ST. LOUIS, 21 Oct. 2005. LaBarge, Inc. has received a $1.2 million contract from Bell Helicopter to produce electronic subassemblies for the de-icing system of the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor military aircraft. LaBarge anticipates follow-on orders.
The V-22 combines the speed and range of a fixed wing aircraft with the vertical flight performance of a helicopter. Capable of vertical and short take-offs and landings, the V-22 is a tiltrotor -- an aircraft with prop-rotors at the end of each wing that can be oriented vertically for vertical takeoffs and landings, horizontally for forward flight, and positions in between.
The Osprey meets the joint mission requirements of the U.S. Marines, Navy, and Air Force Special Operations Command. In July 2005, the V-22 passed successfully the Operational Evaluation Phase conducted by the Marines. The V- 22 received approval for full rate production in September.
LaBarge will manufacture the central de-ice distributor and the blade de-ice distributor, both of which provide de-icing controls and lightning protection for the V-22. LaBarge expects to begin work on this contract at its Huntsville, Ark., facility in November 2005, and continue through April 2007.
"As we head toward full-rate production next year, we are pleased to play an expanded role in providing Bell with electronics manufacturing services that suit LaBarge's niche so perfectly," said Craig LaBarge, the company's CEO and president.
Bell Helicopter Textron Inc., a subsidiary of Textron Inc., is a producer of commercial and military helicopters and the pioneer of the revolutionary tilt rotor aircraft. Bell's global workforce of over 8,000 employees serves customers flying Bell aircraft in over 120 countries. LaBarge, Inc. is a broad-based provider of electronics to technology-driven companies in diverse markets. The company provides its customers with sophisticated electronic products through contract design and manufacturing services. Headquartered in St. Louis, LaBarge has operations in Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Texas. For more information, see www.labarge.com.