Florida Building New Military Cargo Planes

Contract estimated at more than $2 billion over five years; over 200 jobs will be created.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - New military cargo planes will be built in Florida, the Department of Defense announced Wednesday.
An assembly plant at Jacksonville's Cecil Field, a former Navy base, will employ more than 200 people for the project.
The cargo planes being built are the C-27J Spartan. The planes are designed for cargo and troop transport, tactical operations, medical evacuation and firefighting. They can take off and land with short runways and can carry up to two armored Humvees or 68 troops.
The contract for the C-27J goes to a group led by L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. The group includes Boeing Co. and Italian aircraft manufacturer subsidiary Alenia North America. They will supply at least 78 of the planes.
The contract is estimated to be worth more than $2 billion over five years, the DOD said.
The consortium is currently building the first two planes at Alenia facilities in Italy, but the first planes assembled in Jacksonville should roll out in 2010, company spokesman Ben Stone told The Florida Times-Union of Jacksonville.
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