March 25, 2004 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Astronics Corp. has been awarded a production contract worth $4.4 million from the Republic of Korea Air Force. The work on Korea's F-16 fleet will be done through Luminescent Systems Inc., a subsidiary of East Aurora-based Astronics.
In July 2003, Astronics said that it had been awarded a development contract for the program and had expected to carry out the production order as well.
The second contract, which is being administered under the U.S. Air Force, is expected to be completed over the next 12-18 months.
"This program was won as a result of the success we had with the conversion of the U.S. Air Force's F-16 fleet to night vision goggle compatibility," said Peter Gundermann, president and CEO of Astronics.
During the period 1999 through 2002, over 1,100 U.S. F-16 Fighting Falcons were converted with Astronics' lighting systems to allow for the use of night vision goggles in the aircraft.
Astronics' lighting system conversion is designed to reduce the emission of infra red energy from the cockpit panel and the exterior lights during flight to minimize interference with the night vision goggles worn by the aircraft crew.