05 October 2003

Smiths increases potential contracts on F-35 Joint Strike Fighter by $500 million

Smiths Groups Interconnect subsidiary has been selected by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics to supply its Times Microwave Broadband Airborne Cable Assemblies for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). The contract is potentially valued in excess of $500M over the life of the programme.

The high performance cable assemblies are designed to handle high-speed data in extreme avionics environments, including wide variations in temperature and pressure. Delivery of the first set is planned for early 2004. Production of the F-35 JSF is scheduled to commence in 2006, continuing to 2026. Additional Smiths contracts on the JSF include combined systems in electronics, actuation, engine components, and aircraft structures.

Einar Lindh, group managing director, Smiths Specialty Engineering, said; This award by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics confirms the solid reputation of Smiths Interconnect as the technology leader in the design and manufacture of ultra high reliability airborne coaxial cable, connector and assembly products. We are delighted to provide value added solutions to Lockheed Martin and the F-35 partners.

Smiths Group chief executive, Keith Butler-Wheelhouse, said:

This important contract highlights the significant contribution which the Smiths Specialty Engineering businesses are making to the growth and success of the Group.

This reinforces Lockheed Martins already strong relationship with Smiths on the F-35 JSF programme, said Tom Burbage, executive vice president and F-35 JSF programme general manager. As the programme progresses, we look forward to working closely with our Smiths team mates to produce the most advanced multi-role fighter in history.

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About the JSF:
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is the single most important new military aircraft to be produced over the next 30 years. The F-35 market consists of 2,593 aircraft for the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, UK Royal Navy and UK Royal Air Force. Up to an additional 3,000 aircraft are expected to be sold for export.