BLOOMFIELD, Conn. (AP) _ Kaman Aerospace Corp. has been chosen to provide the Australian Navy with 11 multipurpose helicopters in a deal estimated to be worth about $500 million, the company said Friday.

Kaman must now negotiate a contract with the Australian government for the sale of the Super Seasprite aircraft.

The deal, if completed, would result in the hiring of 100 or more employees at Kaman, including design engineers, said J. Kenneth Nasshan, a company spokesman. Kaman Aerospace's Connecticut work force now stands at 1,200.

Nasshan said contract negotiations could take several months. The first helicopters would be scheduled for delivery to Australia in 2001.

Nasshan would not comment on the value of the contract. But industry analysts have estimated it to be worth about $500 million.