Meggitt PLC has won a $39.8 million contract from the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), USA to replace fuel cells in the legacy Hornet (F/A-18 C/D models).
The three-year production contract, which ends in late 2018, sees first deliveries from Meggitt's polymers and composites facility in Rockmart, Georgia, 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. The fuel cells are maintenance-free, with inner liners that does not dry out and degrade when empty for extended periods. Moreover, these fuel cells have the flexibility to withstand the rigours 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.
Chief Executive Stephen Young said, "Meggitt is synonymous with flexible crashworthy and ballistically-resistant fuel cell technology in this market. However, a critical success factor in winning this award was our Rockmart facility's outstanding quality standards and superior delivery performance."
F/A-18 Hornet is a twin-engine supersonic, all-weather carrier-capable multirole combat jet, designed as both a fighter and attack aircraft (F/A designation for Fighter/Attack).