Rockwood Composites Gets Eurofighter Order from Babcock

March 23 2020

Rockwood Composites has secured an order for parts for 130 decoy launch systems for Babcock International’s Eurofighter program. The contract is to supply parts for the towed decoy launch structure which is to be installed on the Eurofighter.

The order was secured on the basis of development work undertaken by Rockwood which established that the parts, which had previously been manufactured using a filament winding process, could be made using Rockwood’s bladder molding technology.

By doing so, significant quality and cost advantages were gained while maintaining the strength, stiffness, physical size and electromagnetic performance of the existing filament wound parts, according to the company.

To achieve this, required significant technical expertise in many areas, Rockwood says. Including:
• Ensured that the materials used achieved the required structural parameters, which involved many hours of testing to achieve the correct balance between the number of layers of composite used and the angle of the fibers within the different layers
• Incrementally adjusted the tooling design according to the results of these tests to ensure that the correct strength, stiffness and size requirements were achieved
• Managed the manufacturing process, which involved external bladder molding on a polished mandrel, to ensure that the structural requirements of the parts were met consistently

Following the supply of prototype parts which more than met the required parameters, Babcock have now placed a production order.

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