May 22 (UPI) -- L-3 Communications has been awarded a contract by the Defense Department to maintain the TH-57 Sea Ranger, a U.S. Navy training helicopter.
The award, from Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, is valued at more than $42.3 million and will provide organizational and depot level logistic services to support and maintain the TH-57 Sea Ranger, according to the Pentagon.
The TH-57 Sea Ranger is manufactured by Bell Helicopter Textron and has been in regular use since 1968.
Initially designed as a light observation helicopter for the U.S. Army, the Sea Ranger is used primarily to develop a "rigorous, diverse, carrier-capable Naval Flight Training System, where student pilots and undergraduate military flight officers acquire mission-critical aviation skills" for future naval missions, according to the Navy.
Work on the contract will occur at Naval Air Station Whiting Field in Milton, Fla., and is expected to be complete in November 2018.
No funds will be obligated to L-3 Communications at time of award, the Pentagon said.