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U.S. Air Force orders Beechcraft T-6 aircraft

May 14, 2013 at 2:40 PM

WICHITA, Kan., May 14 (UPI) -- Beechcraft Defense Co. has received a $210 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to produce 35 T-6 training aircraft.

Although the contract was issued by the Air Force, 33 of the planes are for the U.S. Navy and two for the U.S. Army. Production begins this month and final delivery of aircraft is expected in early 2015.

Beechcraft said the deal, under the Joint Primary Aircraft Training System procurement program, includes an option for two additional aircraft.

"The signing of this latest production lot of our JPATS contract underscores the trusted partnership between Beechcraft and the U.S. government, which continues to rely on us to deliver and support their fleet as we have for the past 13 years," said Beechcraft Defense President Russ Bartlett. "The contract will also provide increased stability for our Wichita workforce."

Beechcraft began supplying various T-6 models to the military for the JPATS program since 2000. It recently offered the Air Force a combat air support variant for a program to light air support aircraft for Afghanistan but lost the competition to Embraer of Brazil and its U.S. partner, Sierra Nevada Corp.

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