Head Inc., a Columbus, Ohio, business, has been awarded an $11-million contract to build a concrete landing pad at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, according to a Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast press release Friday.
The helicopter dock "is another key project to prepare MCAS Beaufort for (the) transition to the F-35 Lightning II," said MCAS Beaufort Commanding Officer Col. Brian C. Murtha. "It will simulate the conditions of operating aboard an amphibious ship and provide critical training to pilots."
The work will include the deck, which will be made of high temperature resistant concrete, and a new safety tower, the release said. The project also includes construction of a simulated short takeoff and vertical landing deck, as well as electrical upgrades.
Work is expected to be completed by July 2014, the release said.
In December 2010, the Navy announced its decision to base three new active-duty Joint Strike Fighter squadrons and two pilot-training squadrons -- 88 jets in all -- at the air station.
The new jets will replace the F-18 Hornets now flown there.