UPDATE on 1 April 2010: Cirrus has withdrawn its 18 March complaint against L-3

Cirrus Design and avionics maker L-3 are locked in multiple legal battles over alleged bankruptcy rumours by one and claims of more than $20 million in unpaid product development fees by the other.

Cirrus on 18 March filed a civil suit in Minnesota claiming that L-3 has been contacting Cirrus suppliers and "inducing them to terminate or alter their business relations with Cirrus and to force Cirrus into involuntary bankruptcy proceedings", the airframer says in the complaint.

"These false statements have caused great confusion and alarm among Cirrus's suppliers and were made by L-3 to induce the suppliers to initiate their own bankruptcy of Cirrus, which would destroy Cirrus," the company says in the complaint.

"Without a flow of supplies, Cirrus cannot continue to manufacture airplanes," it adds.

Bad blood between the companies predates the latest action. L-3 in September 2009 filed a civil lawsuit claiming Cirrus failed to pay more than $20 million for development work and equipment that L-3 says it provided as part of theSmartDeck avionics programme for the SR22.

Source: Flight International