The Air Force has chosen a Montana-based business to build 243 modified Ford F-130 trucks that are prototypes for use as flight-line tractors. The vehicles will move aircraft around on tarmacs, using a telescoping, rotating center hitch that the company—International Truck Body—is pursuing a patent for, reports the Great Falls (Mont.) Tribune. If the first year of the contract goes well for the planned five-year, $29 million deal, the company could sell 1,200 of the tractors to the Air Force.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.