Britain converting airliners

June 20, 2012 at 1:11 PM

LONDON, June 20 (UPI) -- Britain is converting two airliners from civilian to military configuration for extracting troops and equipment from Afghanistan.

The contract for the conversion of BAE 146-200QC planes was given by the Ministry of Defense to BAE Systems and is worth about $24.3 million.

The two civilian aircraft were acquired from TNT Airways S.A of Belgium under separate Urgent Operational Requirement transactions.

"The two aircraft … will be used after conversion in both passenger and freight roles to augment in-theater tactical aircraft numbers, particularly the Lockheed C130 Hercules force, during the upcoming extraction phase of Operation Herrick, the current Afghanistan campaign," the company said.

BAE Systems Regional Aircraft will integrate military equipment to be fitted onto the aircraft, as well as have responsibility for equipment sourcing, supply chain management and overall conversion. Hawker Beechcraft, under a subcontract, will conduct the conversions.

The aircraft are to be delivered to the Ministry of Defense by March.

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