Dec. 5 (UPI) -- L-3 Communications Vertex Aerospace has been awarded a modified contract for services and support for 200 U.S. Navy T-45 Goshawk aircraft.
The deal, announced Monday by the Department of Defense, is worth more than $37.6 million and modifies the terms of a previous award that was classified as a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery, requirements contract.
"This modification provides for additional organizational, intermediate, and depot level maintenance, logistics, and engineering services to support and maintain approximately 200 Navy T-45 Goshawk aircraft, aircraft systems, and related support equipment to support flight and test and evaluation operations," officials said in a news release.
The contract also provides equipment, tools and materials for the training aircraft. Work will be performed at multiple naval air stations around the U.S., and is expected to be completed by September 2018. Officials say no funds were obligated to L-3 Communications at time of award, instead obligating them as task orders are issued.
Early this year, Lt. Patrick L. Ruth, 31, of Metairie, La., and Lt. j.g. Wallace E. Burch, 25, of Horn Lake, Miss., died when their T-45C Goshawk crashed in the Tellico plains of the Cherokee National Forest, some 45 miles southwest of Knoxville.
The October crash was the third incident this year involving the T-45C Goshawk and comes after the U.S. Navy grounded the trainer fleet in April to investigate the onboard oxygen system and pilots experiencing Hypoxia-related incidents, which occur when there is an inadequate amount of partial pressure of oxygen in the air.
Officials installed the CRU-123 oxygen monitoring system on T-45Cs to mitigate the problem of hypoxia-related issues. October's crash, however, has created more questions than answers for investigators as that aircraft had the CRU-123 monitoring system installed.
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, which awaits President Donald Trump's signature, includes a provision designed to study and identify why pilots are experiencing physiological episodes during flight. The provision authorizes a defense contract worth $10 million to investigate the cause.