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Ultra Electronics (ULE)

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Monday 28 July, 2008

Ultra Electronics

Contract Win

RNS Number : 9486Z
Ultra Electronics Holdings PLC
28 July 2008

Embargoed until 0700

28 July, 2008

Ultra Electronics Holdings plc

('Ultra' or 'the Group')

Ultra Wins Lift Fan Ice Protection Equipment Contract for Joint Strike Fighter

Ultra announces that its Controls business, based in Greenford and Cambridge in the UK, has been awarded a further contract by Pratt & WhitneyUS, to develop key elements of the Lift Fan Ice Protection System (LFIPS) for the vertical lift fan fitted to the STOVL versions of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). The contract also covers a further development of the F-135 Engine Ice Protection System (EIPS) controller announced in 2006. The contract is valued at about $21million. 

Ultra will undertake the complete development of the LFIPS electronic controller, which will provide electro-thermal ice protection to the JSF lift fan. It is anticipated that this development contract will lead to further contracts that will cover the production phases of the programme.  

The lift fan is a mechanically driven fan located just behind the aircraft cockpit which, in combination with the main engine, delivers vertical thrust for the Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant of the JSF. Around 30% of the JSF production volumes are expected to be the STOVL variant with the remainder being Conventional Take-Off and Landing (CTOL) and Carrier Variant (CV) aircraft. Ultra's EIPS system, however, will be fitted to all JSFs powered by the F-135 engine.

The Pratt & Whitney F-135 engine is the lead propulsion system on the JSF, which will enter service as the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.

Douglas Caster, Chief Executive of Ultra, commented:

'I am very pleased that Pratt & Whitney has awarded Ultra this additional contract, increasing the Group's involvement on the JSF programme. I am sure that the F-35 Lightning II will be a success, not just in the US but also around the world and Ultra will benefit from those sales. This is a further application of Ultra's world-leading ice protection technology that is also being used on Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner aircraft'


- Ends -


Ultra Electronics Holdings plc

020 8813 4321

Douglas Caster, Chief Executive

David Jeffcoat, Group Finance Director

Weber Shandwick Financial

020 7067 0700

Susan Ellis / Louise Robson

Further information about Ultra:

Ultra Electronics is an internationally successful defence and aerospace company with a long, consistent track record of development and growth. Ultra businesses constantly innovate to create solutions to customer requirements that are different from and better than those of the Group's competitors. The Group has over one hundred distinct market or technology niches within its twenty one businesses. The diversity of niches enables Ultra to contribute to a large number of defence, aerospace and civil platforms and programmes and provides resilience to the Group's financial performance.

Ultra has world-leading positions in many of its niches and, as an independent, non-threatening partner, is able to support all of the main prime contractors with specialist capabilities and solutions. As a result of such positioning, Ultra's systems, equipment or services are often mission-critical to the successful operation of the platform to which they contribute. In turn, this mission-criticality secures Ultra's positions for the long term which underpin the superior financial performance of the Group.

Ultra offers support to its customers through the design, delivery and support phases of a programme. Ultra businesses have a high degree of operational autonomy where the local management teams are empowered to devise and implement competitive strategies that reflect their expertise in their specific niches. The Group has a small head office and executive team that provide to the individual businesses the same agile, responsive support that they provide to customers as well as formulating Ultra's overarching, corporate strategy.

Across the Group's three divisions, the major market sectors in which Ultra operates are:

• battlespace IT, summarised as being the systems and equipment that allows coalition commanders to have an integrated, real-time picture of the disposition of friendly and enemy forces that is better than the one available to the enemy. This information superiority underpins rapid decision making which, together with effective command, control and communications, translates into military superiority. The use of battlespace IT is fundamental to the implementation of the military doctrines of 'network-centric warfare' or 'network-enabled capability' that are seen as transformational in the capability to win future battles. Expenditure on battlespace IT equipment therefore continues to represent an increasing share of the total defence budget in the main markets in which Ultra operates.

• sonar systems, expanding Ultra's traditional world-leading airborne anti-submarine warfare capability into broader activities in the underwater battlespace. These include integrated ship and submarine sonar systems, persistent seabed-deployed sensor arrays, torpedo defence and sea mine disposal systems. The fact that over forty countries have, between them, more than four hundred highly capable, stealthy submarines is continuing to focus expenditure in this sector.

• civil and military aircraft equipment, Ultra provides specialist sub-systems and equipment for military and civil aircraft. The main military aircraft programmes on which Ultra equipment is fitted continue to have political support, underpinned by consistent financial commitment. For civil aircraft, record order intake performance by all major aircraft manufacturers underpins increasing build rates for the medium term.

• specialist defence equipment, including power conversion and signature systems for naval ships and submarines. Ultra's specialist capability in high integrity controls for submarine nuclear reactors is included in this sector, for which there is continuing commitment to new platforms and the upgrade of existing boats. Ultra also supplies advanced sub-systems for modern armoured vehicles including those for electrical power management, indirect vision and weapon control. The need for increased mobility and force protection is driving a number of large military vehicle procurements in Ultra's main markets.

• specialist civil systems and equipment, including Ultra's advanced airport IT solutions. Airline passenger growth around the world is driving continuing expansion and upgrade of airport infrastructure. Ultra supplies trackside power equipment for rail transit systems, for which demand continues driven by the need to expand and upgrade rail networks. The UK market for nuclear power generation is expanding and Ultra's offering derived from its equivalent military capability is well positioned to benefit.

This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange