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29 Jul 16. An award-winning SME from Hampshire secured a six-figure deal for its innovative inflight refuelling technology at Farnborough International Airshow.
Fareham-based Barnbrook Systems Ltd is supplying its cutting-edge fuel switch to international aerospace, defence and security giant Leonardo-Finmeccanica for its class-leading AgustaWestland AW101 helicopter.
The intelligent sensing technology monitors air pressure in fuel systems to minimise discharges through air vents – maximising efficiency, enhancing safety, delivering cost savings and heightening aircraft performance.
Leonardo-Finmeccanica hosted a global launch of the device at its pavilion in front of a fuel-switch enabled Italian military AW101 with dignitaries including Barnbrook Systems’ managing director Tony Barnett and chief technology officer Andrew Barnett.
They were welcomed by Leonardo-Finmeccanica senior vice-president UK Sir Brian Burridge, Leonardo-Finmeccanica Helicopters UK managing director John Ponsonby and Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton commanding officer commodore Jon Pentreath.
The contract reinforces engineering and manufacturing firm Barnbrook’s position on the international stage and helps secure and create jobs as the 40-strong business looks forward with confidence to a post-Brexit world.
It came as Barnbrook recorded its best airshow so far with its flagship BlueCube technology attracting international interest and as Leonardo-Finmeccanica announced a series of major contracts with clients worldwide.
Barnbrook Systems managing director Tony Barnett said: “This six-figure contract with Leonardo-Finmeccanica puts us firmly on the international aerospace map.
“It demonstrates that an innovative SME with a track record for technological excellence can work closely with a prime of the calibre of Leonardo-Finmeccanica to deliver market-leading solutions.”
Barnbrook Systems chief technology officer Andrew Barnett added: “Our intelligent fuel switch has the power to transform rotary wing inflight refuelling.
“Developed from our sophisticated remote sensing BlueCube technology, it enhances our competiveness on the world stage as well as secure and create new jobs.
“It also assists in development of our skills base, supports our youth apprenticeship training programme and will enable us to push innovation to develop next-generation systems.
“Despite the EU Referendum vote, our products and services are global and we will continue to develop strong and collaborative business relationships with our European partners.
“Our sincere thanks to Sir Brian and Leonardo-Finmeccanica for playing a major role in our most successful Airshow so far and create a partnership between a creative and innovative SME with an industry prime.”
The AW101 has been hailed by Leonardo-Finmeccanica as the ‘ultimate platform’ for multi-mission Combat Search and Rescue operations in conflict and peacetime with exceptional multi-mission capabilities.
Leonardo-Finmeccanica senior vice-president UK Sir Brian Burridge said: “As a global high-tech manufacturer and key player in the aerospace, defence and security sectors, we are committed to delivering the highest quality solutions for our clients.
“This includes working with leading SMEs such as Barnbrook Systems who have the vision, capabilities and excellence to succeed at the highest level.”
The arrangement comes amid a Ministry of Defence (MOD) drive to make it easier for SMEs to work with the defence sector; it has its own target of 25% of all procurement spending going to SMEs by 2020.
The intelligent refuel switch – designed and built in-house at Barnbrook Systems – was among the new product ranges showcased by Barnbrook Systems at Farnborough along with wireless sensing devices, wireless pressure sensors, smart relays, GPS enabled asset tracking and asset man