THE Swedish equivalent of the Royal Air Force has sent a Furness firm soaring with a new lights order for its supersonic fighter jets.

Oxley Developments Ltd, with offices in Bard-sea, near Ulverston, and Barrow, will supply its combat aircraft with gunfire-proof landing and taxi lights.

The deal also involves partners Saab, the Swedish defence giant which makes the ‘Gripen’ aircraft.

It has worked shoulder-to-shoulder with the award-winning Furness firm to develop the new LEDs over five years.

The ‘revolutionary’ LED lights will replace con-ventional halogen lights on the aircraft which the company says have needed frequent and costly replacement due to shock, vibration or breakdown.

Oxley says what is special about the new lights is that they are to deliver longer perform-ance in arduous con-ditions and have a longer life on the plane, which can fly at speed of Mach 2 (upwards of 915mph).

It says some of the old halogen units could require replacement after just two-and-half hours in tough environments, whereas tests have shown its new LEDS can last in excess of 500 days for the landing light and 14,000 hours for the taxi light.

They have also been developed to lock easily to the body of the Gripen jets and do not cause glare for ground crew in night vision goggles.

The Swedish Air Force says it uses Gripen aircraft to ‘protect and defend’ the Scandanavian country as well as taking on tasks abroad.

It may well mean more orders in future in the lucrative global military and commercial aircraft sector.

Oxley says it must sup-ply 140 shipsets of lights with delivery starting in August and continuing through to October 2015.

It already supplies wing tip, tail light, position lights and the control box for the aircraft external lighting system on the Gripen brand.

A spokesman said: “The new order reflects Oxley’s long-term strategic rela-tionship with Saab Aero-space as a key customer and product technology partner.

A team from Oxley has visited Saab to discuss the latest progress on the Gripen fighter jet programme.”

Oxley Developments Ltd Following the Blitz, the Ministry of Aircraft Production instructed company founder Robert Frederick Freddy to relocate to safer premises.

He moved to the Lake District in 1942 and established Oxley in Market Place, Ulverston.

In the 1950s he moved Oxley to Priory Park, Bardsea, which has been the company headquarters ever since.

The Gripen Aircraft 1050kg engine, weighs roughly the same as an adult giraffe 40 com-puters onboard 20 miles of cable run through it It can take off with the weight of an elephant onboard It is 14.1m long (46ft 3in) with a wingspan of 27.6ft

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