UK-based Meggitt has won a sole-source contract from the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA, Philadelphia, PA, US) to replace fuel cells in the legacy Hornet (F/A-18 C/D models) worth up to $40 million.
The three-year production contract, which ends in late 2018, sees first deliveries from Meggitt's polymers and composites facility in Rockmart in the last quarter of this year. Demand arises from the US Navy and foreign military sales in Spain, Finland and Switzerland.
Meggitt's long-life, lightweight fuel cell technology is based on polyurethane. Maintenance-free, with inner liners that do not dry out and degrade when empty for extended periods, these fuel cells have the flexibility to withstand the rigors of military operations.
Meggitt's ballistically-resistant fuel cells have self-sealing properties in which bullets are absorbed into a rubber gel, suppressing ignition sources and stopping fuel leaks. The Hornet product is a part long-life, lightweight cell and part ballistically-resistant structure.
"Meggitt is synonymous with flexible crashworthy and ballistically-resistant fuel cell technology in this market,” said Stephen Young, CEO. “However, a critical success factor in winning this award was our Rockmart facility's outstanding quality standards and superior delivery performance."
Meggitt recently announced that it will buy the advanced composites businesses of Cobham for $200 million.
Editor PickGardner Business Index at 54.1 in January
The US composites industry looks as strong as it has since early 2015, with expectations the highest in years.