Local company gets piece of F-35 pie

A local company is getting a piece of the $16-billion pie from the federal government’s controversial decision to buy the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter by building three different sensor for the jets.

“Two of them are sensors that measure metal particles in oil for the engine and for a gear box that’s on the aircraft,” said GasTOPS president and CEO Dave Muir.

The third sensor measures the deflection of blades in the engine, which comes from aerospace giant Pratt & Whitney.

Muir said his company was already a supplier to Pratt & Whitney, and they chose GasTOPS for the additional sensors.

GasTOPS currently employs 100 people across Canada and the U.S., and once the sensor program is in full production 20 new jobs will be created over the next five years.

“A program that size requires both direct staff to build the sensors, engineers to support it, and a number of indirect staff to support the business processes, ” Muir said.

After a company headquarters tour by Minister of Industry Tony Clement , Muir said the company will have a huge increase in their volume of work.

And being part of an international supply chain provides them with many more opportunities in the aerospace and defence sectors.

Full production is scheduled for 2013.

Canada has invested $168 million in the F-35 program and it has led to $350 million in contracts with Canadian companies.

kelly.roche@sunmedia.ca

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