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Fayetteville firm wins $3.5 million Air Force contract

Posted: April 23, 2014 at 11:23 a.m.

FAYETTEVILLE — An electronics company affiliated with the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville has received a $3.5 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to develop a power module for a fighter jet.

University officials announced Wednesday that Arkansas Power Electronics International will use the money to build a high-temperature, silicon carbide power module for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. APEI specializes in advanced electronics for customers, including defense, aerospace and hybrid vehicles.

The module will be based on APEI's wide, band-gap material, a semiconductor that withstands harsh environments. The technology will be applied to the fighter jet's motor drive that helps a pilot operate the aircraft.

The fighter is still in development and is a part of the Air Force's focus toward aircraft designs that use electric motors and drives.

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