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F-15 jet

An F-15 fighter jet

Billings Gazette

A company owned by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Nation in St. Ignatius has won a $559 million contract to provide parts for fighter jets in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The U.S. Department of Defense announced last week that S&K Aerospace, LLC, won the contract with the U.S. Air Force to provide the Royal Saudi Air Force’s Supply Services with F-15 components.

S&K Technologies CEO Thomas Acevedo said it’s unclear how many jobs the contract will create in Montana, because the company plans to hire most of the workers for the contract to work in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. The corporate office in St. Ignatius provides logistical support for the company’s offices around the world, so there may be hires made locally here.

“First we’ll start to order supplies, then we’ll determine how many people we need in the Kingdom and in St. Ignatius,” he said.

However, Acevedo said the company pays a dividend back to the tribe every year, and this contract could boost that money.

“Last year, we paid a $4.2 million dividend back to the tribe,” he said.

The contract was competitive, and S&K submitted the lowest bid out of four other offers.

“This is a huge win for the S&K Team and well deserved as many folks from across the enterprise contributed to the proposal effort and subsequent award,” said S&K Aerospace senior vice president of business development Daryl Delamarter. “We have been supporting the RSAF for over 15 years and this contract will allow us to continue to expand our presence and operations in-Kingdom.”

The company has a long history of supporting RSAF programs. The work will be performed through 2023 in the company’s offices in the southeastern United States as well as two cities in Saudi Arabia.

“The F-15 is a critical weapons system for the RSAF and this contract provides a wide range of logistics support for the aircraft,” said S&K Aerospace President Anthony Amadeo. “We will work closely with our teammates, as well as our in-Kingdom partners to exceed contract requirements, while working towards Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.”

This isn’t even the company’s largest contract ever. It won a 15-year, $4.2 billion contract from the U.S. Air Force in November 2016 to provide logistics, maintenance and technical services for 107 foreign military sales customers under the Parts and Repair Ordering System V program.

The United States has a long history of being allied with Saudi Arabia. Earlier this year, President Donald Trump announced a $110 billion weapons sale to the Middle Eastern nation.

The parent company of S&K Technologies was formed in 1999 as a professional services firm. It now includes five subsidiary companies that provide support to federal and commercial customers around the world.

As a wholly owned corporation of the CSKT of the Flathead Nation, Amadeo said S&K Technologies is part of an extensive economic development plan established by tribal leadership.

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