Feb. 28, 2013
Jacksonville Business Journal
The U.S. Department of Defense has issued a $427 million contract to a Nevada plane manufacturer for construction of military aircraft in Jacksonville.
Sierra Nevada Corp. of Sparks, Nev., partnered with Brazilian plane maker Embraer to build fighter aircraft for the U.S. Air Force in 2011. A Defense Department contract awarded to Sierra Nevada was voided last year in a dispute over the bidding process with Hawker Beechcraft for the plane contract.
In a news release Wednesday, the Defense Department stated that the new contract with Sierra Nevada is “to provide both an advanced aircrew trainer and a light air support aircraft to establish air combat capability for allied countries under the Building Partnership Capacity program.” The contract calls for construction of 20 light air support aircraft and various equipment needed to support use of the planes.
The Super Tucano is a single-engine turboprop aircraft that Embraer employees will assemble and test at Jacksonville International Airport facilities, according to a news release from U. S. Congressman Ander Crenshaw, D-Jacksonville. The contract is to provide both an advanced aircrew trainer and a light air support aircraft to establish air combat capability for Afghanistan under the Building Partnership Capacity program, the release said.
“A great team came together to make a solid case for building this plane in Northeast Florida, resulting in a ‘win - win’ for the First Coast economy and our national defense,” Crenshaw said. “More importantly, this contract underscores the deep confidence by our military that Jacksonville continues to be a military aviation center of excellence.”
The initial contract calls for a $427.4 million order for Sierra Nevada, which could increase to $950 million and last until February 2019, according to the release. The first planes are to be delivered to the Air Force by February, 2015.