Boeing has selected Smiths Aerospace to supply the hose and drogue refuelling system for the B767 Global Tanker Transport Aircraft (GTTA).
The GTTA is reportedly competing for a global market of over 500 tanker aircraft to be built over the next 30 years. This selection is said to provide the opportunity for Smiths Aerospace to generate well over $1 billion in sales of refuelling hardware and associated in-service support.
Development of the systems will commence immediately with initial deliveries on aircraft scheduled for delivery to Italy and Japan from 2005. Boeing is currently in negotiations with the United States Air Force for the lease of 100 aircraft and is part of a consortium bidding to provide the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft for the UK Ministry of Defence.
The technology for the hose unit, the major part of the refuelling system, has been acquired through the agreement for Smiths to purchase Able Corporation. Smiths has agreed a price of $17.5m in cash for Able plus up to $10m deferred over 5 years.
In addition to its microprocessor-based refuelling hose systems, Able makes pumps, electric motors and fluid control products for aircraft and military land vehicles.