UTC Aerospace Systems has contracted US-based company Materion for the delivery of its AlBeMet metal matrix composite parts for the MS-177 sensor system.
Materion’s AlBeMet is an aluminium beryllium composite that combines beryllium’s high modulus and low-density characteristics with aluminium’s fabrication and mechanical property behaviours.
AlBeMet’s stiffness-to-weight ratio makes it suitable for use in optical, structural and electronic housing components in aircraft, satellite and commercial applications.
Materion Performance Alloys and Composites president W Glenn Maxwell said: “We work to stay ahead of advancing technologies and we’re proud of our work with UTC Aerospace Systems, which allows us to develop cost-effective advanced material components used on this cutting-edge sensor technology for the US military.
“Our advanced materials solutions enable our customers to maximise performance on high-end imaging systems.”
UTC Aerospace’s long-range, multi-spectral imaging (MSI) sensor is currently being tested for integration and qualification for Northrop Grumman’s RQ-4B Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system (UAS).
MS-177 provides the US military with long-range capabilities that offer greater clarity than the previous technologies.
The RQ-4B Global Hawk UAS has been designed to obtain high-resolution images of large areas of land and sea, day or night.
AlBeMet is currently being used in the US military’s F-35 Lightning II, F-16, and the Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopters, in addition to other military aircraft.