Lockheed Martin Aircraft Argentina S.A. rolled out the first upgraded Pampa jet trainer in a formal ceremony yesterday. This AT-63 Pampa is the demonstrator of the new configuration of the Pampa, and is ready to initiate the ground testing phase, the necessary stage prior to flight testing which is expected to begin mid- year 2005.
"We are proud to roll out this aircraft today, manufactured for the Argentine Air Force," said Alberto Buthet, President of Lockheed Martin Aircraft Argentina. "The Pampa rollout highlights a year of considerable growth for our company that included new contracts with other countries and companies and a 10 percent growth in our workforce."
The AT-63 Pampa is a low-cost advanced trainer and light attack aircraft. It is the new version of the legendary IA-63 Pampa originally built in Cordoba. The new generation Pampa continues to provide the ease of maintenance and airframe stability of the original version, while featuring an upgraded crew station and modern avionics suite with a military standard 1553B data bus architecture and sophisticated mission computers to provide more reliability to support advanced weapon systems. These upgrades significantly reduce maintenance costs by using the modular approach to systems design.
The aircraft rolled out in Cordoba yesterday is part of the Pampa program, which was reactivated in February 2004 with the two five-year contracts awarded by the Argentine Government to Lockheed Martin Aircraft Argentina. The contracts include the upgrade of 12 existing aircrafts to the AT-63 configuration for the Argentine Air Force, and manufacturing 12 AT-63 Pampa jets, six for the Argentine Air Force and the other for international sales. The contracts also included maintenance and modification services for aircraft, engines and accessories to the Argentine Air Force's fleet.
Lockheed Martin Aircraft Argentina is a major industry leader in the province of Cordoba, with about 1,000 employees. In addition to its work for the Government of Argentina, the company also signed other important contracts in 2004 to provide maintenance services to Colombian and Bolivian aircraft, engines and fans of commercial airlines, and to manufacture aircraft parts for Chile and Lockheed Martin USA.
One of the most important aerospace industry centers in Latin America, Lockheed Martin Aircraft Argentina is a member of Lockheed Martin Aircraft & Logistics Centers. Lockheed Martin is a global leader in the design, manufacture and support of military aircraft. The company produces the F-16 Fighting Falcon, the F/A-22 Raptor and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
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SOURCE: Lockheed Martin
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