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Textron Relaunches Consolidated Simulations Group

Apr. 1, 2014 - 08:45PM   |  
A full-flight simulator called Odyssey 10 is made by OPINICUS, one of two companies acquired by Textron for its new consolidated simulations group. (OPINICUS)
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WASHINGTON — Following its late 2013 acquisitions of two simulations companies, Textron announced Tuesday that it was relaunching its consolidated simulations group under the banner TRU Simulation + Training Inc.

The group, which includes parts of Textron’s prior business that was part of AAI, represents revenue of about $100 million and will be evenly split between military and civil, as well as domestic and international customers.

Because each of the three businesses brought slightly different components to the new group, the current plan is to grow each location with no intent to consolidate, the relaunched groups CEO, James Takats, said.

“We see all of the businesses as growing,” he said during a call with reporters, noting that the company will be hiring at all of its locations.

Textron isn’t the only company to look at the training and simulation market as a rare growth field, making the field increasingly crowded as firms try to take market share from industry leader CAE.

“Obviously, military spending is going down, and so you’ve seen probably in the last two acquisitions by Lockheed Martin and L-3 in a similar space, so there’s obviously a trend to move into the civil market by the big US contractors,” Takats said.

“We all know the aircraft sales that are out there. There’s quite a large backlog, the forecasts we’ve seen from Boeing and Airbus obviously weigh heavily on decisions like this, as well as the pending pilot shortage due to various reasons.”

Takats, who was a founder of one of the two acquired companies, OPINICUS Corp., said that training had become a more competitive market but that customers are now looking for more than just flight simulators.

“The simulator market is becoming somewhat of a commodity market,” he said. “What we believe is that our customers are no longer looking in general for the simulator. Customers, especially the emerging markets, are looking for a solution, and they’re looking for a supplier that’s flexible, innovative.”

The simulations group had been using the name Textron Simulation & Training Systems prior to Tuesday. ■


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