March 29 (UPI) -- Boeing was awarded two contracts worth $87.5 million to development, upgrades and support of the U.S. Marines' T/AV-8B Harrier II trainer aircraft.
The contracts for the two-seat trainer version of the AV-8B Harrier aircraft include engineering and avionics upgrades, the Department of Defense announced Thursday.
In one contract, Boeing was awarded $71.3 million to provide engineering and integrated logistics support to maintain the T/AV-8B Harrier during the aircraft's post-production support phase.
Seventy-five percent of the work will be performed at the company's plant in St. Louis with 11 percent in Warton, Lancashire, United Kingdom; 10 percent in Cherry Point, N.C.; 3 percent in Yuma, Ariz. and 1 percent in Philadelphia.
Work is expected to be completed in December 2023. Funds will be obligated on individual delivery orders as they are issued.
Work on another contract, worth $16.2 million, will be performed in St. Louis and is expected to be completed in March 2024. The contract is for system configuration set updates, avionics and weapons integration, as well as avionics obsolescence mitigation.
Naval fiscal 2018 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $2 million will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.
McDonnell Douglas, which was later acquired by Boeing, first produced the AV-8B aircraft in 1981. A Harrier II Plus initially flew in 1992.
Production ended in 2003. In 2007, Boeing signed a $258.5 million performance-based logistics contract to support AV-8B Harriers operated by the U.S. Marine Corps, Italy and Spain.
The fixed-wing plane can take off vertically, as well as zoom out of the range of enemy fire extremely quickly, making "it one of the most maneuverable combat aircraft in service," according to Boeing.