Unmanned combat plane will use LaBarge data network

ST. LOUIS, Mo., 25 April 2005. The Boeing Co. has awarded LaBarge, Inc. a contract to provide engineering support and manufacturing services for its Joint Unmanned Combat Air System (J-UCAS) X-45C.

Apr 26th, 2005

ST. LOUIS, Mo., 25 April 2005. The Boeing Co. has awarded LaBarge, Inc. a contract to provide engineering support and manufacturing services for its Joint Unmanned Combat Air System (J-UCAS) X-45C.

The contracted is expected to exceed $1 million. LaBarge will manufacture wiring harnesses that distribute power and data signals throughout the aircraft.

The J-UCAS program is a joint effort between the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Air Force, and Navy to demonstrate the technical feasibility, military usefulness and operational value of a networked system of high performance, weaponized unmanned air vehicles to effectively and affordably address the needs of 21st century combat missions. DARPA is the central research and development agency for the Department of Defense.

The X-45C system, developed by Boeing Air Force Systems, represents a revolutionary new weapon system that is expected to significantly increase the effectiveness and survivability of manned fighter aircraft while lowering the overall cost of combat operations. In a typical combat scenario, ground-based mission planners will preprogram multiple X-45Cs with mission objectives and targeting information. If new objectives or targeting information change during a mission, mission planners can reprogram J-UCAS vehicles with new data while the aircraft are en route.

LaBarge will produce quantities of more than 150 different wiring harnesses for the X-45C at the Company's Joplin, Mo., facility. LaBarge expects to begin production this month and continue through November 2005.

LaBarge previously produced wiring harnesses for the X-45A demonstrator, the first generation J-UCAS, which began an ongoing series of flight tests in May 2002 and recently completed its first simulated combat mission.

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.

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