Eaton contract for fluid power components on Army's new Comanche helicopter has $250 million potential


CLEVELAND, OHIO… Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation (NYSE:ETN) said today its Aerospace business unit has entered into a memorandum of understanding contract award with Sikorsky Aircraft to provide the fluid power components for the complete hydraulic system of the U. S. Army?s new RAH-66 Comanche helicopter. The engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase contract award represents more than $8 million, and the total program potential for Eaton exceeds $250 million over the next 25 years.

The RAH-66 Comanche is the world's most advanced helicopter and the cornerstone of the Army's objective aviation modernization plan. The new helicopter has a cruising speed of 185 miles per hour, and a dash speed of 197 miles per hour. It is also highly maneuverable, with the ability to execute snap turns in 4.5 seconds and fly sideways and backwards at up to 70 mph.

The advanced aircraft will incorporate a number of Eaton fluid power components including two 3000 psi pump reservoir modules, one System III reservoir module, one heat exchanger, one starter pump and two cartridge vane motors per aircraft.

During the EMD phase from 2001 through 2006, 13 fully equipped aircraft will be built and flight tested. Full production of the advanced helicopter is scheduled to begin in 2007 and last through 2025. Current requirements call for more than 1,200 helicopters to be produced for the Army.

In the aerospace industry, Eaton is a leading supplier of hydraulic, electro-hydraulic pump and generator products and integrated systems; electric motors; aircraft flap and slat systems; fluid conveyance products and systems; nose wheel steering systems; integrated control systems; cockpit controls; power and load management systems; pressure sensors and fluid debris monitoring products and systems. Eaton?s Aerospace business unit serves commercial and military aviation, aerospace, military weapons, marine and off-road markets worldwide.

Eaton Corporation is a global $8 billion diversified industrial manufacturer that is a leader in fluid power systems; electrical power quality, distribution and control; automotive engine air management and fuel economy; and intelligent truck systems for fuel economy and safety. Eaton?s 54,000 employees work in 29 countries on six continents.

This news release contains a forward-looking statement concerning the potential for significant future RAH-66 business. That statement should be used with caution. It is subject to various risks and uncertainties, some of which are outside the control of the company. Important factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statement include continued funding of the program over the 25-year period of the contract. We do not assume any obligation to update this forward-looking statement.


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Renald Romain