Beechcraft Defense Co., a division of Beechcraft Corp., has received a $210 million contract from the Air Force for the next round of T-6 primary trainers under the Joint Primary Aircraft Training System.
The contract is for 35 T-6 turboprops: 33 for the U.S. Navy and two for the U.S. Army.
Production begins this month, with final delivery scheduled for February 2015.
“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,” Russ Bartlett, president of Beechcraft’s defense business, said in a statement. “The contract will also provide increased stability for our Wichita workforce.”
The first deliveries under the JPATS contract began in 2000.
Since then, the company has delivered T-6 trainers to 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.
The company delivered its 800th trainer in March.
The trainers are used for instruction in flying basics, instrument flight procedures and acrobatic maneuvers.
They also are designed for complex advanced training missions, the company said.
The T-6 has been produced in three versions: the original T-6A, the Navy’s T-6B and a variant called the T-6C. The T-6B and T-6C are advanced versions of the T-6A and include updated cockpit avionics.
The company has also designed the AT-6, an attack version of the T-6 trainer.