Textron Aviation has won a Pentagon contract worth up to $100 million over five years to deliver turboprops to overseas military customers.
The Wichita-based manufacturer on 7 November said the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) deal covers the sale of multiple aircraft types in its portfolio, including Cessna SkyCouriers, Grand Caravan EXs, Beechcraft King Air 360s and King Air 260s.
The contract covers an indefinite quantity of aircraft over the five-year term.
Textron Aviation says it has initially contracted to sell three King Air 360 Extended Range aircraft, with two going to the Peruvian navy and one destined for Ecuador. The three turboprops will be used to perform maritime patrol missions over the countries’ offshore exclusive economic zones.
Bob Gibbs, vice-president for special-mission sales at Textron Aviation, says the indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract “provides the ability to rapidly procure [commercial] aircraft and modification [services] for FMS allies and partner nations”.
“It will provide highly capable commercial off-the-shelf aircraft… and it will accelerate acquisition and contracting timelines from many months or years to weeks,” adds Gibbs.
Textron Aviation notes the IDIQ deal aligns with a recent policy directed by secretary of defense Lloyd Austin aimed at accelerating the Pentagon’s internal process for executing FMS cases.
Among other actions, Austin’s June memo directed defence procurement officials to “accelerate acquisition and contracting support” timelines for allies and partners.
The sale to the two South American countries comes as Washington seeks to counter growing Chinese influence in the region.
Arms regulators at the US Department of State in October gave formal approval for the third-party transfer by Denmark of US-made Lockheed Martin F-16A fighter jets to Argentina. While Copenhagen has not yet confirmed the sale, the Royal Danish Air Force plans to retire its F-16s and acquire fifth-generation Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighters.
Separately, US Southern Command in October unveiled a maintenance partnership aimed at helping South American operators of US-made equipment improve operational effectiveness and aircraft availability.