Building the ‘brains’

  • 30-Jun-2008 07:45 EDT

NASA awarded Boeing a $265 million contract to produce the Ares I crew launch vehicle’s instrument unit avionics (IUA). Boeing was previously selected as the Ares I upper-stage production contractor. The IUA provides the guidance, navigation, and control hardware for the vehicles, serving as the “brains” behind the rocket’s ascent. The Ares I launches the Orion crew exploration vehicle, which will join other elements of NASA’s Constellation program to help propel astronauts to the moon by 2020. Boeing will produce three IUA flight test units and six production units, with an option to produce four additional units per year from 2014 to 2016. Boeing also announced that it has signed a 10-year memorandum of understanding with India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to bring more than $1 billion of new aerospace manufacturing work to India. Under the agreement, Boeing and HAL will explore business opportunities aimed at transferring work packages to India with an initial value of $10-$20 million annually, increasing in size and complexity as business opportunities develop.

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