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2 Jan 02. Raytheon Aircraft has been awarded its largest military contract ever — a one-year contract with four one-year options for the production of more than 230 T-6A Texan II aircraft, associated ground-based training devices and technical support. The one-year contract for 40 aircraft is valued at $193m and when all options are exercised the total potential value will be approximately $1.22bn.

“This contract is the culmination of a lot of hard work by a lot of good people,” said Raytheon Aircraft Chairman & CEO Jim Schuster. “The T-6A Texan II is the best primary training aircraft in the world, and we’ll be building it for many years to come.”

The Joint Primary Aircraft Training System (JPATS) program calls for nearly 800 aircraft through the year 2017. To date, the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy have ordered 168 aircraft. This most recent contract, with options, covers the production of an additional 234 aircraft and ground-based training devices through the years 2002-2006, with deliveries beginning in 2004. The total value of the acquisition program to date, including options, is $2.1 billion.

“The services recognize that the T-6A Texan II brings enhanced safety, superior performance and significant cost savings over current training aircraft,” Schuster said. “We anticipate many international customers will want to take advantage of the T-6A’s qualities, including a secure, long-term production line.”

The U.S. Air Force began training pilots in the T-6A at Moody Air Force Base (Ga.) in October. In addition, the NATO Flying Training in Canada program purchased 24 T-6As and has been training pilots with the T-6A for more than a year. The Hellenic Air Force of Greece ordered 45 aircraft, of which 17 have been delivered.

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