Friday, January 24, 2020

Core stage installed on B-2 stand

Core stage at SSC B-2.stand
NASA/SSC photo
STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - The first flight core stage of NASA’s new Space Launch System (SLS) rocket was successfully installed on the B-2 Test Stand at Stennis Space Center (SSC) Wednesday. In coming months, it will undergo an integrated series of Green Run tests prior to its maiden Artemis I test flight. Testing will culminate with an eight-minute, full-duration hot fire of the stage’s four RS-25 engines to generate 2 million pounds of thrust, as during an actual launch. The SLS core stage, the largest rocket stage ever built by NASA, stands 212 feet tall and measures 27.6 feet in diameter. It's equipped with state-of-the-art avionics, miles of cables, propulsion systems and propellant tanks that hold a total of 733,000 gallons of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen to fuel the four RS-25 engines during launch. The core stage was designed by NASA and Boeing in Huntsville, Ala., then manufactured at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans by lead contractor Boeing, with input and contributions from more than 1,100 large and small businesses in 44 states. The stage was transported from Michoud to SSC aboard the specially outfitted Pegasus barge. It arrived at the B-2 dock on Jan. 12 and was rolled out onto the test stand tarmac that night. Crews then began installing ground equipment needed for lifting the stage into a vertical position and onto the stand. (Source: NASA/SSC, 01/23/20) Previous

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Bid to be put out for park

MILTON, Fla. - Santa Rosa County Tuesday approved putting out to bid a $9 million construction project to build infrastructure at Whiting Aviation Park just outside Naval Air Station Whiting Field. The first tenant at the park will be Leonardo, which last week was awarded the contract to build the TH-73A training helicopter that will be used to train aviators at NAS Whiting, replacing the TH-57. The company, during the competition with two other companies to win the contract, had said that if it won it would build a helicopter maintenance facility at the park. The county has finished its construction plan for the 40-acre first phase of what will eventually be a 276-acre park. It will take 11 months to finish the sewer, water, electric, roads and other infrastructure work once a bid is awarded. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 01/22/20) Previous: Leonardo wins trainer contract; Contract: EMR, $17M; Contract: Schmidt-Prime, $30M

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Bombardier may exit A220 venture

Bombardier Inc. said it may exit a joint venture with Airbus to build the A220 passenger jet because rising production costs threaten future returns on its investment. Bombardier said the need for additional cash to finance the production of the commercial jets in Mobile, Ala., may undermine any prospect of future profits. Bombardier agreed to give control of its CSeries jets to Airbus in 2017 for no money upfront to rescue it. Airbus renamed the single-aisle aircraft the A220. An Airbus spokesman said it “remains committed to the success of the A220 program and will continue to fund the program on its way to break-even.” Airbus delivered 48 of the aircraft to customers last year, leaving its backlog at 495 aircraft as of Dec. 31. Airbus officially began manufacturing the A220 in Mobile in August 2019. The first U.S.-made A220-300 will go to Delta Air Lines and is scheduled for delivery in the third quarter of 2020. (Sources: multiple, including Wall Street Journal, Montreal Gazette, AirlineRatings, 01/16/20)

Friday, January 17, 2020

Navy orders three Tritons

Northrop Grumman will build three MQ-4C Triton long-range patrol unmanned aerial vehicles under terms of a $251.6 million order announced last month. Official of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., want Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems of San Diego, Calif., to build three low-rate initial production lot 4 MQ-4C Tritons. The order includes the the UAVs as well as ground stations, trade studies, tooling, and support equipment. Northrop Grumman will do the work in San Diego, Palmdale, and San Clemente, Calif.; Red Oak and Waco, Texas; Baltimore; Salt Lake City; Bridgeport, W.Va.; Indianapolis; Moss Point, Miss.; Chantilly, Va.; and at various other locations, and should be finished by February 2023. (Source: Military and Aerospace Electronics, 01/16/20)

Contract: MAC, $10M

MAC LLC, Bay St. Louis, Miss., is awarded a $9,998,493 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the purchase of up to a maximum of 2,400,000 MK323 Mod 0 polymer cased .50 caliber linked cartridges, and .50 caliber armor piercing/armor piercing incendiary polymer cased linked cartridges. Work will be performed in Bay St. Louis and is expected to be completed by January 2024. Fiscal 2019 procurement ammunition (Marine Corps) funds in the amount of $3,051,359 will be obligated on the first delivery order immediately following contract award and funds will expire the end of fiscal 2021. The contract was awarded on a sole source basis in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity (M67854-20-D-5200). (Source: DoD, 01/16/20)

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Leonardo wins trainer contract

Leonardo's U.S. subsidiary, AgustaWestland Philadelphia Corp., has been awarded a $176.5 million Navy contract to build the new training helicopter to replace the TH-57 Sea Ranger. The new TH-73A helicopter, based on the TH-119. is part of the new Advanced Helicopter Training System (AHTS) program for Naval Air Station Whiting Field in northwest Florida. The TH-57 that is being replaced is the military training version of the Bell 206 Jet Ranger. The contract calls for 32 TH-73A helicopters, and can be extended through three one-year options up to a total contract value of $648.1 million for the procurement of 130 aircraft, with deliveries scheduled from 2020 through 2024. Leonardo, of Italy, had previously said it would build a support center at Whiting Aviation Park in Milton, just outside the base, if it won the contract. (Source: multiple, including The Aviationist, Pensacola News Journal, 01/14/20) Related contract; feature story on competition to build the trainer, October Gulf Coast Aerospace Newsletter, page 5.

SLS core now at SSC

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - The Space Launch System (SLS) core stage built at Michoud Assembly Center in New Orleans has arrived for testing at Stennis Space Center (SSC). The core stage with four RS-25 engines is for NASA’s Artemis program, and will undergo a series of tests at SSC called a Green Run before being transported to Cape Canaveral, Fla. The rocket was brought by barge from the Michoud facility to SSC on Jan. 8. During the testing phase, the rocket’s 212-foot-tall core stage will operate for eight minutes, simulating an actual launch, according to Boeing, which built the stage. The tests will verify it is ready for missions to the Moon. It's the largest rocket stage built at Michoud since the Saturn V rocket that put Americans on the Moon during the Apollo program. (Source: City Business, WLOX, 01/13/20)

Martin, Kelliher picked for promotions

Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper announced Tuesday that the president nominated Marine Corps Reserve Brig. Gen. Michael S. Martin for appointment to the rank of major general. Martin is currently serving as the commanding general, 4th Marine Division, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve, New Orleans. In addition, Marine Corps Reserve Col. John F. Kelliher III has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Kelliher is currently serving as the assistant wing commander, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve, New Orleans. (Source: DoD, 01/14/20)

Conley nominated for promotion

Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper announced Monday that the president nominated Air Force Col. Michael E. Conley has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Conley is currently serving as the commander, 1st Special Operations Wing, Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, Fla. Conley's name was among a group of officers nominated for appointments. (Source: DoD, 01/13/20)

Contract: Raytheon, $10.6M

Raytheon Missile Systems Co., Tucson, Ariz., has been awarded a $10,593,360 modification P00001 to previously awarded contract FA8675-20-C-0033 for Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile Production Lot 33 spares. This contract modification provides for the production Air Force and Navy spares. Work will be performed at Tucson with an expected completion date of March 31, 2022. Fiscal 2018 Air Force procurement funds in the amount of $1,730,203; and fiscal 2020 Navy procurement funds in the amount of $8,863,157 are being obligated at the time of award. Total cumulative face value of the contract is $778,877,267. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Awarded Jan. 10, 2020) (Source: DoD, 01/13/20)

Contract: DRS, $7.6M

DRS Systems Inc., Melbourne, Fla., is awarded a $7,660,583 modification (P00001) to a cost-plus-fixed-fee, cost reimbursable delivery order (N0001919F2730) against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-19-G-0030). This modification provides program management, engineering and logistics support to mitigate identified risks to the Distributed Aperture Infrared Countermeasure program. Work will be performed in Dallas, Texas (70%); San Diego, Calif. (27%); and Fort Walton Beach, Fla. (3%), and is expected to be completed in December 2020. Fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $2,670,597; and fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $3,798,000 will be obligated at time of award, $2,670,597 of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 01/13/20)

Monday, January 13, 2020

21 Saudis being expelled

Attorney General William Barr announced Monday that 21 Saudi military cadets studying at U.S. military bases are being sent back home after investigators found child pornography, "jihadi or anti-American content" on accounts or devices associated with the students. This comes a month after a Saudi Air Force officer opened fire in a classroom at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., killing three young sailors and wounding eight others. Barr called the shooting an act of terrorism "motivated by jihadist ideology." Federal authorities said investigators have not identified any co-conspirators. The gunman, who was killed by deputies, does not appear to have acted on behalf of any terrorist organization. Of the 21 Saudis now in the process of being removed from the U.S., investigators found that 17 had shared social media posts that were either jihadi or anti-American in nature, Barr said. About 15 individuals had "some kind of contact" with child pornography, Barr noted. (Sources: multiple, including NPR, BBC, 01/13/20) Previous

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Saudi trainees expelled

More than a dozen Saudi servicemen training at U.S. military bases will be expelled from the United States in the wake of a Pentagon review prompted by the Dec. 6 shooting deaths of three sailors at Naval Air Station Pensacola by a Saudi Air Force officer. The Saudis being expelled are not accused of aiding the shooter. The Pentagon announced on Dec. 10 it was grounding all Saudi Arabian aviation personnel after the incident. The Pentagon then announced on Dec. 19 that it found no threat in its review of about 850 military students from Saudi Arabia studying in the United States. (Sources: CNN, Reuters, 01/11/20) Previous

Friday, January 10, 2020

Contract: EMR, $17M

EMR Inc., Niceville, Fla., is awarded a $17,017,000 firm-fixed-price task order N69450-20-F-0875 under a multiple award construction contract for the design and construction of P288 temporary maintenance hangar at Naval Air Station (NAS) Whiting Field, Fla. The work to be performed provides for a temporary hangar space and supporting spaces for helicopters and includes design, assembly and installation of temporary, relocatable structures for the hangar and support spaces such as administrative, restroom and breakrooms. This project will provide foundation and aqueous film forming foam containment trench and extend utilities to temporary facilities. The structures will be temporary in nature and require removal from the site once permanent facilities are available. The task order also contains five unexercised options, which if exercised, would increase the cumulative task order value to $20,267,000. Work will be performed in NAS Whiting and is expected to be completed by October 2025. Fiscal 2020 military construction (Navy) contract funds in the amount of $2,222,000 are obligated on this award and will not expire at the end of the fiscal year. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance (Navy) contract funds in the amount of $14,795,000 are obligated on this award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Two proposals were received for this task order. Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity (N69450-18-D-1318). (Source: DoD, 01/10/20)

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Airbus to up rate in Mobile

MOBILE, Ala. - Airbus has announced it is increasing the production rate of A320 series aircraft at the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility to seven per month by the beginning of 2021. This increase, and continued recruiting for A220 manufacturing, will result in a further 275 jobs being added at the Mobile facility over the next year, putting it at more than 1,000 employees by the end of 2019. In addition, Airbus will invest another $40 million through construction of an additional support hangar on the site, bringing its total investment to more than $1 billion in Mobile. The increase in rate in Mobile is part of the company's plan to produce 63 A320 series aircraft per month in 2021. The announcement comes on top of growth in 2019, when the company added 600 new jobs at the manufacturing site. (Source: Airbus, 01/09/20)

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Downtown airport losing service

Denver-based Frontier Airlines announced Monday it will suspend all operations at the Downtown Mobile Airport in April based on a lack of sufficient demand, a company spokeswoman said. Frontier is the only airline providing flights from the new passenger terminal at the Downtown Mobile Airport at the Mobile Aeroplex. The $8 million terminal opened on May 1 is named “Terminal One” and is inside a 50,000-square-foot building that partially serves as an Airbus logistics center. The Mobile Airport Authority in a news release said the Frontier service will end on April 22, and likely would not return to Mobile any sooner than 2021. The airline is currently providing flights to Denver. Last year, it offered flights to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport before suspending that service on Nov. 13. Mobile is also served by the Mobile Regional Airport west of downtown. (Source: al.com, 01/06/20)

Monday, January 6, 2020

ECP celebrates key service

PANAMA CITY, Fla. - Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP) will welcome the inaugural Washington, D.C. flight on American Airlines with a water cannon salute Jan. 7. This new nonstop flight option will run daily between ECP and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). The flight will be operated by a 50 seat CRJ-200. (Source: ECP, 01/06/20)

SLS readied for shipping

Assembly of the core stage of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) is now complete and the structure is ready for shipping from Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans to Stennis Space Center (SSC), Miss., for testing. Assembly of the 212-foot rocket core stage was completed last year and had its engine section bolted on last September. With all four of its RS-25 engines attached, the team used scaffolding to check all parts of the stage inside and out, and confirmed that the electronic and propulsion systems were connected correctly. To move such a large object, NASA uses its Pegasus barge. The core stage should be shipped from New Orleans to SSC near Bay St. Louisng later this month. The testing at SSC is called the "Green Run," in which the core stage will operate as one unit for the first time. (Source: Digital Trends, 01/05/20)

Friday, January 3, 2020

Contract: Unisys, $17.2M

Unisys Corp., Reston, Va., has been awarded a $17,154,219 modification (P00004) to previously awarded contract FA8726-19-9-0001 for End User Services Risk Reduction Effort experiment. This modification provides for an experiment of the commercial delivery of standardized, innovative, and agile information technology services, including an enterprise service desk and end user devices, to a select group of bases. Work will be performed at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.; Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.; Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany; Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.; Joint Base Elemendorf-Richardson, Alaska; Cannon Air Force Base, N.M.; Hurlburt Field, Fla.; and Pope Field, N.C., with possible scaling of up to 20 bases during the experiment and is expected to be completed by February 2022. The total cumulative face value of the agreement is $279,504,252. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $1,736,194 are being obligated at the time of award. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., is the contracting activity. Awarded on Jan. 2, 2020. (Source: DoD, 01/03/20)

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Contract: Lockheed, $1.9B

Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded a $1,926,811,724 cost-plus-incentive-fee, firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee, and cost reimbursable contract. This contract procures 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 (61%); Orlando, Fla. (25%); Greenville, S.C. (5%); Warton, United Kingdom (6%) and Redondo Beach, Calif. (3%); and is expected to be completed in December 2020. Fiscal 2020 operation and maintenance (Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy), non-DOD participant and FMS funds in the amount of $1,014,338,012 will be obligated at time of award, $671,022,784 of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract combines purchase for the Air Force ($392,321,076; 38%), Marine Corps ($191,048,520; 19%), Navy ($87,653,188; 9%), non-DoD participants ($231,962,860; 23%) and FMS customers ($111,352,368; 11%). This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N00019-20-C-0006). Awarded Dec. 30, 2019. (Source: DoD, 12/31/19) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of an F-35 training center and F-35 reprogramming labs.