The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) has been awarded a $134 million contract by the U.S. Air Force to begin the first phase of a program to modify 10 C-130 aircraft into the MC-130H Combat Talon II configuration.
The MC-130H Combat Talon II provides Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) the capability to insert, extract and re-supply special operations forces and equipment in hostile or denied territory, and the ability to provide air-to-air refueling of other special operations forces aircraft.
"United States special operations forces play a vital role in the war on terror," said Pat Finneran, vice president and general manager of Aerospace Support, part of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. "Modifying these aircraft ensures AFSOC's highly trained and rapidly deployable forces can continue to meet their world-wide commitments. Boeing has a proud history of supporting our special operations forces and is committed to providing them most technologically advanced aircraft available."
The Combat Talon II features an integrated glass flight deck which improves crew coordination and terrain-following/terrain-avoidance radars capable of operations as low as 250 feet in adverse weather conditions. An extensive electronic warfare suite enables the aircrew to detect and avoid potential threats. If engaged, the system can protect the aircraft from both radar and infrared-guided threats.
This first-phase contract is for delivery of two aircraft. A follow-on production phase with an estimated value of $446 million will deliver the remaining eight aircraft. Deliveries of the new Combat Talon IIs will begin in July 2008 and continue through the end of 2011. Lockheed Martin and L-3 Communications will be awarded subcontracts to support the Boeing team in the development and modification effort.
Boeing produced the original 13 AC-130U gunships and is currently producing 4 more AC-130U gunships for AFSOC, the first of which will be delivered in 2006. Under the Integrated Weapons System Support contract, Boeing provides comprehensive support services to the AFSOC C-130 fleet.
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Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $30.5 billion business. It provides network-centric system solutions to its global military, government, and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in sustainment solutions and launch services.