The Air Force has provided five more C-130 loads of supplies to cyclone-stricken Burma, according to Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman. He told reporters at the Pentagon May 20 that 36 total flights have delivered more than 800,000 pounds of relief supplies. (The US military also have provided satellite imagery.) “We continue to plan more flights, but … it’s on a day-by-day basis,” he said. In China, an Air National Guard C-17 crew delivered a nine-member US Agency for International Development team to help Chinese search-and-rescue efforts following last week’s devastating earthquake. It was the third USAF C-17 flight to Chengdu. (American Forces Press Service reports by Jim Garamone on Burma and China aid.)
The F-35 Joint Program Office has officially announced plans to issue multiple sole-source contracts to Pratt & Whitney to upgrade the fighter’s F135 engine—a widely expected move after Pentagon officials indicated they would do so earlier this year instead of developing an entirely new engine.