February 9, 1999 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Astronics Corporation today announced that the United States Air Force exercised its first option with respect to the F-16 night vision lighting contract awarded to its Luminescent Systems subsidiary in early 1998.
Supplementing its April 1998 authorization of 383 units for the F-16, the Air Force announced that it was awarding an additional contract for 305 units, bringing the total to 688units, with an aggregate contract value of $29. 5 million. The Air Force has two additional unexercised options worth $21 million.
The United States armed forces have embraced the use of night vision goggles as a basic weapon system capability. Night vision devices, however, are degraded by infrared energy emitted by conventional lighting systems.
To be compatible with the use of night vision equipment, aircraft lighting systems must be designed to minimize infrared radiation. Luminescent Systems is active in the area of night vision compatible aircraft lighting, and manufactures lighting components for the majority of today's modern military planes.
Shipment of the 688 units is scheduled to begin in the Third Quarter of1999 and proceed into 2001.