November 20, 2005 (by Lieven Dewitte) - EDO MBM Technology Ltd, a U.K. business unit of EDO Corporation, has received a contract from the Royal Netherlands Air Force for F-16 pylon umbilicals equipped with its Field Replaceable Connector System (FRCS).
This is the first F-16 FRCS contract and marks a significant revenue opportunity for EDO as operators worldwide adopt the new certified standard.
EDO MBM originally developed the FRCS in response to the degraded operational capability resulting from high separation loads and subsequent harness and pylon damage being universally experienced during "smart" MIL-STD-1760 weapon release. FRCS prevents connector jamming, ensures low and consistent separation loads, and is fully field-replaceable/repairable.
FRCS equipped umbilicals were first used during the UK "Urgent Operational Requirement" integration of Enhanced Paveway II onto Harrier GR7 and are now under full production for RAF Tornado GR4 and Harrier GR9. Certification is in progress for several other NATO
EDO MBM developed the F-16 application with improved routing of the umbilical through the pylon to further assist weapon loading. Umbilicals are now certified for 100 eject releases, an order of magnitude improvement that more than justifies the cost of embodiment. The capability is now being offered to F-16 operators worldwide.
FRCS is on display at EDO's stand E309 at the Dubai international Air Show.