$70M contract to build F-35B facility at MCAS Beaufort awarded (update: much more coming)

Lockheed Martin
An F-35B Joint Strike Fighter descends into a vertical landing.

Update June 13: With a $70 million contract awarded (details below), the Navy is saying that only about a sixth of the dollars have been awarded on the work due for MCAS Beaufort.

The Island Packet has a solid report on what's still left to come down the pipe; take a read here.

Reported June 7: Word has come down that a more than $70 million contract to build the F-35B training facility out at MCAS Beaufort has been awarded to Colorado's Hensel Phelps Construction.

The construction, which will also include new hangars, is expected to be completed by 2013.

We'll send you over to Naval Today for a brief writeup on the contract, and we expect some local coverage tomorrow.

In other F-35B news, the spin arm of Pratt & Whitney, which is the lead producer of the F-35B engine, is reporting that testing of the vertical landing/takeoff components is well outpacing last year's numbers and with good results. 

Meanwhile, the DOD Buzz website has an interesting piece in which a Lockheed Martin VP is quoted as saying that many of the F-35Bs' landings won't be vertical, but the use is there if needed. That's a bit insider baseball, but we'll send you to the story here if you're interested.

Update June 8: The Island Packet has a report on the contract award. Not a whole lot more in terms of information to offer, but if you missed the Day 1 story, then check out the local piece here.

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