Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Contract: RT&T, $11.7M

Reliance Test & Technology, Fort Walton Beach, Fla., has been awarded an $11,725,589 modification (P00011) to previously awarded contract FA2486-16-C-0002 for Eglin operation and maintenance support service. This modification increases government provided values of cost reimbursable items supporting the National Radar Test Facility. Work will be performed at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., and is expected to be complete by Sept. 30, 2026. Fiscal 2017 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $7,257,273 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Test Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 03/28/17)

Contract: Rolls-Royce, $106.9M

Rolls-Royce Corp., Indianapolis, Ind., is being awarded $106,898,882 for modification P00007 to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery, requirements contract (N00019-14-D-0016) to provide intermediate, depot-level maintenance and related logistics support for approximately 209 in-service T-45 F405-RR-401 Adour engines. Work will be performed at Naval Air Station (NAS) Kingsville, Texas (46 percent); NAS Meridian, Miss. (42 percent); NAS Pensacola, Fla. (11 percent); and NAS Patuxent River, Md. (1 percent), and is expected to be completed in March 2018. No funds will be obligated at time of award; funds will be obligated on individual delivery orders as they are issued. The Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, Orlando, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 03/28/17)

Contract: Rockwell, $142.4M

Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is being awarded a $142,356,338 cost-plus-incentive-fee, fixed-price-incentive, firm-fixed-price contract for procurement of the Tactical Combat Training System Increment II (TCTS Inc II) environment improvement of the air combat training with rangeless air combat and secure air-to-air and air-to-ground data link. This contract will include participant subsystems; ground subsystems; remote range units; peculiar support equipment; enhanced threats; platform interfaces; an internal rack-mounted subsystem capability for fixed wing and rotary aircraft; and an internal subsystem for the Joint Strike Fighter. Work will be done in Cedar Rapids (65 percent); Fort Walton Beach, Fla. (20 percent); Richardson, Texas (10 percent); and various locations within the continental U.S. (5 percent), and is expected to be completed in November 2022. Fiscal 2017 research, development, testing and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $8,318,444 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current year. This contract was competitively procured via an electronic request for proposals, with two offers received. The Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, Orlando, Fla., is the contracting activity (N61340-17-C-0007). (Source: DoD, 03/28/17)

Monday, March 27, 2017

Continental plans $60M upgrade

MOBILE, Ala. -- Continental Motors will spend more than $60 million on a new facility at the Mobile Aeroplex, the company announced Monday. The plan is not expected to have an impact on the size of the Mobile-area workforce, currently just over 400 employees in Mobile and around 30 in Fairhope. President and CEO Rhett Ross said groundbreaking on the 225,000-square foot facility will be this summer at the intersection of Broad Street and Michigan Avenue. It will be fully operational by the end of 2019. Continental and parent company AVIC International Holding Corp., of China, will spend up to $30 million developing the new site, and about $40 milllion on new manufacturing equipment for the building, which also will house the global business headquarters. Continental, which makes piston and turbine engines for light, general aviation aircraft, looked at other sites before deciding to stay in Mobile. It currently has operations at 11 buildings at its 44-acre campus. It will retain one of those buildings. (Source: al.com, 03/27/17)

SBIRS transmitting images

From its final orbit location 22,000 miles above the equator, the third Lockheed Martin-built Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) satellite recently sent its first images back to Earth. The satellite was launched on Jan. 20 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket and is the third in a series of Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) satellites that the U.S. Air Force uses to provide faster and more accurate missile warning data to the nation and its allies. The satellite reached orbit, where it successfully completed deployments of its sun-tracking solar arrays, antenna wing assemblies and light shade. The next satellite in the series will undergo final assembly, integration and test at Lockheed Martin's satellite production facility in Sunnyvale, Calif., prior to its launch planned for later this year. (Source: Spacewar.com, 03/27/17) Gulf Coast note: The satellite's core propulsion system and thermal blankets are integrated by Lockheed Martin at Stennis Space Center, Miss.

B-25 will honor Raiders

NAVAL AIR STATION PENSACOLA, Fla. – The National Naval Aviation Museum is paying tribute to the Doolittle Raiders by refurbishing a B-25 B Mitchell bomber as a replica of the one flown by Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle. Sixteen Army bombers with 80 airmen flew off the carrier to hit Japan four months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, providing a needed boost to U.S. morale. They trained at nearby Eglin Air Force Base. The bomber will go on display outside the museum's Blue Angels Atrium on April 18 to mark the 75th anniversary of the raid. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 03/27/17)

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Science on a sphere

The sphere shows weather patterns.
U.S. Air Force photo
KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- In a completely black room at the 335th Training Squadron's Weather Training Complex, a 48-inch carbon fiber globe hangs, suspended from the ceiling with projectors pointing at it from each corner. Welcome to Science on a Sphere, the Department of Defense's newest weather training aid. It uses computers with high-end graphic cards and video projectors to display data onto the globe. Developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as an education tool, it helps illustrate earth weather science through animations of atmospheric storms, climate change and ocean temperatures. The globe doesn't move, but gives that illusion. Instructors for Weather Initial Skills and Weather Officer Courses will use the system as a tool to help students gain an enhanced understanding of fundamental atmospheric and oceanographic processes. (Source: 81st Training Wing, 03/23/17)

Contract: Lockheed, $10.5M

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded $10,470,663 for delivery order 0011 against a previously awarded basic ordering agreement (N00019-14-G-0020) to complete a Selective Precision Effects At Range Capability 3 risk reduction and integration study of the F-35 air system for the government of the United Kingdom. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (75 percent); Orlando, Fla. (10 percent); Lancashire, United Kingdom (10 percent); and Redondo Beach, Calif. (5 percent), and is expected to be completed in March 2020. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 03/24/17) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center.

Producing planes, opportunities

MOBILE, Ala. -- The first Alabama-made A321 jetliner took to the skies on its maiden flight a year ago, and now the company is ramping up to eventually produce 40 to 50 jetliners each year. But Gov. Robert Bentley says the plant is not only producing planes, but opportunities that enrich the lives of the workforce. This feature story focuses on a few of the employees. (Source: Made in Alabama, 03/24/17).

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Controller tested for SLS flight

Aerojet Rocketdyne engineers check controller.
NASA photo
STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – The first RS-25 engine controller that will be used on the first flight of the new Space Launch System (SLS) was tested Thursday. The new controller or “brain” has the electronics that operate the engine and communicate with the SLS vehicle. Engine Controller Unit-2 (ECU-2) was installed on RS-25 development engine No. 0528 and test fired for 500 seconds on the A-1 Test Stand. Once test data is certified, the engine controller will be removed and installed on one of four flight engines that will help power the first integrated flight of SLS and the Orion spacecraft. This year, two more engine controllers for the first SLS mission will be tested on this development engine at Stennis, and then installed on flight engines. The fourth controller will be tested when NASA tests the entire core stage during a “green run” on the B-2 Test Stand at Stennis. That testing will involve installing the core stage on the stand and firing its four RS-25 flight engines simultaneously, as during a mission launch. (Source: NASA/SSC, 03/23/17)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

FAA sees aerospace growth

The United States will see a "competitive and profitable aviation industry characterized by increasing demand for air travel [with] airfares growing more slowly than inflation" over the next two decades. That's according to the FAA's annual Aerospace Forecast for fiscal years 2017-2037. "Looking ahead, there is confidence that the industry has been transformed from that of a boom-to-bust cycle to one of sustainable profits," FAA said in the report. The FAA projected that "traffic growth by U.S. mainline and regional carriers will increase at an average rate of 2.4 percent per year," while "passenger growth on US carriers will increase at an average 1.9 percent per year." (Source: Air Transport World, 03/21/17)

Contract: ERC, $99M

Engineering Research and Consulting Inc., Huntsville, Ala., has been awarded a $99,000,000 firm-fixed-price level of effort, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for Seek Eagle modeling, analysis, and tools support. Contractor will provide skills and expertise to provide modeling and simulation, engineering and analysis, product development support, project management, and administrative functions. Work will be performed at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and is expected to be complete by Sept. 22, 2022. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition with three offers received. Fiscal 2017 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $12,000,000 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Test Center, Eglin Air Force Base, is the contracting activity (FA2486-16-R-0065). (Source: DoD, 03/22/17)

Contract: Boeing, $24.7M

The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., was awarded a $24,685,675 modification (P00147) to previously awarded contract FA8678-10-C-0100 for QF-16 full-scale aerial target (FSAT) Lot 5A production. Contractor will provide 18 QF-16 FSATs and 18 associated four-year warranties for the QF-16 drone-peculiar equipment program. Work will be performed at St. Louis and is expected to be complete by April 27, 2021. Fiscal 2017 procurement funds in the amount of $24,685,675 were obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Awarded on March 14, 2017). (Source: DoD, 03/22/17)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Army casualty identified

The Department of Defense announced Monday the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Freedom's Sentinel. Sgt. 1st Class Robert R. Boniface, 34, of San Luis Obispo, Calif., died March 19 in Logar Province, Afghanistan, from a non-combat related incident. The incident is under investigation. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. (Source: DoD, 03/20/17)

Monday, March 20, 2017

Friendly eyes in the sky

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. -- When dozens or hundreds of people smile and wave as you work, creativity tends to come into play. "We have a Mickey Mouse glove we use sometimes," said Sgt. Ken Smiley, a pilot with the Bay County Sheriff’s Office Aviation Unit as he flew along the shoreline waving at visitors. He thinks public relations is a big part of the job. (Source: News Herald, 03/19/17)

Not your average airman

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- When most people think of an Air Force recruit, they picture a young man or woman not far removed from high school. But Airman 1st Class Maria Perez is 39. She wanted to join in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack. But the single mother of a 3-year-old decided she couldn’t. When the Air Force increased its maximum age for enlistment to 39, she jumped at the chance. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 03/18/17)

Thursday, March 16, 2017

NASA selects proposals

NASA selected 133 proposals from U.S. companies to conduct research and develop technologies to help NASA's future deep-space missions. They include four projects with a combined value of $3 million tied to Stennis Space Center, Miss. The proposals, valued at about $100 million total for contract negotiations, were selected under Phase II of NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. SBIR Phase II projects will expand on the results of recently-completed Phase I projects. Phase I projects received six-month contracts of as much as $125,000. Phase II contracts are awarded up to $750,000 and the period of performance is no more than two years. Successful Phase II projects may go on to Phase III of the program – commercialization. The proposals were selected according to technical merit and feasibility, in addition to the experience, qualifications and facilities of the companies, and their work plans and commercial potential. (Source: NASA, 03/08/17)

Contract: Lockheed, $15M

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co., Sunnyvale, Calif., has been awarded a $15,000,000 modification (P00874) to previously awarded contract F04701-95-C-0017 for Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) engineering, manufacture and development. Contractor will enhance cyber capabilities on the operational SBIRS ground system. Work will be performed at Sunnyvale and is expected to be complete by June 30, 2019. Fiscal 2017 research, development, test, and evaluation funds in the amount of $13,394,965 are being obligated at the time of award. Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 03/14/17) Gulf Coast note: Work on the propulsion module for the SBIRS is done at Stennis Space Center, Miss.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Contract: HX5, $95M

HX5, LLC, Fort Walton Beach, Fla., was awarded a $95,000,000 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for personnel, supervision, and services necessary to provide services for research and development and related activities for the Engineer Research and Development Center Information Technology Laboratory. Bids were solicited via the internet with eight received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of March 14, 2022. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg, Miss., is the contracting activity (W912HZ-17-D-0005). (Source: DoD, 03/15/17)

Flag officer assignment

Acting Secretary of the Navy Sean Stackley and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John M. Richardson announced today that Rear Adm. (lower half) Kyle J. Cozad, selected for promotion to rear admiral, will be assigned as commander, Naval Education and Training Command, Pensacola, Fla. Cozad is currently serving as commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group, Norfolk, Va. (Source: DoD, 03/15/17)