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The Boston Globe


Defense cuts could hurt Beechcraft

WICHITA, Kan. — The plane maker Beechcraft, formerly Hawker Beechcraft, emerged Tuesday from bankruptcy protection, freed from much of its debt and its unprofitable business jet operations.

It is now focused on its turboprop and piston aircraft and its military work. But the prospect of massive defense spending cuts comes at a crucial time for the company, as it competes for a $354 million government contract to build aircraft for use in Afghanistan. The high-stakes ‘‘light air support’’ contract could ultimately be worth nearly $1 billion, depending on future orders.

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