By Drew Dixon

With legal fights lingering and budget battles waging in the nation’s capital, Jacksonville International Airport entered the military aircraft manufacturing business on Tuesday.

Gov. Rick Scott was on hand at the site where Sierra Nevada Corp. and its Brazilian subcontractor, Embraer Aircraft Holding, will assemble at least 20 of the single-engine A-29 Super Tucano light air support planes. The aircraft eventually will be shipped to Afghanistan to help fight enemies of the government there.

Although the official opening was Tuesday, the 41,000-sqaure-foot facility at JIA and its 50 employees won’t actually be building the aircraft until near the end of this year.