CPI Aerostructures Inc. has a new, $49-million U.S. Air Force contract to supply structural modification kits for the T-38C Pacer Classic III (PC III) aircraft. The T-38C is a Northrop Grumman-built twin-engine, two-seat supersonic jet used for training, with structural and avionics updates from the original, 1960s design. Numerous national air forces use different versions of the T-38 to train fighter pilots.
CPI Aero — which manufactures structural assemblies for fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and “airborne Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance pod systems,” for commercial aerospace and national security markets — described the deal as a “indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract.”
The contract is being managed by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.
The contract’s “period of performance and ordering period” starts immediately and deliveries will extend for six years, CPI Aero stated, ending in February 2021.
CPI Aero will support the T-38C PC III aircraft structural modification program during Phase II; Phase I requirements are being fulfilled by Northrop Grumman Technical Services (up to 51 kits), but the remaining 74 kits (i.e., Phase II) will be fulfilled by CPI Aero. It will manage the integration of kits (as necessary) and provide management for the program, logistics, discrepancy reporting/resolution, and sub-contract management.
"This new military contract comes on the heels of our $53.5-million F-16 Wing components contract announced just three months ago, and re-establishes CPI Aero as a leading prime contractor of aircraft structural components and kits to the U.S. Government,” according to Douglas McCrosson, president and CEO. “Our recent F-16 contract and this new T-38 contract are the two largest military programs received directly from the U.S. Government in more than a decade and in the aggregate add over a $100 million to our total backlog."
The USAF’s Air Education Training Command uses the T-38C as an advanced trainer in Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training. CPI Aero will provide structural modifications kits as part of a “remove and replace,” modification program developed to enhance operational capability, flight safety, reliability, and maintainability. The PC III will replace critical, fatigue-sensitive structural items, including the steel dorsal longerons, cockpit longerons, and the upper/lower center longerons.
The deliveries also will include associated bulkheads/formers, skins, and floors.
"This new contract recognizes our excellent past performance as a prime contractor on the T-38 platform dating back to 2001 and is a validation of our strategy to create a revenue stream from our investment in creating world class engineering, supply chain management and program management capabilities,” McCrosson added.