(NEW YORK & LYSTRUP, Denmark, April 28, 2006) -- EDO Corporation (NYSE: EDO) and Terma A/S have entered into a teaming agreement to jointly develop an Enhanced Smart Triple Ejector Rack (ESTER) to be used on the F-16. The ESTER program will upgrade existing TER-9 racks by adding the capability to carry three modern 'smart' weapons under one pylon.
"Both companies have extensive experience with high-performance military aircraft," said James M. Smith, EDO's chief executive officer. We are combining our complementary capabilities and market strengths to address a substantial need among the worldwide F-16 community.
The Royal Danish Air Force (RDAF) has already authorized testing of the ESTER capability for qualification on its F-16 Mid-Life Update (MLU). This includes system integration laboratory testing in October 2006 followed by flight testing in November.
In the light of our close relationship with the Royal Danish Air Force I am pleased that we have now entered into an agreement with EDO Corporation on development and marketing of the ESTER, said Jens Maaloe, President and CEO, Terma.
The Triple Ejector Rack is a weapon-suspension unit that attaches to an aircraft's weapon pylons, enabling each pylon to carry three weapons. The TER-9 version is suitable for supersonic under-wing F-16 weapons stores.
ESTER will improve the capability to carry smart precision-guided weapons and individually target and release each one. These include the 500 pound-class JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) and EGBU-12 (Paveway) weapons, and similar stores that operate on the military standard 1760 interface.
The F-16 'Fighting Falcon,' which has been in production by Lockheed Martin for more than 25 years, is used in at least 24 countries. Over 4,000 aircraft have been produced, offering a substantial potential market for upgrading to ESTER.