Friday, May 18, 2018

Contract: L3 Vertex, $42.4M

L3 Communications Vertex Aerospace LLC, Madison, Miss., was awarded a $42,349,412 modification (P00028) to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery requirements contract (N00019-13-D-0007) to exercise an option for the organizational and depot level logistics services required to support and maintain the TH-57 fleet. Work will be performed at the Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Milton, Fla., and is expected to be completed in November 2018. No funds are being obligated at time of award; funds will be obligated against individual delivery orders as they are issued. The Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, Orlando, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 05/18/18)

GT Applied Research, $25.4M

Georgia Tech Applied Research Corp., Atlanta, has been awarded a $25,400,000 modification (P00004) to previously awarded contract FA8651-16-D-0049 for an increase in the indefinite delivery/indefinite-quantity ceiling. This modification provides for research, analysis, integration, systems engineering, development, flyable and non-flyable technology demonstrators, prototypes, test and evaluation, and rapid delivery of cutting-edge weapon solutions to the Department of Defense to counter emerging threats affecting national security. This modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $49,900,000. Work will be performed in Atlanta and is expected to be complete by December 2020. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Air Force Research Laboratory, Munitions Directorate, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 05/18/18)

SLS tubing contaminated

NASA discovered a contamination problem with tubing in part of the core stage of the first Space Launch System vehicle. According to SpaceNews, Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel member Don McErlean said at a May 17 meeting that a routine inspection of the core stage being built at Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans found contamination in the engine section that holds the SLS’s four RS-25 engines and associated systems. The contamination is paraffin wax, used to keep the tubes from crimping while being manufactured. The prime contractor, Boeing, determined the unnamed vendor was not fully cleaning the tubes as required. The contamination was initially found in a single tube, but later checks found similar residue in other tubes. All the tubing in the core stage is now being inspected and cleaned. It’s unclear if it will cause a delay. NASA previously said it expects the core stage to be completed and shipped to Stennis Space Center, Miss., at the end of this year for a green run engine tests by mid-2019, after which it would go to the Kennedy Space Center to be prepared for launch on Exploration Mission (EM) 1. (Source: SpaceNews, 05/17/18)

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Contract: Northrop, $45M

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., San Diego, Calif., was awarded a $45,000,000 fixed-price-incentive, firm target advance acquisition contract for long-lead materials components, material, parts, and associated efforts required to maintain the MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system planned production schedule. Work will be performed in San Diego (25.3 percent); Baltimore, Md. (22.7 percent); Salt Lake City, Utah (20.2 percent); Bridgeport, W.V. (8.2 percent); Red Oak, Texas (4.7 percent); Vandalia, Ohio (.2 percent); and various locations in the continental U.S. (15.1 percent); and locations outside the continental U.S. (3.6 percent), and is expected to be completed in January 2019. Fiscal 2018 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $45,000,000 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-18-C-1028). (Source: DoD, 05/17/18) Gulf Coast note: Northrop Grumman does fuselage work on Tritons in Moss Point, Miss.

Lake Charles getting aero center

LAKE CHARLES, La. – Gov John Bel Edwards and Citadel Completions LLC announced the company will make a $17.6 million investment and hire more than 250 people for an aircraft center for interior jet modifications and maintenance at Chennault International Airport in Lake Charles. According to a release from the governor's office, Citadel Completions estimates the new jobs at the maintenance, repair and overhaul facility will have an average annual salary of $80,000, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in an additional 347 indirect jobs. Hiring for the project is underway, with Citadel Completions expecting to begin operations by the third quarter of 2018. Citadel will use Hangars D and H and have a separate administrative building. (Source: KATC, Business Facilities, KALB, 05/17/18) Lake Charles is two hours west of Baton Rouge and three hours west of New Orleans along Interstate 10.

Fort Rucker wins award

The U.S. Army Garrison at Fort Rucker, Ala., was among five installations to win the 2018 Commander in Chief’s Annual Award for Installation Excellence. Fort Rucker in South Alabama is the primary flight training base for Army aviators. The awards were announced by Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis. The senior commander at Fort Rucker is Maj. Gen. William K. Gayler, and the garrison commander is Col. Brian E. Walsh. The awards recognize the outstanding and innovative efforts of the people who operate and maintain U.S. military installations. The five recipients were selected for their exemplary support of Department of Defense missions. The other bases recognized are Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash., Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., and Defense Distribution Depot San Joaquin, Calif. (Source: DoD, 05/17/18)

Grand opening set for museum

PENSACOLA, Fla. – The grand opening ceremony for the Gen. Daniel “Chappie” James Museum and Flight Academy is scheduled for June 7 at 10 a.m. The city-owned site is the historic home of America’s first African-American four-star general, Daniel “Chappie” James Jr., and was donated to the city by the family. The residence, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1909 by James’ father, Daniel James Sr., and is located at 1608 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. The Community Redevelopment Agency restored the original 900 square-foot home to house a museum. A new 1,500 sq. foot addition is now the home of the flight academy, which has been offering young people of Pensacola opportunities to train to be aviators for over two decades through their free one-week summer camps. The Flight Academy's classrooms, which are to be equipped with computers and flight simulator programs, will have its first summer camp at the new location June 11-16, 2018. (Source: City of Pensacola, 05/17/18)

SSC leadership changes

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – NASA has announced a pair of leadership changes at Stennis Space Center with John Bailey assuming the role of associate director following the retirement of Ken Human. The changes are effective May 31. Bailey, a native of Mobile, Ala., and resident of Picayune, Miss., previously served as Stennis Engineering and Test Directorate director. He joined the NASA team at Stennis in 1999 after serving as a civilian communications engineer for the U.S. Air Force. Human, a resident of Covington, La., has served almost 40 years with NASA and was named as Stennis associate director in 2010. He joined the Stennis team in 1978 as an attorney and later served as the center’s chief counsel for two decades. Bailey will be succeeded as director of the Engineering and Test Directorate by Joe Schuyler, who has served as the department deputy since 2016. (Source: NASA/SSC, 05/17/18)

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

24 airmen awarded DFC

Distinguished Flying Crosses. AF photo
HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. – Four AC-130U Spooky gunship crews with the 4th Special Operations Squadron were awarded Distinguished Flying Crosses for four separate engagements in Afghanistan spanning less than one year. Twenty-four airmen were awarded the honors during a May 11 ceremony. Three airmen were unable to attend. The DFC is awarded to any officer or enlisted personnel of the U.S. Armed Forces who have distinguished themselves in combat aerial operations. (Source: 1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs, 05/11/18)

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

AF ponders A-10 DU replacement

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Florida – The Air Force is pondering how best to acquire more PGU-14 ammunition, currently made by Orbital ATK, for the A-10. Its existing bullet inventory, averaging 32 years old, is aging out, said Bob DuPont of the 780th Test Squadron's guns and missiles department. It's unknown if the Air Force will stick with 30mm depleted-uranium (DU) rounds or if it will switch to tungsten. Depleted uranium, 60 percent more dense than lead, is used for its ability to pierce armored vehicles. Tungsten is comparable to uranium but a bit less dense, so manufacturers must balance out the weight to match today's PGU-14 rounds, which each weigh some 14 ounces. DuPont said the service is reaching out to the defense industry to see if adding a mix of alloy samples will allow tungsten to meet requirements. DU PGU-14 bullets are tested every two years on Eglin's northern range in a controlled fire exercise, required by the Pentagon for the ammo to be recertified for use in combat. (Source:, 05/14/18)

Contract: Lockheed, $24M

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded $24,076,058 for modification P00655 to a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee, firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-02-C-3002). This modification provides for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Verification Simulation F-35 In-A-Box (FIAB) Phase II for delivery of the FIAB software model, software license fees, and continued FIAB software model development, integration, and support. Work will be performed in Fort Worth (90 percent); and Marietta, Ga. (10 percent), and is expected to be completed in September 2018. Fiscal 2018 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force) funds in the amount of $20,363,600 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This effort combines purchases for the Navy (37 percent); Marine Corps (34 percent); and Air Force (29 percent). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 05/15/18) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base is home of the F-35 integrated training center.

WTO issues final ruling

The U.S. won a long-running trade case challenging subsidies that European Union nations provided to Airbus to develop A350 and A380 jetliners, hurting Boeing sales. The final ruling Tuesday of the World Trade Organization means the United States can impose retaliatory sanctions. An appellate panel for the WTO affirmed a 2016 ruling that the EU had failed to eliminate unfair funding for two Airbus models. Later this year, the WTO is expected to issue a final ruling in a separate case in which the EU challenged billions of dollars in U.S. aid to Boeing. The next stage of the 14-year battle will be over the size of the tariffs the U.S. will be allowed to impose to compensate for lost exports. The Geneva-based WTO can’t force nations or companies to drop payments that violate trade rules, but it can authorize retaliatory measures to pressure governments into complying with its rulings. (Source: Multiple, including Bloomberg, Reuters via U.S. News and World Report, Seattle Times, 05/15/18) Gulf Coast note: Airbus has an A320 series jetliner manufacturing center in Mobile, Ala. Previous

Monday, May 14, 2018

Contract: Boeing, $16.2M

The Boeing Corp., St. Louis, Mo., has been awarded a $16,180,628 modification (POOOO I) to previously awarded contract FA868 l-l 8-C-0038 for the exercise of an option for BLU-127 warhead cases. This contract modification provides for the procurement of BLU-127 warhead cases, and brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $37,151,052. Work will be performed in St. Louis and is expected to be complete by July 31, 2020. Fiscal 2016 and 2017 production funds in the full amount are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 05/11/18)

Snowbirds visit Pensacola

NAVAL AIR STATION PENSACOLA, Fla. – The Snowbirds flight demonstration team, Canada’s 431st Air Demonstration Squadron, will make a rare appearance at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., this week. The visit to the home of the Navy Blue Angels flight demonstration team, will include practice sessions opened to the public May 15-17. The Blue Angels practice schedule has been modified to accommodate both teams. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 05/09/18, WEAR-TV, 05/10/18, TheAvGeek, 05/13/18) The Snowbirds fly CT-114 Tutors, a Canadian-built jet.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Contract: Multiple, $49M

Bullock Tice Associates Inc., Pensacola, Fla. (W91278-18-D-0032); Merrick-Atkins JV LLP, Greenwood Village, Colo. (W91278-18-D-0033); Raymond Pond Solution 8A II JV LLC, Conyers, Ga. (W91278-18-D-0037); Sherlock, Smith & Adams/Clark Nexsen JV, Montgomery, Ala. (W91278-18-D-0038); Benham Design LLC, Oklahoma City, Okla. (W91278-18-D-0039); Burns & McDonnell Engineering Co., Kansas City, Mo. (W91278-18-D-0040); CEMS Apogee JV LLC, Cary, N.C. (W91278-18-D-0041); Guidon-MES SB JV LLC, Indianapolis, Ind. (W91278-18-D-0042); Perigee Prime AE SB JV LLC, West Jordan, Utah (W91278-18-D-0043); and G.M. Hill Engineering Inc., Jacksonville, Fla. (W91278-18-D-0045), will compete for each order of the $49,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for architect and engineering services. Bids were solicited via the Internet with 67 received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of May 9, 2023. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile, Ala., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 05/10/18)

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Wing struggles to train pilots

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- One of the busiest F-35 training units is hoping the Air Force can relieve some of the pressures of training student pilots. The 33rd Fighter Wing, leading training wing for F-35 student pilots, hopes to receive additional F-35A fighters, along with considerable upgrades to its existing fleet, to keep up with training demands. Col. Paul Moga, commander of the 33rd Fighter Wing, told the unit has found smarter ways inside the existing structure of the 33rd to get more quality sorties into the curriculum despite limitations. "We're the first Air Force wing to start doing what we call 'hot swaps,'" Moga said, referring to different student/instructor pairs swapping out for back-to-back flights in a single aircraft to save time and execute more sorties. But lately it's not enough. The 33rd has 25 F-35As and the Navy, which also has a presence on the base and sends pilots through the training pipeline here, has 8 F-35Cs. The wing is authorized to have 59 aircraft. The fifth-generation stealth plane arrived in 2011 and made the 33rd Fighter Wing the first U.S. F-35 training unit. The first class of student pilots started training in 2013. The planes, part of the first low rate initial production batch, need additional work. (Source:, 05/07/18)

Monday, May 7, 2018

Contract: Bell, $21.7M

Bell Helicopter Textron Inc., Fort Worth, Texas, is awarded $21,705,649 for modification P00001 to a previously awarded indefinite- delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N00019-18-D-0119). This modification increases the quantity of Bell 407 variant commercial airframes through fiscal 2020 by seven in support of the MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned air system program of record. Work will be performed in Ozark, Ala., and is expected to be completed in December 2020. No funds will be obligated at time of award. Funds will be obligated on individual delivery orders as they are issued. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 05/07/18) Gulf Coast note: Finishing work on Fire Scouts is done in Moss Point, Miss.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Partnership moving fast

Airbus and Bombardier expect to consummate their CSeries partnership "faster than expected," and transfer a majority stake in the program to the Airbus by mid-year, according to an internal memo seen by AIN. The memo names current Airbus Commercial Aircraft head of performance management, Phillipe Balducci, CEO of the new division, while current head of the A380 final assembly line in Toulouse, Florent Massou, heads the C Series program. Current C Series program head Rob Dewar becomes head of customer support and head of engineering. Airbus will take a majority stake in the Bombardier CSeries program under the terms of a contract signed in October. Airbus will take a 50.01 percent stake in the CSeries Aircraft Limited Partnership (CSALP). CSALP’s headquarters, primary assembly line, and related functions will remain in Qu├ębec, but will expand with a new CSeries production line at Airbus’s manufacturing site in Mobile, Ala. (Source: AIN, 05/03/18) Previous

Monday, April 30, 2018

Contract: Lockheed, $1.4B

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is awarded a $1,421,735,530 cost-plus-incentive-fee contract for recurring logistics services for delivered F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter air systems in support of the Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, non-Department of Defense (DoD) participants, and foreign military sales (FMS) customers. Services to be provided include ground maintenance activities; action request resolution; depot activation activities; Automatic Logistics Information System operations and maintenance; reliability, maintainability and health management implementation and support; supply chain management; and activities to provide and support pilot and maintainer initial training. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (62 percent); Orlando, Fla. (22 percent); Greenville, S.C. (7 percent); Warton, United Kingdom (5 percent); and Redondo Beach, Calif. (4 percent), and is expected to be completed in April 2019. Fiscal 2018 operations and maintenance (Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy); fiscal 2018 aircraft procurement (Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy); non-DoD participant; and FMS funds in the amount of $1,403,206,015 will be obligated at time of award; $845,359,517 of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract combines purchases for the Air Force (42.07 percent); Marine Corps (18.41 percent); Navy (12.29 percent); non-DoD participants (20.01 percent); and FMS customers (7.22 percent). This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(1). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 04/30/18) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center.

Contract: Lockheed, $24M

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded $23,970,414 for modification P00034 to a previously awarded fixed-price-incentive contract (N00019-16-C-0004) for the development and delivery of multi-spectral data bases for incorporation into F-35 training systems for the Navy, Air Force and F-35 international partners. Work will be performed in Orlando, Fla., and is expected to be completed in September 2020. Fiscal 2016 aircraft procurement (Navy and Air Force); and non-Department of Defense (DoD) participant funds in the amount of $23,970,414 will be obligated at time of award, $10,721,229 of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This effort combines purchases for the Navy ($2,502,229; 10.4 percent); Air Force ($8,219,000; 34.3 percent); and non-DoD participants ($13,249,185; 55.3 percent). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 04/30/18) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center.