by Ryan Maass
Washington (UPI) Apr 10, 2017
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
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.
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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