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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Boeing Army contract means work for Hawker

BY MOLLY McMILLIN
The Wichita Eagle

A Boeing contract will mean work for Hawker Beechcraft.

Boeing received a two-year, $88.1 million contract for Enhanced Medium Altitude Reconnaissance and Surveillance Systems, a manned airborne intelligence system.

It will use a Wichita-built Hawker Beechcraft King Air 350 for its platform.

"It's certainly a testament to the strength of the King Air," said Hawker Beechcraft spokeswoman Nicole Alexander, and it means more work for Wichita.

The system will allow the Army to detect, locate, classify, identify and track surface targets, Boeing said.

The initial contract is for engineering and manufacturing development for four King Airs with options for two additional aircraft and contractor logistics support.

If the options are exercised, the work will span 42 months, Boeing said.

Each King Air 350 will be equipped with an electro-optic and infrared full-motion video sensor, a communications intelligence collection system, an aerial precision guidance system, line-of-sight tactical and beyond line-of-sight communications suites, two operator work stations and a self-protection suite.

"It's definitely an important contract for us," said Boeing Phantom Works spokeswoman Deborah VanNierop. "We're excited to have the contract and start executing it."

The system is tailored to the Army's needs, Boeing Network & Space Systems president Roger Krone said in a statement.

"The sensor and network capabilities Boeing is offering, along with the reliability and flexibility of the King Air platform, will provide the Army with a new level of battlefield mission support," Krone said.

Besides work at Hawker Beechcraft and Huntsville, Ala., work will also be performed at Boeing facilities in Ridley Park, Pa., Hudson, N.H., and Salt Lake City, the Department of Defense said.

Reach Molly McMillin at 316-269-6708 or mmcmillin@wichitaeagle.com.

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