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CPI Aerostructures lands $6.2 million Talon order

Aerospace manufacturer CPI Aerostructures Inc. has landed a $6.2 million purchase order from the Air Force for structural modification kits designed to extend the life of the T-38C Talon jet trainer, the Edgewood company announced Monday.

The kits will be used to strengthen the body and internal support structures of the wings of the two-seat, supersonic aircraft. CPI will provide components as well as management and logistics services.

Efforts to extend the life of the Talon, whose production ended in 1972, come as the Air Force reportedly prepares to release specifications for the T-X, its next-generation jet trainer. A contract award for the T-X is not projected until 2017.

CPI's purchase order is the second in a $49 million contract won in February that gives the Air Force discretion on funding. CPI will deliver the kits to Hill Air Force Base near Ogden, Utah.

CPI chief financial officer Vincent Palazzolo said that the order adds momentum to the company's efforts to reinvigorate its pipeline of contracts directly with the Air Force. CPI, with about 305 employees, also makes components for manufacturers of civilian aircraft and as a subcontractor for prime contractors like Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.

Shares of CPI fell 2 percent to $9.16 in late afternoon trading.

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