entire F-35 community.”

“The Royal Netherlands Air Force has a long history of providing pilot training excellence for Air Forces around the world. The F-35 Pilot Readiness Center is a natural evolution of our state-of-the-art facilities in the Netherlands, ready to support the 5th generation warfighter for its recurring training, helmet fitting and calibration needs,” said Lieutenant General J.D. Luyt, commander of the RNLAF.

Initial operating capability is expected to start after the summer of 2021 and will begin to immediately support the RNLAF’s ten F-35s that are currently in service in the Netherlands, as well as other international RNLAF partners.

About Collins Aerospace

Collins Aerospace, a unit of Raytheon Technologies Corp., is a leader in technologically advanced and intelligent solutions for the global aerospace and defense industry. Collins Aerospace has the extensive capabilities, comprehensive portfolio and broad expertise to solve customers’ toughest challenges and to meet the demands of a rapidly evolving global market. For more information, visit

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