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DRS Technologies Awarded Contract to Produce Deployable Flight Recorders for U.S. Navy Super Hornets.

Business Editors

PARSIPPANY, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--August 24, 2000

Systems Speed Search And Rescue Of Downed Aircraft;

Technology Can Be Used On Commercial 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 multi-year contract to provide next-generation Deployable Flight Incident Recorder Sets (DFIRS) for the U.S. Navy's F/A-18E/F Maritime Strike Attack Super Hornet aircraft. Recorders using similar technology are being built by DRS under separate contracts for the U.S. Air Force and are designed to meet civil certification criteria for commercial airliners. DRS has already received civil certification from the United Kingdom's Civil Aviation Authority for similar deployable emergency avionics systems used on helicopters.

The contract was awarded to DRS by the Military Aircraft and Missile Systems Group of The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA) in St. Louis, Missouri. 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 mid-year in 2002. The value of the contract was not disclosed.

Mark S. Newman, chairman, president and chief executive officer of DRS Technologies, commented, "DFIRS is the world's most successful deployable flight recorder for fixed-wing aircraft. This new contract reinforces DRS's position as the global leader in this technology and enhances our ability to pursue broader applications for commercial airliners. These unique systems separate from the aircraft at the time of an incident, escaping the devastating effects of a crash on land and float indefinitely in water. These units are the most advanced combination of flight data recorder and emergency locator beacon system available today. Widespread use of these systems could save millions of dollars in recovery efforts and expedite search and rescue missions. 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 and data retrieval rate of commercial flight recorders currently in use.

More than 400 DFIRS fly on U.S. Navy F/A-18 C/D and E/F strike fighter aircraft. More than 150 additional systems have been delivered to military forces in Kuwait, Finland, Switzerland and Malaysia. The U.S. Navy currently plans to procure a minimum of 574 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets through 2010, and additional orders for DFIRS to equip these new aircraft are expected.

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, 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.

DFIRS consists of an emergency locator transmitter and a flight data recorder 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
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 24, 2000
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