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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 February, 2004, 10:26 GMT
Dreamliner deal goes to Smiths
7E7 jet
Boeing is pinning its hopes on the 7E7 jet
Defence group Smiths has won a major deal to supply the "backbone" of Boeing's new Dreamliner jet.

The company is to provide the Common Core System (CCS) for the new 7E7 which is due to enter service in 2008.

The design and development work will be carried out at sites in Bishop's Cleeve near Cheltenham and US state Michigan.

A spokesman said: "It will not mean new jobs, but will secure existing jobs." The contract is worth potentially more than 500m pounds.

The CCS will act as the central nervous system of the 7E7, replacing dozens of traditional, stand-alone computers and data devices.

The 7E7 is the US firm's latest attempt to fight off the challenge from European rival Airbus in the intercontinental jetliner market.

Although smaller than Boeing's existing 777 and 747 jet, the new aircraft will be able to carry 200 to 250 passengers on flights of up to 8,300 nautical miles.

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