Geoff Thomas

Next time you see the Eurofighter flying in the display, try standing next to a senior person from Litton Industries... and you'll notice the dollar-signs light up in their eyes! Each Eurofighter carries more than $1 million worth of content made by LITEF, a German company based in Frieburg which is owned by Litton.

Items include the inertial measurement unit; the primary sensor for the quadruplex flight control system; avionics and navigation computers; interface processor unit; computer symbol generator; head-up display (HUD) panel; defence aids computer; and cockpit interface unit.

Speaking at the show on Saturday, Litton president and CEO Mike Brown said: "We are transforming ourselves from a holding company into a more strategically and centrally directed organisation.

"The result is a better company today than five years ago. We are stronger, steadier and more stable. For more than 30 years we have cultivated business opportunities around the globe, resulting in a major presence in Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan and Singapore."

Other major current projects in Europe include the work LITEF is doing on upgrading the navigation system and avionics on Germany's Tornados which, Brown believes, will provide a significant opportunity for additional business as the UK and Italy begin similar programmes.

LITEF is also involved in two important missile programmes - the Taurus, a modular stand-off missile, and IRIS-T, which is an advanced air-to-air missile being developed in Europe as a successor to the Sidewinder. LITAL of Rome, another Litton company, is also involved on the IRIS-T programme.

For the Taurus missile, Litton companies are in full-scale development of a fibre-optic gyro inertial measurement unit (IMU) to be integrated into the missile's multi-sensor navigation system. The first 26 IMU prototypes, based on three miniaturised fibre-optic gyros from LITEF, are now ordered for the flight tests which get under way this summer.

Production will begin in 2004.

Source: Flight Daily News