Washington, D.C., September 16, 2013 – Embraer Defense & Security Inc. announced, today, at the Air Force Association’s Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition that the company is on schedule with its Jacksonville, Florida, assembly facility to begin deliveries in mid-2014 of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft to the U.S. Air Force for the Light Air Support (LAS) program.
There have been several developments since the contract award was announced on February 27, 2013.
- On March 26, a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the presence of government officials and local leaders including Florida Governor Rick Scott, Congressman Ander Crenshaw, and Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown marked the opening of the 40,000-square-foot assembly hangar located at Jacksonville International Airport.
- Shortly thereafter, Daniel W. Culleton, Jr., a seasoned professional with extensive experience in aircraft production and delivery of complex integrated structures for the aerospace and marine industries, joined the company as General Manager. Culleton’s experience includes more than 30 years working for Northrop Grumman Corporation and its predecessor, Grumman Corporation, in a variety of operational, production and management positions. He will oversee all operations at the Jacksonville facility.
- More recently, another seasoned executive, David J. Hall, joined the company as Director of Contracts. Hall brings extensive industry experience with ITT, Rockwell Collins, Thales, and Textron, among other companies.
- Hiring has commenced at an accelerated pace from the local Jacksonville community where, as of today, 40 critical positions have been filled for areas encompassing Production Engineering, Quality Engineering, Logistics, and A&P technicians.
According to Culleton, “This facility will perform pre-equipping, mechanical assembly, structural assembly, systems installation and testing, and flight testing of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft. It is the latest in a series of recent expansions by Embraer in Florida and the first for Defense & Security.”
In 2011, Embraer opened a production facility for its Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 executive jets and a Global Customer Center in Melbourne, Florida, and in 2012, the company broke ground for a new Engineering and Technology Center, also in Melbourne, that will employ 200 engineers.
“As the aircraft selected for the LAS program, the A-29 Super Tucano will be used to provide light air support, reconnaissance and training capabilities to the Afghanistan military,” said William Buckey, Vice President, Business Development, Embraer Defense & Security. “This award also opens the door to additional orders from other nations under the Building Partnership Capacity program,” he added.
On February 27, 2013 the U.S. Air Force awarded the LAS contract to Sierra Nevada Corporation to supply 20 Embraer A-29 Super Tucano aircraft, as well as ground-based training devices, pilot and maintenance training, and logistical support.
Embraer currently employs over 1,300 people across the United States. More than 100 U.S. companies will supply parts and services for the A-29 Super Tucano. Some 1,400 U.S. jobs will be supported by the LAS contract.