Science & Technology

Get to the chopper! Fareham’s Barnbrook secures six-figure aerospace order

One of the helicopters upon which Barnbrook Systems' intelligent refuelling switch is fitted

By Daniel Face [email protected]

Published: April 12, 2024 | Updated: 12th April 2024

Barnbrook Systems has won a six-figure order supplying its helicopter refuelling enablement system to an aircraft being built by Italian aerospace firm Leonardo.

The Fareham company’s innovative refuelling switch has made mid-air refuelling easier, safer and more efficient.

Barnbrook is supplying 80 of the systems for Leonardo’s AW101, AW149 and AW159 helicopters for use by the military and search and rescue operators, among other customers.

This latest transaction follows an initial deal signed between the two companies at Farnborough International Air Show in 2016.

Andrew Barnett, a director at Barnbrook, said: “This is a major order for our innovative refuelling switch system and biggest order of 2024 so far.

“Our inflight refuelling enablement system has generated significant recurring revenues for the business over the past eight years.

“This success reflects the commitment, time and money we invest in developing and continually improving technology-driven solutions for our key markets in defence, rail, fire and security.”

The system uses intelligent sensing technology to detect fuel movement in tanks and cut off pumps in fractions of a second to prevent spills.

This allows for refuelling at speed, during turbulence, or on ship decks in heavy seas, while also improving an aircraft’s range, performance and operational capabilities.

Founded in 1978, Barnbrook is expecting turnover to grow by 30 per cent in 2024, and has just recruited an additional two production staff.

The company also took on nine new hires across a range of roles, from trainee to senior positions, late last year – taking its headcount close to 50.

Barnbrook plans to attend its 14th consecutive Farnborough Air Show this July.

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