L-3 Communications will retrofit one former Air Force MC-12W ISR aircraft as an airborne multi-intelligence platform for the Army, the Pentagon announced. Air Combat Command is transferring eight of its 41-strong MC-12 fleet to the Army as part of its overall fleet divestiture, all of which will likely require modification. L-3 is under contract to bring the first aircraft in line with the Army’s Enhanced Medium Altitude Reconnaissance and Surveillance System Multi-Intelligence (EMARSS-M) standards. Work under the $31.8 million contract would be completed by Sept 2016, according to DOD’s list of major contracts, released March 31. Air Force Special Operations Command initially planned to acquire 33 former ACC Liberties via US Special Operations Command as a U-28 replacement. Congress ultimately barred the transfer and only 13 airframes will remain Air Force assets, forming an Air National Guard special operations mission in Oklahoma later this year.
The Pentagon awarded a contract worth over $2 billion for the next batch of F-35 engines to Pratt & Whitney on June 5. The deal for Lot 17 F135 engines, totaling $2.02 billion, is expected to be completed by December 2025.