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DRS Technologies to Produce New Deployable Flight Recorders for U.S. Air Force.

Business Editors


Recorders Are Designed To Meet Certification For Commercial Aircraft;

Systems Speed Search And Rescue Of Downed Aircraft

DRS Technologies, Inc. (ASE:DRS), the world leader in deployable flight incident recorders for international military and civil search/rescue aircraft, announced today that it has received a contract to provide next-generation Deployable Flight Incident Recorder Sets (DFIRS) and ground support equipment for certain U.S. Air Force electronic surveillance aircraft. The new recorders are designed to meet civil certification criteria for commercial aircraft.

The aircraft, built by The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), is a military version of the Boeing 707 airliner. DRS received certification in 1998 from the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority for similar deployable emergency avionics systems used on helicopters.

The $1.6 million contract was awarded to DRS by the Aircraft Integration Systems (ATS) segment of Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTNA,RTNB), in Greenville, Texas. Systems for this contract will be produced by the company's DRS Flight Safety and Communications unit in Carleton Place, Ontario, Canada. Product deliveries are expected to begin in October 2000.

Mark S. Newman, chairman, president and chief executive officer of DRS Technologies, commented, "This new contract is an important milestone in the development and growth of our deployable flight recorder product line. In addition to expanding our business base for U.S. Air Force platform applications, the award represents progress toward our goal to qualify for civil certification in the U.S. and, ultimately, to place our technology on commercial airliners. Our DFIRS systems separate from the aircraft at the time of an incident and even float indefinitely on water. They are the most advanced combination of flight data recorder, cockpit voice recorder and emergency locator beacon system available today. Widespread use of these systems could save millions of dollars in recovery efforts, expedite search and rescue missions, and potentially save lives. Following the success of similar systems for helicopter and other fixed-wing applications, DRS is fast becoming recognized as the global flight safety system supplier of choice for both military and civil aviation requirements."

The recovery rate of DRS's deployable systems exceeds 95 percent of reported incidents. The retrieval rate of data in recovered systems has been 100 percent, far exceeding the recovery rate of commercial flight recorders currently in use.

DRS's DFIRS is being installed on the U.S. Navy's F/A-18C/D/E/F Maritime Strike Attack Super Hornet, German Air Force and Navy Tornado aircraft. More than 550 of these systems have been delivered to military forces in the U.S., Kuwait, Finland, Switzerland and Malaysia.

For over 30 years, DRS has delivered more than 4,000 similar deployable emergency avionics systems to international fixed-wing and helicopter platforms, including the U.S. E-4 aircraft of Air Force One, Canada's CP-140 Aurora aircraft and Cormorant Search/Rescue helicopters, the United Kingdom's Royal Navy EH-101 Merlin and Royal Air Force Support helicopters, Italy's MMI helicopters and Tokyo's Metropolitan Police helicopters, among others. DRS's deployable recorder technology is well-suited for use on both military and commercial aircraft, especially those operating frequently over water.

DFIRS consists of an Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) and a Flight Data Recorder (FDR) that incorporates advanced data storage technology in a single, deployable crash-survivable unit for fast recovery of flight data and an increased success rate for search and rescue teams. Conformal mounted to the outer surface of the aircraft, DFIRS is released automatically during an incident and immediately emits a locator beacon for recovery by search and rescue teams. In water, the system floats indefinitely. On land, it escapes the intense destructive forces that occur during a crash by separating from the aircraft at the time of impact. Recovered data provide detailed information of the events during an incident and are utilized for accident investigation, training, aircraft and avionics design and manufacture, and flight safety procedure development.

DRS Technologies provides leading edge products and services to government and commercial customers worldwide. Focused on defense electronics, the company develops and manufactures a broad range of mission critical products, from rugged computers and peripherals to systems and components in the areas of communications, data storage, digital imaging, electro-optics, flight safety and space.

Additional information is available on the company's web site at
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:May 31, 2000
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