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Stavatti enters T-X competition with Javelin
by Ryan Maass
Washington (UPI) Feb 7, 2017

Textron tapped for Afghan air force training support
Kabul, Afghanistan (UPI) Feb 7, 2017 - The U.S. Air Force has selected Textron Systems to provide contractor logistics support for the Cessna C-208B Caravans used by the Afghan air force.

The contract is valued at $9.35 million for the first year, and has the potential to reach a ceiling of $50 million after five years. The agreement ensures Textron is the sole provider for maintenance and training for Afghanistan's C-208B fleet.

Work will be performed by Textron's Support Solutions division. Tasks are to include transfer of capabilities in addition to maintenance training.

"Support Solutions began working with these Cessna C-208B Caravans last year as part of a bridge contact – and we are looking forward to continuing the relationship with our customer through this five-year contract," Textron's Mark Hitch said in a press release. "This work will further showcase the total Textron solution we can provide around the world."

The Cessna Caravan, built by Textron, is a turboprop-powered military airlifter. According to the plane's manufacturer, the airlifter is able to operate at relatively low costs and can adapt to a wide variety of missions.

The plane has a range of 1,070 nautical miles, a maximum cruise speed of 214 miles per hour, and can carry over 3,305 pounds of cargo.

Aerospace manufacturer Stavatti entered a modified version of its Javelin plane into the U.S. Air Force's T-X trainer competition.

The Javelin is a twin-engine aircraft initially built as a civilian sportplane, but has since been configured as a very light fighter and a military jet trainer. The plane submitted into the T-X contest features more powerful engines, an increased internal fuel capacity and other enhancements.

The U.S. Air Force's T-X program is an effort to replace the Northrop T-38 Talon currently used to train pilots. The legacy jet has been in service with the branch since the 1960s. To replace the T-38, the Air Force is seeking a fast two-seat jet to fulfill the role.

Stavatti entered the Javelin into the contest after major industry teams pulled out of the program.

Earlier in February, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems ended their joint effort in the T-X competition when the team announced they would not submit a proposal. Northrop Grumman, which designed the T-38 currently in service, proposed an updated Hawk T2/128 to replace it.

Raytheon and Leonardo-Finmeccanica also withdrew from the competition when the partnership disclosed the companies would not jointly pursue a contract. The team initially planned to submit a T-100 platform for the contest.

Stavatti began working on the Javelin in 1998, and first put the aircraft on display a the NBAA convention in 2002. A prototype took its first flight on Sept. 30, 2005. The company began redesigning the Mk-30 platform for military applications in November 2016.

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