Teleflex Defense Systems of Spanish Fork has been awarded a $1.5 million two-year contract to produce parts for the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 commercial jet as part of the sub-assembly operation at MD's plant in Salt Lake City.

Teleflex will supply floor beams for the fuselage of the MD-80, which become part of other components to be shipped for final assembly in Long Beach, Calif."This contract with a Utah company further illustrates the positive economic impact the Salt Lake operation of McDonnell Douglas is making on our state," Governor Norm Bangerter said. "The Teleflex contract stands as an example to other Utah businesses of the importance of cooperating with major aerospace and defense contractors in the state."

Less than a month ago, American Airlines announced it was purchasing 100 MD-80s, a small twin-jet manufactured by McDonnell Douglas that sells for about $20 million. At that time, an MD spokesman said the company had orders for 1,438 MD-80s that should keep the sub-assembly plant in Salt Lake City busy for several years.

Jeff Tally, Teleflex vice president, believes the contract is a major breakthrough. "As long as we perform to their standards, our contract could extend for the lifetime of the airplane. The two-year contract is renewable at any time and opens the door for the company to work with McDonnell Douglas on other projects.

Al Egbert, manager of the McDonnell Douglas plant in Salt Lake City, said this first-of-its-kind contract should open the doors for other Utah companies. "It's the beginning of development of Utah's infrastructure to supply the aerospace industry as far as McDonnell Douglas is concerned."

"This is the kind of contract we like to see," said Val Finlayson, co-chairman of the Governor's Task Force on Aerospace Development. "McDonnell Douglas, Morton Thiokol and Hercules spend millions of dollars each year and it's gratifying to see a Utah company take the initiative and step up to compete for a piece of the pie.

Teleflex Defense Systems is one of three Utah operations of Teleflex Inc., Limerick, Pa., which employs 4,000 worldwide in plants involved in a variety of enterprises ranging from marine equipment to automotive controls and from medical products to metal coatings.