Lockheed Martin has awarded a contract to LightWorks Optical Systems for production of specialised infrared focus assemblies (IFAs) that are integral to the F-15 Eagle fighter aircraft’s infrared search and track (IRSTTM) system.
Valued at more than $15m, the contract represents the company’s second order for IFA production, and also includes an option for the supply of up to 80 additional optical assemblies through 2013.
Combined with a series of other related contract awards, the new order takes the total value of the company’s commitments associated with US foreign military sales (FMS) contracts to more than $42m.
LightWorks Optical System general manger Andrew Riser said the company has added new skilled workforce to accommodate the aggressive production schedule, and is also planning new additions over the next two years.
”Especially gratifying is our collaboration with Lockheed Martin to re-qualify an improved ultra-durable coating for the domes that will extend the life-cycle of the IRST optics,” Riser said.
LightWorks is manufacturing optics for the F-15 IRST IFA and external window, or dome assembly, since 2002.
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Lockheed IRST is a long range sensor system, designed to help pilots and aircrew in passive detection and tracking of airborne enemy targets that emit IR radiation, including jet aircraft and helicopters in advanced electronic attack and heavy radio frequency/IR countermeasure environments.
Capable of mounting on multiple locations on the aircraft, the system can also be used as an alternative to radar-based search-and-track applications, when external radar is being used to vector them onto a target.
Deliveries have already commenced and are anticipated to continue until early 2017.
Powered by two Pratt & Whitney F100 engines, the F-15 Eagle is an all-weather tactical fighter aircraft designed to obtain and maintain air superiority during aerial combat missions.
Image: The infrared focus assemblies are integral to the F-15 Eagle’s infrared search and track system. Photo: courtesy of USAF Staff Sgt. Samuel Rogers.