Plans to house new F-35 jet fighters at the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort are moving forward even though there are delays in testing the aircraft.
The Beaufort Gazette reports the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast plans to choose a contractor to begin base improvements by the end of March.
As much as $80 million in improvements are needed to house the new fighters that will replace the F-18 Hornets now flown from the base. Those improvements include a pilot training and simulator facility and a new hanger.
The Navy announced in December it will station 88 of the new jets at the base. That includes three active-duty squadrons and two training squadrons.