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U.S. F-35s to make first operational deployment in Europe
by Ryan Maass
Washington (UPI) Apr 10, 2017

Rolls-Royce contracted for KC-130J engine repairs
(UPI) Apr 14, 2017 - Rolls-Royce received a $372 million contract from the U.S. Navy to perform engine repair services for KC-130J tanker aircraft.

The contract covers depot-level engine repair work for the U.S. Marine Corps and the government of South Korea. The company will perform the work in California, Indiana, Canada, Portugal and Britain.

The U.S. Department of Defense expects the engine repairs to be complete by April 2022.

Rolls-Royce did not receive any funding at the time of the contract award. Funds will instead be awarded as orders are issued.

The contract was competitively procured with three offers received. The Naval Air Systems Command is the contracting activity.

KC-130J tankers are designed to perform aerial refueling missions to keep deployed fighters in flight. They can also be used to refuel land-based assets such as armored and tactical vehicles.

The planes operated by the Marines accumulated over 20,000 flight hours during military operations in Iraq.

IAR to become prime contractor for Romanian H215M helicopters
(UPI) Apr 13, 2017 - Airbus has inked a deal with Romania's state-owned IAR Brasov allowing the enterprise to become the prime contractor for the country's H125M rotorcraft.

According to IAR general director Neculai Banea, the company has already constructed 360 helicopters in partnership with Airbus over a 50-year time period.

"This agreement is an important milestone in the construction of a European defense partnership. We are convinced that this relationship will last another 50 years and that the H215M will correspond perfectly to the needs of the Romanian armies," Airbus' Olivier Michalon said in a press release.

Airbus Helicopters has been operating in Romania for over fifteen years. The company opened a factory in Brasov in 2016 to supplement its production operations.

The H215M helicopter is designed for ground attack and support missions, and is equipped with a full glass cockpit and modernized avionics systems. It can also perform transport missions, and carry up to 24 troops at a time.

Combat capabilities include a pod-mounted 20mm cannon, rocket launchers, and side-mounted rapid-fire machine guns.

U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II aircraft will soon head to Europe to perform military exercises, marking the plane's first operational deployment.

In a statement released by the U.S. Department of Defense on Friday, the Pentagon revealed the Air Force will participate in training events alongside NATO and other U.S. forces to support the European Reassurance initiative.

U.S. and NATO troops have intensified military activity in the region as a show of force against Russian aggression. Exercises recently included tank maneuvering drills with Polish forces in March.

The Pentagon said the deployment marks a milestone for the F-35 program and offers a chance to "further demonstrate the operational capabilities" of its 5th-generation fighter. Bases in Europe are scheduled to house the jets on a permanent basis in the early 2020s.

The F-35 program has been met with controversy over its cost overruns and delays in development. The White House recently signaled greater enthusiasm for the project after the Trump Administration signed off on the procurement of an additional 90 planes.

Lockheed Martin has stated the new deal represents significant savings in costs over time.

L3 gets $202 million contract for C-12 aircraft support
(UPI) Apr 13, 2017 - L3 Technologies received a $202 million contract to perform maintenance and engineering tasks for C-12 Huron aircraft used by the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.

Tasks for the contract will include depot level maintenance, logistics support and sustaining engineering services for the utility lift aircraft. The work will focus on the plane's engines and aircraft systems.

The U.S. Department of Defense says the work will be performed in several locations including Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Bahrain, Japan and Cuba.

L3 did not receive any funding at the time of the contract award, and will instead be paid based on individual delivery orders as they are issued.

The contract was competitively procured with a total of five offers received. It will be managed by the Naval Air Systems Command.

C-12 Huron aircraft are transport platforms based on the Beech Model 200 Super King Air. The planes are used for range clearance, embassy support, medical evacuations and light cargo transport. They are powered by a twin-engine turboprop, crewed by 2 people, and can carry 5,000 pounds of cargo.

Navy continues grounding of T-45 trainer aircraft
Washington (UPI) Apr 10, 2017
U.S. Navy T-45 trainer jets are grounded for at least another week as investigations continue into physiological episodes experienced by aircraft crew. The three-day grounding was initially called on Wednesday on the orders of Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker, Commander, Naval Air Forces as instructor-pilot concerns led to the cancellation of about 40 percent of training flights from three Nava ... read more

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