Thursday, December 11, 2014
Italy and Turkey were chosen by the Pentagon to provide initial heavy maintenance of F-35 fighter jets in Europe starting in 2018. That paves the way for billions of dollars of work by companies in those countries, and several others in coming years, as the new stealth warplane starts operating around the world. Air Force Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, who runs the F-35 program for the Defense Department, said the countries involved would release details about which companies would do the work. Italy will provide initial heavy maintenance, with Britain providing backup airframe maintenance. Heavy maintenance on the F135 engine will be done in Turkey, but Norway and the Netherlands will also set up sites in a few years. (Source: Reuters, Lockheed Martin, 12/11/14) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center.