In Huntsville, said Bill Weaver, Raytheon's senior manager of aviation development here, Raytheon would have about 50 people working in a program management office supporting the aircraft contract.
is a European aerospace firm, and the company plans to offer its twin engine C-295 and C-235 aircraft as a potential cargo carrier to the Army.
The initial purchase would be four aircraft, Weaver
said, "and those would be made in Spain.
would not disclose how much an individual aircraft would cost, the EADS CASA North America C-295 and C-235 aircraft would be competitively priced, he
"Our aircraft, because of the engines, will burn half the fuel per hour versus the competition.
That will save hundreds of millions of dollars over the life of this program."
The C-295 and C-235 have been in operation for a number of years, with 250 in operation around the world, Weaver
Italy's Allenia, along with Lockheed Martin
and L-3 Communication, plan to offer the Army a variant of the twin engine C-29J.
The Army wants new aircraft that can move a variety of supplies, along with troops, around a battlefield quickly.
"It would be able to fly supplies to a forward area," Weaver
said, "and put them directly on a Chinook helicopter, which can transport them to those areas, like a mountaintop base, that an aircraft cannot get to."
Today, Army commanders rely on the Chinook to fly back into rear areas, pick up supplies and deliver them directly to the soldier in the foxhole, Weaver
"The Chinook can do that, but it wasn't really designed for that mission.
It operates at low altitude and that opens (Chinooks) up to ground fire.
This aircraft is pressurized and would fly over the threats."
Beyond the traditional cargo and troop mission, the aircraft would help National Guard troops carry a variety of communications gear that could support natural disaster relief, Weaver
"It's a very versatile aircraft," Weaver