GKN supplying additional fuel bladders for Predator drones

Jan. 28, 2014 at 10:28 AM
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REDDITCH, England, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Fuel bladder systems used on General Atomics' Predator unmanned aerial vehicles will continue to be supplied by GKN Aerospace.

GKN, which has its headquarters in Britain, said continued supply of the fuel bladders comes under an agreement recently signed with the U.S. company.

"We are very proud to have been selected to provide what are vital items for the long-endurance Predator platform," said Ron Kato, vice president and managing director of GKN's Special Products Group. "We have been supplying fuel systems for many decades and for many airframe platforms and invest constantly our research and development activity in this area -- allowing us to offer more effective and more environmentally friendly systems.

"The Predator program fully exploits all our recent advances in both manufacturing and materials technologies."

The fuel bladders are manufactured using the company's new vacuum forming process and its latest polyurethane material to fit all available space on the Predator airframe.

Initial production of the Predator fuel bladders was conducted at GKN's facility in Portsmouth, England, but was later transferred to the company's Tallassee, Ala., plant.

More than 75 ship sets have been delivered to date. The new contract, valued at $5 million, is for the supply of 100 more fuel bladder systems through the end of this year.

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