Phantom contract for BAE Systems

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BAE Systems has received a $26.5m contract to convert 20 F-4 Phantom fighter jets to full-scale aerial targets for the US Air Force.

The converted aircraft, designated QF-4s, provide the air force with full-size, remotely controlled aircraft that allow aircrews to train in highly realistic air combat manoeuvring, including live weapons launch.

BAE Systems will perform the modification work on 16 aircraft for the air force and four aircraft for the navy at its facility in Mojave, California. Production will be completed by July 2009.

‘This award is the third of five options exercised under an air force contract signed in 1992 and in effect until 2013,’ said Mike Dismukes, acting vice president and general manager of Flight Systems for BAE Systems in Mojave.

To date, BAE Systems has converted 217 F-4s to the QF-4 configuration.

BAE Systems will deliver the aircraft to Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida where they will be used in development of new weapons systems.