When the Boeing KC-767A Tanker destined for the Italian air force landed at Le Bourget this week, there were plenty of interested observers - none more interested than the Smiths Aerospace team, which has designed the mission control and aerial refuelling systems for the aircraft.

The mission control system on the 767 Tanker is a derivative of the Smiths Flight Management System (FMS) in service on the Boeing 737.

Integrated with the civil FMS is a unique flight guidance and navigation functionality for military aerial refuelling missions as well as communications control and management.

Smiths comes to Paris having secured involvement on both the next generation civil aircraft - Boeing's 787, for which it is supplying the common core system, landing gear actuation and high lift system, and the Airbus A380, where Smiths is providing mid fixed trailing edge structures, multiplexer video unit and air generation actuators among other technologies.

On the military side Smiths' involvement in the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter includes power management, weapons control, actuation and tactical data equipment.

Smiths says it has increased its research and development investment to 8% of annual sales revenues as part of a commitment to technology leadership.

Source: Flight Daily News