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New contract for the T-6 fighter trainer

Good news for Beechcraft Defense as the company has secured a contract with the USAF for the production of 35 training aircrafts, the T-6. T-6 models include the original JPATS-winning T-6A, the Navy’s T-6B and a third variant called the T-6C. The T-6B and C are advanced versions of the T-6A with updated cockpit avionics. In order to replicate today’s high-tech frontline aircraft, the new cockpit includes a Heads-Up Display (HUD), Up-Front Control Panel (UFCP), three-color Multi-function Displays (MFD) and Hands-On Throttle and Stick (HOTAS). The integrated glass cockpit and a state-of-the-art avionics suite greatly expands its capabilities, enabling the advanced systems and information management skills training required in current and future military aircraft. The T-6C variant maintains avionics similarity with the T-6B while incorporating a hard-point wing to allow carriage of external fuel tanks, weapons and other stores. The T-6 military trainer offers military operators worldwide the most proven and cost-effective primary aviation training system available today. Deliveries began in 2000 after the Beechcraft aircraft was selected to fill the JPATS role for the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy. Since then, additional military customers worldwide have selected the T-6, including NATO Flying Training Canada, the Hellenic Air Force of Greece, the Israeli Air Force, the Iraqi Air Force, the Royal Moroccan Air Force and the Mexican Air Force. Beechcraft delivered its 800th T-6 trainer aircraft in March 2013, continuing its strong track record of on-time, on-budget deliveries. The contract represents the 19th production lot of T-6 aircraft ordered by the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy as part of the Joint Primary Aircraft Training System (JPATS) procurement program, launched in the late 1990s. The new contract is valued at $210 million and will comprise 33 T-6 aircraft for the U.S. Navy and two for the U.S. Army. Production of JPATS Lot 19, which will take place in Wichita, Kan., begins this month, with the final delivery scheduled for February of 2015.

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