WICHITA, Kan. (May 13, 2013) – Beechcraft Defense Company today announced it has signed a contract with the U.S. Air Force for the production of 35 T-6 training aircraft, with an option for two additional aircraft. 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.
“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,” said Russ Bartlett, president, Beechcraft Defense Company. “The contract will also provide increased stability for our Wichita workforce.”
About the T-6
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.
In addition to accommodating instruction in flying basics, instrument flight procedures and acrobatic maneuvers, the T-6 delivers a world-class training capability that is versatile and flexible enough for teaching introductory flight training tasks, yet sophisticated enough to enable the more challenging and complex advanced training missions that could previously be accomplished only in far more expensive jet aircraft.
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.
About Beechcraft Corporation
Beechcraft Corporation designs, builds and supports versatile and globally renowned aircraft, including the King Air turboprops, piston-engine Baron and Bonanza, and the T-6 trainer and AT-6 light attack military aircraft. Its 5,400 highly skilled employees are focused on continuously improving the company’s products and services which are sold to individuals, businesses and governments worldwide. In business since 1932, Beechcraft has built more than 54,000 aircraft and more than 36,000 continue flying today. It leads the industry with a global network of more than 90 factory-owned and authorized service centers. The company’s headquarters and major manufacturing facilities are located in Wichita, Kan. For more information, visit beechcraft.com or follow us on Twitter @Beechcraft.