Rockwell Collins Buys Simulation Projector Line from Christie

Rockwell Collins has announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of the Matrix series projector product lines from Christie Digital Systems. Rockwell Collins already has a captive projector line called ProSim based upon LCoS technology.

Rockwell Collins logo 235x56The ProSim projectors deliver extraordinary black levels as they are a 4-chip design with dual modulation. But it is an older design with lower resolution than most projectors today. At I/ITSEC, Rockwell Collins noted that they do not have plans to upgrade the ProSim projectors (see No Upgrade in Near Term for ProSim Projector From Rockwell Collins) and maybe this is why.

christie logoRockwell Collins will acquire the Matrix SIM and Matrix StIM product lines from Christie. The projectors will continue to be manufactured by Christie with system engineering, integration and support provided by Rockwell Collins. In addition, Rockwell Collins will provide service and support for Matrix projectors and all future Matrix offerings.

Rockwell Collins will also gain exclusive rights to sell other projection products and associated software tools from Christie in the worldwide simulation and training market segments for military or aviation applications.

The deal means that Christie’s customers for these Matrix projectors will now have to buy them from Rockwell Collins, which could be an issue for a number of programs. But, it does strengthen Rockwell Collins’ hand in the training and simulation market.

The Christie Matrix Series has won plaudits in simulation. For example, its unique capability to deliver true 120Hz RGB operation in simulator visual systems earned Christie a coveted 2014 Innovation Award from Military Training Technology. In February 2011, the Christie Matrix StIM was named a Blue Ribbon award winner for innovation by Military Training Technology, and Christie itself was named one of the publication’s Top Simulation and Training companies for 2010.

Analyst Comment

The training and simulation business is complex with a lot of complex technology, integration and long term support needs. This may be one reason why Christie is making this deal so Rockwell Collins deals with these issues – a business it knows well already.

Barco has also spun off its training and simulation business into a company called Esterline to refocus on its core of making projectors. Does two a trend make? (CC)