AAR Government Services Inc has been awarded USD118.6 million to deliver two Boeing 737 passenger/cargo aircraft to the US Marine Corps (USMC), the company announced on 6 September.
The award will see the Chicago-based company provide a pair of 737-700 Increased Gross Weight (IGW) series commercial aircraft to the USMC, to be designated C-40A Clipper once in service.
"The firm-fixed price contract, estimated to last two years, entails the acquisition, modification, acceptance, and delivery of two 737-700 IGW-series commercial aircraft. The aircraft will meet USMC C-9B replacement medium-lift requirements and be designated as C-40A aircraft when delivered. AAR leveraged expertise across its government programmes, parts supply, and MRO [maintenance, repair, and operations] activities within the Aviation Services segment to deliver this innovative solution to [the Naval Air Systems Command] NAVAIR," AAR said in a statement.
Jane's first reported the USMC's ambition to replace the two McDonnell Douglas C-9B Skytrain II airliners previously flown and retired in 2014 with the C-40A in early 2018. As noted at that time, the two replacement aircraft will be delivered in a 'combi-convertible' configuration that enables the aircraft to be configured for all-passenger (121 persons), all-cargo (36,000 lb [16,330 kg] across eight 463L pallets), or a combination of passengers and cargo fits. They will also be equipped with USMC or US Navy (USN) unique avionics equipment.
Once in service the two USMC Clippers will join the 15 such aircraft already fielded by the USN for a combined fleet of 17. The C-40A is used primarily to move ship crew and cargo from the US to forward locations.
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