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Brazil's Embraer buys into BAE avionics

SAO JOSE DOS CAMPOS, Brazil, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Brazil's aircraft manufacturer Embraer is buying into BAE Systems' advanced avionics to upgrade its aircraft's performance as it expands a global customer base.

The deal with BAE Systems gives Embraer access to BAE's advanced flight control technologies for its aircraft as it builds on a new deal worth more than $1 billion for the supply of executive jets.

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Embraer said its deal with NetJets, Inc., covered the carrier's purchase of 50 Phenom 300 executive jets plus 75 options. "The total value of the deal may exceed U.S. $ 1 billion at current list price," Embraer said.

Embraer was founded in 1969 as a government initiative and privatized in December 1994. It is one of the largest aircraft manufacturers, dominating specific markets for commercial, defense and executive aviation.

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Embraer's latest contract will enable the company to use BAE Systems-Parker Aerospace advanced avionics on Embraer Legacy 450 and 500 business jets. BAE Systems will design, produce and support the flight control computers for the aircraft.

Under contract to Parker Aerospace, BAE Systems' work will include a primary flight control computer that will provide a lightweight, high-integrity solution reducing fuel consumption and pilot workload.

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As a result, the Legacy 450 and Legacy 500 executive jets will have the largest and most quiet cabins in their classes. BAE Systems says it will perform program management and design at its Rochester, England, and Johnson City, N.Y., facilities and produce the flight control equipment at its Fort Wayne, Ind., facility.

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Meanwhile, NetJets Inc. has reached a purchase agreement with Embraer to add up to 125 Platinum Edition Phenom 300s into the NetJets fleet."

This aircraft, designed exclusively for NetJets, will feature technology and comforts based on the requirements of the NetJets fractional share owners. The announcement is the first step in the execution of a 10-year fleet plan.

NetJets operates a global fleet of more than 800 aircraft drawn from several manufacturers, including Cessna, Dassault, Gulfstream and Hawker-Beechcraft.

NetJets Chairman and Chief Executive Officer David L. Sokol said, "No one is more confident about the future of private aviation than NetJets."

He called the Embraer model an "exceptional aircraft that our owners will value for years to come."

The Phenom 300 Platinum Edition will be developed by Embraer in cooperation with NetJets. Deliveries are to begin in 2013.

Embraer said the sale further establishes the success and acceptance of the Phenom 300 in the executive aviation market. The Phenom 300 jets will join NetJets' existing worldwide fleet of light, midsize and large-cabin aircraft.

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