Smiths Is Part Of Big Navy Contract

    GRAND RAPIDS — The U.S. Navy awarded a Boeing-led team that includes Smiths Aerospace a $3.89 billion contract recently to build multi-mission maritime aircraft.

    The Navy plans to purchase up to 108 Boeing 737 MMAs to replace its aging fleet of 223 P-3 aircraft, so the total program value is estimated at about $20 billion over the 10-year production run.

    In addition to Smiths Aerospace, the team headed by Boeing includes CFM International, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon.

    Smiths’ role is to tailor and supply both the flight management and stores management systems for the MMAs.

    The stores management system is an electronically controlled weapons management system that’s designed with standards to accommodate current and future precision weapons, according to company spokeswoman Jennifer Villarreal.

    Villarreal said Smiths will earn in excess of $120 million on the contract.

    The first of the systems will be delivered in 2009 and the first production aircraft will be released in 2012, she said.

    Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems (IDS), said the 737 MMA will play a critical role in the future of maritime warfare by providing the U.S. Navy with dominance in anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, as well as reconnaissance and surveillance missions.

    “As soon as the first 737 MMA aircraft are delivered to the Navy, our nation’s naval forces will have a dramatic increase in capability and reliability to take them well into the 21st century,” he said.    

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