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Boeing Gets $1.2B Aircraft Contract

October 9, 1998

HULBURT FIELD, Fla. (AP) _ A Boeing Co. facility in nearby Fort Walton Beach has won a 10-year contract worth up to $1.2 billion to help maintain and modernize aircraft flown by the Hurlburt-based Air Force Special Operations Command.

The contract with Boeing’s Special Forces Aerospace Support Center covers special operations versions of the C-130 Hercules, a four-engine turboprop transport. Boeing already had a contract for the newest variant, the AC-130U Spooky gunship.

The new contract adds the AC-130H Spectre gunship, the HC-130 Combat Shadow tanker and the MC-130 Combat Talon, a transport version with special electronic and navigation gear to help it operate behind enemy lines.

Nearly 80 C-130 derivatives flown by the command from Hulburt and bases in Europe and Japan are covered by the contract.

The Air Force will continue doing day-to-day maintenance while Boeing will handle more involved work and modifications such as installing new electronic gear and computer software improvements, said Col. Scott Stephens, director of acquisition management for the base.

The contract does not include helicopters or the CV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft that is expected to begin replacing some of the choppers and MC-130s in 2003.

Boeing is part of a partnership building the CV-22, a variant of the Marine Corps V-22 Osprey, and the maintenance contract could be modified to include that aircraft.

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