Freight specialist FedEx Express has selected a US-based division of Singapore Technologies Aerospace (ST Aero) to convert 87 Boeing 757-200 passenger aircraft to freighters.

It follows last year’s decision by FedEx to acquire around 90 of the type to replace its ageing Boeing 727-200 fleet. The operator has been intending to introduce the modified 757s from next year.

In a statement to the Singapore stock exchange, ST Aero values the agreement at $470 million.

The conversions will be performed by ST Mobile Aerospace Engineering located in Mobile, Alabama. Aircraft will be fitted with a side cargo door, have their main deck floor strengthened, and be fitted with cargo-loading systems.

ST Aero, which has a long-established relationship with FedEx, will begin performing the work this year. The conversions will be conducted in three groups, stretching over a seven-year period.

Conversion will be undertaken in accordance with the supplemental type certificate developed by ST Aero.

ST Aero president Tay Kok Khiang says: “FexEx’s decision attests to the value of an STC based on original aircraft design data as well as confidence in ST Aero.”