SC congressman tests capabilities of F-35

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina Rep. Tim Scott is planning to test the capabilities of the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Scott joins officials from Lockheed Martin on the deck of the USS Yorktown in Mount Pleasant on Thursday to test a pilot simulator for the new aircraft.

The F-35 is set to be deployed both at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter and at the Beaufort Marine Air Station.

But with $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts in both domestic and military spending to phase in beginning in January, South Carolina lawmakers say the new fighter will be a prime target for cuts.

The automatic cuts are scheduled because a bi-partisan congressional panel could not agree earlier on where to trim the federal budget.