Tuesday, December 30, 2008

N.O. releases tech worker report

NEW ORLEANS, La. - There are more than 37,000 technology workers in the metro New Orleans area. That's according to a report released by the Louisiana Technology Council. The workers account for more than 7 percent of the workforce, and most work in sectors not seen as traditional technology fields, like healthcare, transportation and government. The survey was conducted in conjunction with the University of New Orleans and Louisiana Economic Development. (Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 12/30/08) One large group of technology workers can be found at the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in east New Orleans.

Monday, December 29, 2008

City to pay to lease airport land

MOBILE, Ala. - The city of Mobile will have to pay about $40,000 a year to lease land at Mobile Regional Airport to build a police and fire station. City and airport officials say the Federal Aviation Administration forbids airports to lease property for less than fair market value. (Source: Mobile Press Register, 12/29/08)

Friday, December 26, 2008

NASA contracts grease private sector

NASA has awarded $3.5 billion in cargo contracts to two companies in hopes of encouraging development of a private-sector commercial space industry capable of providing the rockets that can carry passengers to the International Space Station and beyond. Space Exploration Technologies of California and Orbital Sciences of Virginia will provide 20 flights to the space station. (Source: Florida Today, 12/25/08). The Gulf Coast is involved in space activities primarily through Stennis Space Center in Mississippi and the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

FWB losing countermeasure hub

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. - Northrop Grumman will move its Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures system hub from Fort Walton Beach, Fla., to the Warner Robins area in Georgia. It's the result of an agreement between the Air Force and Northrop Grumman signed Dec. 11. Northrop officials designed LAIRCM to counter the increasing threat that slow-moving cargo aircraft face from shoulder-fired missiles and missiles launched from vehicles. The system detects heat-seeking missiles and puts out a signal to confuse its path and direct it away from the aircraft. (Source: Air Force News Service, 12/24/08)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

UAV maritime team wins award

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Northrop Grumman’s RQ-4 Global Hawk Maritime Demonstration team was named Test Team of the Quarter for the second quarter of 2008 by the Navy's Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 20. The team won the award for achievements in the first half of the year. The team is, among other things, developing tactics and guidelines for Navy unmanned patrol systems. (Source: Globe Newswire, 12/23/08). Portions of Global Hawk are built in Moss Point, Miss.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

ATK gets contract

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Alliant Techsystems received a $49 million contract from Orbital Sciences Corp. to provide at least nine flight sets of Orion solid rocket motors. The motors are used on a variety of launch vehicles, including Ground Based Missile Defense's Orbital Boost Vehicle, Minotaur, Pegasus and Taurus launch vehicles. Work will be performed by ATK in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Source: PRNewswire, 12/22/08). ATK has an operation in Shalimar, Fla.; Stennis Space Center, Miss., will test Taurus II AJ26 rocket engines for Orbital Sciences Corp. in 2009.

Stennis-made satellite item delivered

SUNNYVALE, Calif. - The Lockheed Martin-led team developing the Air Force's Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) delivered the remaining major spacecraft bus subsystem for the second geosynchronous orbit spacecraft. The GEO-2 spacecraft core structure and propulsion subsystem was recently completed and the high-performance communications subsystem for the spacecraft was delivered to Sunnyvale in early December. The propulsion subsystem, used to maneuver the satellite during transfer orbit and conducting on-orbit repositioning, was developed at Lockheed Martin's Mississippi Space & Technology Center at Stennis Space Center, Miss. (Source: Lockheed Martin, 12/22/08).

Northrop sectors win AIA awards

Northrop Grumman won two Worker Safety Excellence Awards from the Aerospace Industries Association. The company's Integrated Systems sector, which runs among other facilities Mississippi's Moss Point Unmanned Systems Center, was recognized for having the lowest injury and illness rate in the aircraft manufacturing category. The company's Electronics Systems sector was honored in the aerospace components category. The AIA cited Northrop Grumman's low workplace injury and illness rates as well as its positive safety program elements. (Source: Globe Newswire, 12/22/08). The Moss Point facility builds Global Hawks and Fire Scouts.

Monday, December 22, 2008

F-35 ground test unit rolls out

FORT WORTH, Texas - Lockheed Martin's second F-35 ground-test aircraft rolled out last week at the Fort Worth plant and in April will head to the BAE Systems Structures Laboratory in Brough, England for static testing. This F-35, AG-1, is a static test article for the conventional takeoff and landing version that will be flown by the Air Force and eight F-35 partner nations. The F-35 is being developed by Lockheed and principal partners Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems. Two interchangeable F-35 engines are being developed by Pratt & Whitney and GE Rolls-Royce. (Source: Lockheed Martin, 12/19/08). Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne and Rolls-Royce have Gulf Coast operations; Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., will be home to the F-35 joint training center.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Tanker fight: Low bid or best value?

Boeing and Northrop Grumman disagree over ground rules that should be used for the tanker competition expected next year. The companies discussed their views last week at the Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit. Boeing, which wants to build the planes in Washington State, wants the contract to go to the low bidder, while Northrop and partner EADS, which want to build the planes in Mobile, Ala., favor a "best value" approach. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 12/21/08)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Airport Hyatt franchise OKd

PENSACOLA, Fla. - Innisfree Hotels won approval Wednesday for a Hyatt Place Hotel to be built on land owned by Pensacola Gulf Coast Regional Airport. The 127-room Hyatt Place would be the centerpiece of a $24 million development. The site is at the main entrance to the airport. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 12/17/08)

Land buy will help protect Whiting

The governor of Florida and cabinet approved the purchase of more than 200 acres in the Clear Creek/Whiting Field area as part of the Florida Forever project. The acquisition will protect the environmentally sensitive land and prevent encroachment at Whiting Field Naval Air Station. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 12/17/08). NAS Whiting, near Milton, Fla., is a training site for naval aviators.

Northrop unveils Navy UCAV

Northrop Grumman unveiled the first of the Navy's new unmanned combat aircraft at a ceremony in Palmdale, Calif. The X-47B is the first of two aircraft Northrop Grumman will produce for the Navy to demonstrate unmanned combat aircraft operations from the deck of an aircraft carrier. (Source: Globe Newswire, 12/16/08) Northrop Grumman has multiple operations on the Gulf Coast, including an unmanned systems center in Moss Point, Miss.

Airport passenger count down

PENSACOLA, Fla. - The sour economy has caused a dip in the passenger count at Pensacola Gulf Coast Regional Airport. From January through November of this year, 97,791 fewer passengers passed through the airport than during the same period last year — a 6 percent drop. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 12/17/08)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Okaloosa gets $300,000 in grants

SHALIMAR, Fla. - Enterprise Florida presented Okaloosa County with two grants totaling some $300,000. One was a Defense Infrastructure Grant worth $200,000, the other a $99,000 Defense Reinvestment Grant. Money from these grants is used to improve the state's defense activities. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 12/16/08)

Mobile airport buying back bonds

MOBILE, Ala. - The Mobile Airport Authority will buy back $2.75 million in bonds whose interest rate jumped when the bond market succumbed to financial turmoil this fall. (Source: Mobile Press Register, 12/16/08)

Monday, December 15, 2008

50th Lakota delivery marked

COLUMBUS, Miss. - EADS North America is hosting a ceremony Tuesday to celebrate the delivery of the 50th UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopter to the Army. The ceremony will culminate with the 50th and 51st helicopters leaving the production facility of EADS North America’s American Eurocopter business unit. The event is at 11 a.m. CST. (Source: EADS North America, 12/14/08). EADS also has operations on the Gulf Coast, including an EADS CASA maintenance facility and an Airbus Engineering Center in Mobile, Ala.

SSC to test Taurus II rocket

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - John C. Stennis Space Center test the engine for the Taurus II space launch vehicle being developed by Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va. The first engine will be delivered to Stennis next year and the first Taurus II mission will be flown in support of NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services cargo demonstration to the International Space Station. The demonstration is planned for the end of 2010 from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va. Taurus II uses a pair of Aerojet AJ26 rocket engines to provide first stage propulsion for the new launch vehicle. (Source: NASA, 12/15/08)

New engineering degree eyed

MOBILE, Ala. - Alabama's community colleges could be offering a new associate's degree next fall in an effort to boost the state's engineering workforce. Higher education officials say figures show the need for 1,100 new engineers a year to meet industry demand. (Source: Mobile Press Register, 12/15/08)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Thunderbirds OK Keesler show

BILOXI, Miss. - The Thunderbirds will perform in April during Keesler Air Force Base's first air show since Hurricane Katrina. The lineup for the April 4 and 5 show also includes the Army's parachute team, The Golden Knights, a flight display by the Hurricane Hunters, a World War II-era B-25 Mitchell bomber, aircraft flown by the 81st Wing and more. (Source: The Sun Herald, 12/13/08)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Contract: Broadmoor, $8M

Broadmoor, LLC., Metairie, La., is being awarded $8,000,000 under a previously awarded multiple award construction contract for design and construction of Calibration Laboratory at Naval Air Station JRB New Orleans. Work will be performed in New Orleans, La., and is expected to be completed by June 2010. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 12/12/08)

Contract: Raytheon, $15.6M

Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded a $15,633,300 modification to a previously awarded contract for fiscal year 2009 technical support of AIM-9X missiles for the Navy and Air Force. Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz., (90 percent); Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., (5 percent), and China Lake, Calif., (5 percent), and is expected to be completed in Nov. 2009. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 12/12/08)

Rapiscan wins award

Rapiscan Systems, a California company with a manufacturing operation in Ocean Springs, Miss., has been named the 2008 North American Homeland Security Inspection and Screening Company of the Year by Frost & Sullivan. Rapiscan Systems was cited for its ability to develop and deploy products that enhance security at airports, seaports and border crossings worldwide. In Ocean Springs, Rapiscan Systems has a 10,000 square foot manufacturing facility to supplement manufacturing of cargo and vehicle inspection and people screening systems. (Source: Rapiscan, 12/12/08)

Keesler airfield work begins

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. - The largest airfield ramp repair project in Keesler history got underway earlier this month. The 270-day project will improve the airfield's capabilities. Current airfield operations support the C-21 missions of the 45th Airlift Squadron, C-130s from the Air Force Reserve's 403rd Wing, support for Coast Guard's aircraft training and more. (Source: Keesler Air Force Base, 12/11/08)

Eglin AAC getting new chief

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - Maj. Gen. David Eidsaune is leaving Eglin Air Force Base to become director of operations at headquarters Air Force Materiel Command at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. He'll be replaced as commander of Eglin Air Force Base's Air Armament Center by Maj. Gen. Charles R. Davis, executive officer for the F-35 program office in Arlington, Va. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 12/11/08)

Letter urges quick tanker action

U.S. Sens. Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions are urging Defense Secretary Robert Gates to move quickly with a plan to replace the Air Force's fleet of refueling tankers. The letter was sent Thursday, a day after U.S. Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., said it could take at least two more years to restart the tanker competition. The Northrop Grumman/EADS team won the competition in February and the planes were to be assembled in Mobile, Ala., but the competition was scrapped in September in the wake of a Boeing protest. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 12/12/08)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Center groundbreaking delayed

GULFPORT, Miss. - The Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport rescheduled the groundbreaking of the Naval Meteorology Professional Development Center to Friday because of the threat of severe winter weather today. The $8.7 million center is designed to meet the current and future mission to advance, implement, and manage the education and advanced professional training of meteorology and oceanography officers, aerographer's mates and civilians. (Source: Sun Herald, 12/11/08)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Contract: Raytheon, $7.9M

The Air Force is modifying a contract with Raytheon Co., Tucson, Ariz. for $7,924,403. This action is for the Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile Air Intercept Missile – Greece Offset Administration. This action is a modification to the Production Lot 21 contract. 695 ARSS, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 12/10/08)

Contract: McDonnell, $110.2M

The Air Force is awarding a firm fixed price contract to McDonnell Douglas Corp., St. Louis, Mo., for $110,224,001. This action will exercise the Lot 5 Option for Small Diameter Bomb, Increment I Production for munitions, carriages, and technical and logistical support. 681 ARSS/PK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 12/10/08)

Army to upgrade Raven UAV

The Army plans to bring a digital data link to its fleet of Raven UAVs so more aircraft can fly in a given combat area. The Army project manager says the service is buying 50 new Ravens and retrofitting 200 others. An executive with AeroVironment, a California company that makes the digital data link, says that with digitally compressed video more data can be put into smaller bandwidth. (Source: DefenseNews, 12/09/08). AeroVironment has a UAV training and support operation in Navarre, Fla.

Goodrich sees $3B in Airbus deal

Goodrich Corp.has been selected by Airbus to supply wheels and carbon brakes for all variants of the A350 XWB aircraft. The selection is expected to generate more than $3 billion in revenue over the life of the program. The equipment will be provided by Goodrich's Aircraft Wheels and Brakes team in Troy, Ohio. (Source: PRNewswire, 12/09/08) Goodrich also operates the Alabama Service Center in Foley, Ala.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Contract: Northrop, $18.2M

The Air Force is modifying a fixed price incentive firm contract with Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., San Diego, Calif. not to exceed $18,222,000. This action will provide additional long lead associated with five Global Hawks, two ground segments, two EISS and two ASIP sensor payloads. 303 AESG/PK Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 12/09/08) Global Hawk fuselage work is done in Moss Point, Miss.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Contract: Raytheon, $16.3M

The Air Force is awarding a firm fixed price contract to Raytheon Co., Tucson, Ariz. for $16,298,964. This action will provide High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile Targeting Systems Contractor Logistics Support for one year with two one-year options. 693 ARSS/PK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 12/05/08)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Chromalloy to close FWB plant

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. - Chromalloy Gas Turbine laid off 67 workers and plans to close its 30-year-old Fort Walton Beach plant next year. The layoffs are among 400 companywide at 25 locations. Chromalloy inspects and repairs commercial aircraft engines. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 12/05/08)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Northrop to stress commitment

MOBILE, Ala. - Northrop Grumman executive Wes Bush will be in Mobile Friday to discuss the company's commitment to Mobile and Alabama in moving ahead on the Air Force tanker project. The Northrop/EADS team won the contract, but Boeing's protest was upheld and the competition is on hold. Bush will talk to the media at the Battlehouse. (Source: FOX10 News, 12/04/08)

60th flying final sortie

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - The 60th Fighter Squadron is flying its final sortie today after 37 years. The F-15 fighter squadron is part of the drawdown of the 33rd Fighter Wing. That wing is being replaced by the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program slated to arrive in 2010. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 12/04/08)

Gulf Breeze eyes space tourist training

GULF BREEZE, Fla. - A news conference today will announce formation of a unique personal spaceflight medical and training program for commercial space tourists. The program will be conducted at the Andrews Institute in partnership with Space Florida. A study by the University of West Florida cited the growing need for such a program. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 12/04/08)

NASA backers worry over budget

NASA supporters fear bailouts will make it hard for a new administration to maintain the current space budget, let alone deliver on a campaign promise to speed up the Constellation Program. (Source: Houston Chronicle, 12/02/08) Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans and Stennis Space Center in Mississippi are involved in space programs.

Fire Scout runs successful test

The Northrop Grumman Fire Scout, an unmanned helicopter, successfully transmitted video, electro-optical and infrared images simultaneously in a demonstration flight last month in Arizona. (Source: Global Newswire, 12/02/08) Finishing work on the Fire Scout is done in Moss Point, Miss. Fire Scouts have already been sold to the Army and Navy, and the company hopes to interest the Coast Guard.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

AirTran to end Gulfport service

GULFPORT, Miss. - AirTran will end service to Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport on Jan. 5. The company operated under a contract with casinos, but casinos opted not to continue the contract. The airline said the market is not viable without it. The airport said AirTran accounts for up about 25 percent of scheduled traffic. (Source: Sun Herald, 12/03/08)

EADS project gets local funding

MOBILE, Ala. - Local governments will spend $468,000 on a firefighting system to help EADS CASA with an expansion of its Mobile facility. The Mobile City Council voted Tuesday to contribute $234,000 to the fire suppression system, and the county commission will pay the other half. EADS CASA, a Spanish subsidiary of European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co., has an aircraft maintenance and training center at the Mobile airport. It services planes flown by the U.S. Coast Guard. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 12/03/08) (EADS North America press release)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Contract: EADS, $208M

EADS North American Defense, Arlington, Va., was awarded a $208,375,756 firm fixed price contract for funding of the Army’s Light Utility Helicopter contract for thirty-nine Light Utility Helicopters. Work will be performed in Columbus, Miss., and Grand Prairie, Texas, with a completion date of Aug. 31, 2010. (Source: DoD, 12/02/08). EADS/Airbus and EADS CASA have also have operations in Mobile, Ala.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Rolls engine testing booms at Stennis

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - A year after opening its doors, Rolls-Royce North America has already conducted tests on the Trent 900 and 1000, used on the Airbus A300 and Boeing 787, respectively, and is getting ready to take on more. The next engine due for testing is the BR725 for the Gulfstream G650. By 2010 and 2011, Rolls-Royce will be testing the Trent XWB for the Airbus A350 XWB and the RB282 engine, for a corporate jet developed by Dessault. Rolls-Royce has been conducting six engine-test series a year at Stennis. (Source: The Sun Herald, 11/30/08)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Shuttle to land Sunday

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - The space shuttle Endeavour crew is expected to complete its mission to the International Space Station with a landing at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 1:19 p.m. EST Nov. 30. This will conclude a 16-day flight, 11 of which were spent docked to the station. (Source: NASA, 11/28/08) NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi tests shuttle engines and Michoud Assembly Facility builds external tanks.

Contract: Raytheon, $13.9M

Raytheon Technical Services Co., Mass., is being awarded a $13,907,542 modification to continue transitioning the Wide-body Airborne Sensor Platform from initial operating capability to full. Work will be performed at the contractor’s facility and its subcontractor, Aeroframe Services LLC, in Lake Charles, La. The Missile Defense Agency, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 11/28/08)

USM may lease plane

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The University of Southern Mississippi is considering leasing a Beechcraft King Air 200 for five years from the USM Foundation for some $1.9 million. No paperwork has been signed and details are still under consideration. The University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University both have airplanes. (Source: Hattiesburg American, 11/28/08)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Second runway pondered

PANAMA CITY, Fla. - The Panama City-Bay County Airport Authority set a Dec. 19 deadline to vote on a second runway at the international airport under construction. The hope is to add a 5,000-foot crosswind runway that will handle smaller aircraft and make traffic less congested on the 10,000-foot concrete runway now being built. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 11/27/08)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pratt & Whitney buys ARDE

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne completed the acquisition of ARDE, Inc., a manufacturer of high performance spacecraft and missile propulsion components. ARDE of Carlstadt, N.J., produces pressure vessels, propellant tanks and support structures and provides integration of propulsion subassemblies. (Source: PRNewswire, 11/25/08) Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne has an operation at Stennis Space Center, Miss.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Contract: Raytheon, $6M

The Air Force is modifying a firm fixed price contract with Raytheon Co., Missile Systems Tucson, Ariz. for $6 million. This contract will upgrade two guided weapons test Set to AIM-120D capability, spares, and additional GPS. 695ARSS, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 11/25/08)

Contract: McDonnell, $96M

The Air Force is awarding a firm fixed price, cost plus fixed fee contract to McDonnell Douglas Corp., St. Louis, Mo., for $96 million to provide Small Diameter Bomb Aircraft Weapon Systems on various aircraft. 681 ARSS/PK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 11/25/08)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Teledyne cuts workforce

MOBILE, Ala. - Teledyne Continental Motors cut 60 jobs due to the decline of the airplane engines and parts market. Twenty-five salaried employees and 35 hourly employees were laid off Thursday and Friday. The company has about 440 employees now at its Brookley Field Industrial Complex plant. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 11/22/08)

Friday, November 21, 2008

AF delays Eglin F-35 decision

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - The Air Force postponed the record of decision for the initiation of the Joint Strike Fighter training school at Eglin Air Force Base. The delay will give the Air Force time to run tests on the new F-35 and explore alternative locations on the base for its bed down (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 11/21/08). The city of Valparaiso has been concerned over the noise of the F-35 and is suing the Air Force for additional information.

7th SFG move to Eglin begins

WASHINGTON - Air Force officials signed a record of decision that begins the process for the Army's 7th Special Forces Group to bed down at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The group will be located west of Duke Field. The cantonment area includes operations and maintenance facilities, housing, dining facilities, and munitions storage and loading facilities. Some 5.1 million square feet of buildings and hard surfaces will be built between 2009 and 2011. (Source: Air Force News Service, 11/21/08)

Young to advise new tanker approach

WASHINGTON - Pentagon acquisition chief John Young said he and Defense Secretary Robert Gates will advise the next administration to take a two-step approach to the $35 billion tanker competition between Boeing and Northrop Grumman/EADS. Reuters reports it would hinge on the best-priced offer after bidders had shown an ability to meet stripped-down set of requirements. (Source: Reuters, 11/21/08). RADS wants to assemble the planes in Mobile, Ala., and Boeing wants to do so in Washington State.

Contract: American Security, $29.7M

American Security Programs, Inc., Dulles, Va., was awarded $29.7 million to exercise an option under a previously awarded security services contract. Work includes guard and non-guard services at NSA Orlando, Fla.; CBC Gulfport, Miss.; NAS Meridian, Miss.; NWS Charleston, S.C.; NSA Athens, Ga.; NAS Atlanta, Ga.; NSA Panama City, Fla.; NAS Whiting Field, Fla.; and NAS Kingsville, Texas. Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 11/20/08)

INFINITY science center launches

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - The INFINITY Science Center broke ground Thursday on the Interstate 10 facility that's expected to draw 400,000 people a year. The center will highlight the work being done at the neighboring NASA Stennis Space Center. It will include exhibits, interactive galleries, theaters, a gift shop and cafeteria. The board is continuing a fundraising to get the final $4 million needed for the project. Opening is expected in the fall of 2010. (Source: Sun Herald, 11/21/08)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Contract: Virtual Media, $8.3M

Virtual Media Integration, Ltd., Pensacola, Fla., is being awarded an $8.3 million contract for the procurement of 5 pre-production Computed Radiography System units and up to 100 production units. The system is a portable nondestructive testing technique used for processing radiographic film. These systems will be used to inspect for defects and perform alignment measurements. Work will be performed in Pensacola. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, N.J. is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 11/20/08)

Goldman named Stennis director

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - NASA named Arthur E. (Gene) Goldman as the new director of John C. Stennis Space Center. The promotion of Mississippi native Goldman, the center's deputy director since October 2006, is effective immediately. He replaces Bob Cabana, who left in October to become the director of Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Stennis is NASA's primary testing ground for propulsion systems. (Source: NASA, 11/20/08)

Crosslink partners with USM

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The University of Southern Mississippi signed a lease with Missouri-based Crosslink to provide research space in the university's polymer science building. Crosslink has worked with Southern Miss polymer science researchers since 2004. Previous collaborations include a some with military applications. Crosslink and USM hold a joint patent for a corrosion-inhibiting polymer, and they are working on a "smart" aerospace composite that can alert crew of damage and initiate repair on its own. (Source: University of Southern Mississippi, 11/20/08)

J-2X hot-fire test set for 2010

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - The first hot-fire test of the J-2X engine that will power the Ares I is scheduled for late summer 2010 at John C. Stennis Space Center. The Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne engine recently passed a Critical Design Review in Huntsville, Ala. The CDR means the engine can proceed to full-scale fabrication and assembly in preparation for development testing. (Source: PRNewswire, 11/19/08)

EADS CASA tax breaks OKd

MOBILE, Ala. - EADS CASA North America, which plans to add 18 jobs at Mobile Regional Airport in a $6 million project, won abatements Wednesday estimated at about $390,000. The project would include a 27,000-square-foot hangar on the east side of the airport. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 11/20/08)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

EADS delivers sixth HC-144A

The U.S. Coast Guard has accepted the sixth HC-144A Ocean Sentry aircraft platform from EADS. It's among eight HC-144As ordered as part of the Coast Guard's Deepwater program. The Coast Guard plans to purchase up to 36. The HC-144A is based on EADS CASA's CN-235 transport, part of a family of twin-engine airlifters that includes the C-295 and C-212. U.S. customer support for these aircraft is provided at EADS North America's facility at Mobile Regional Airport in Alabama. (Source: EADS North America, 11/19/08)

EADS CASA eyes expansion

MOBILE, Ala. - EADS CASA, a Spanish subsidiary of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co., is eyeing its facility at the Mobile Regional Airport for a $5.6 million expansion. The company is scheduled to present its plan to the Mobile Industrial Development Board Wednesday. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 11/19/08)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Two Stennis spinoffs highlighted

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - Two technologies developed at Stennis Space Center made the list of NASA's top 50 spinoff technologies. They appear in “Spinoff: 50 Years of NASA-derived Technologies,” designed to celebrate the impact of the space program on everyday life. One Stennis technology is software used to study flow components. NASA uses it to design spacecraft shapes, propulsion devices and more, and the commercial sector uses it for aircraft, auto and boating aerodynamics. The other technology is the Earth Resources Laboratory Applications software developed in 1978. Since then it's been used for processing satellite and airborne sensor imagery, and has been recognized by the Space Technology Hall of Fame. (Source: NASA, 11/18/08)

Board OKs $10K month consultant

MOBILE, Ala. - Mobile Airport Authority board members voted Monday to pay former executive director Bay Haas $10,000 a month as a consultant for 19 months. The board in September announced plans to retain Haas when it hired Bill Sisson as the new chief of the authority. Haas was instrumental in EADS picking Mobile for a tanker project, and the board wants to continue to tap into Haas' expertise and contacts. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 11/18/08)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Blue Angels install new boss

PENSACOLA, Fla. - The Navy Blue Angels held a change of command ceremony Sunday. Cmdr. Greg McWherter is the new team leader, replacing Capt. Kevin Mannix, who has been commander of the flight demonstration team two years. McWherter of Atlanta was named commander in April. The Blue Angels are based at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 11/17/08)

INFINITY breaks ground Thursday

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – After years of anticipation, the INFINITY Science Center moves a step closer to reality Thursday with a ground breaking. The $38 million, 72,000 square-foot center is being built near the Mississippi Welcome Center at Interstate 10. It will have $10 million worth of interactive displays designed to spark interest in science and technology activities at nearby Stennis Space Center. It’s expected to draw 362,000 visitors a year. (Source: Tcp, 11/17/08)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Eglin tests new Warthog capability

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - The A-10 Warthog successfully dropped a Laser Joint Directed Attack Munition, or LJDAM, adding another capability to the close air-support warplane. The GBU-54 test was earlier this month. The LJDAM is effective at destroying moving targets, and gives the pilot the ability to update targeting if the target moves while the weapon is in flight. The A-10C and LJDAM will now undergo operational tests. The goal is to deploy the capability by early 2009. (Source: Eglin Air Force Base, 11/14/08)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

F-35 crosses supersonic milestone

FORT WORTH, Texas - The Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter flew supersonic for the first time this week, accelerating to Mach 1.05 - about 680 miles per hour. The test was done a full internal load of inert or "dummy" weapons on the one-hour flight. (Source: Lockheed Martin, 11/14/08). Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., will be the home of a Joint Strike Fighter training center.

Endeavor takes off

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Space shuttle Endeavour lifted seven astronauts Friday night for a 15-day mission to prepare the International Space Station for a six-member crew. In the payload bay was an Italian-built cargo carrier with hardware and supplies. (Source: Aviation Week, 11/15/08) The external tanks are made at Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans and engines tested at Mississippi’s Stennis Space Center.

Park gets restored A-6

MOBILE, Ala – A restored A-6 Intruder is the newest exhibit at Battleship Memorial Park. Acquired from the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola, Fla., the plane honors Mobile native Jeremiah Denton, who spent more than seven years as a POW in North Vietnam. Denton now lives in Virginia. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 11/15/08)

Friday, November 14, 2008

J-2X rocket passes review

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - NASA's high-performance rocket engine, the J-2X, completed a critical design review Thursday at Marshall Space Flight Center. The J-2X engine, developed by Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne, is the first element of the Constellation Program to pass this design milestone. The engine will power the upper stage of the Ares I and the Earth departure stage of the Ares V heavy cargo launch vehicle. Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans and Stennis Space Center in Mississippi both are involved in the Constellation program. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne has an operation at Stennis. (Source: NASA, 11/13/08)

Airport eyes new projects

GULFPORT, Miss. - On the heels of an expansion and improvement project that lasted more than five years and cost more than $50 million, officials at the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport are now planning road improvements. The projects could begin within a few months of the December opening of the airport's new parking garage. (Source: The Sun Herald, 11/14/08)

Blue Angels homecoming show begins

PENSACOLA, Fla. - The Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show is scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Naval Air Station Pensacola. Gates open at 8 a.m. and the Navy flight demonstration team is slated to fly at 2 p.m. The air show in Pensacola, home base for the team, is the traditional last show of the season. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 11/14/08)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Former Stennis chief leaving NASA

WASHINGTON - NASA Associate Administrator for Exploration Systems Rick Gilbrech said Wednesday that he's leaving the agency for the private sector. Doug Cooke, deputy associate administrator for the directorate since its inception in January 2004, will become associate administrator effective Nov. 24. Gilbrech was director of Stennis Space Center prior to taking the associate administrator post in August 2007. (Source: NASA, 11/12/08)

Meeting set to discuss suit against AF

VALPARAISO, Fla. - City commissioners will meet with attorneys behind closed doors Friday to discuss a lawsuit against the Air Force. The executive session was scheduled after Monday's public meeting, when Commissioner Brent Smith opposed the city's strategy to obtain information about the Joint Strike Fighter mission coming to Eglin Air Force Base by 2011. City residents are concerned about the noise the F-35s will bring. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 11/12/08)

INFINITY groundbreaking set

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - A groundbreaking ceremony marking the beginning of construction of the 72,000 square-foot INFINITY Science Center is set for Nov 20. The $38 million center will be built near the Mississippi Welcome Center at Interstate 10. The center, funded by the state of Mississippi, NASA and donations, is designed to spark interest in the science activities at nearby Stennis Space Center. (Source: INFINITY Science Center, 11/12/08)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Raptor school graduates first students

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - Four student pilots at Tyndall became the first graduates of the Air Force's F-22 Raptor Basic Course. These pilots are the first in the Air Force to have the F-22 as their first operational aircraft rather than transitioning to the Raptor from some other fighter. They graduated Nov. 1. (Source: Air Force News Service, 11/10/08)

Navy pilots learning to fly Global Hawks

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Pilots of the 1st Reconnaissance Squadron are teaching a class of Navy pilots the Global Hawk system. The class of three active-duty P-3 Orion pilots and one civilian contractor is a result of the secretary of defense's call to maximize the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability in support of the war on terrorism. Global Hawks are built in part in Moss Point, Miss. (Source: Air Force News Service, 11/10/08)

F-35 noise, suit discussed at meeting

VALPARAISO, Fla. - A city commission briefing on the impact of a new fighter jet at Eglin Air Force based turned into a debate over whether the city should be suing the Air Force. A colonel told the group the F-35 would be noisier, but said the Air Force is working on the issue. A commissioner brought up the suit and said he wanted it withdrawn. The mayor didn’t want to discuss it, and the city attorney advised against doing so. Valparaiso last month filed suit to get more information on the impact of the Joint Strike Fighter training center. (Source: WEAR-TV3, 11/10/08)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Airport security director named

NEW ORLEANS, La. - Larry Austin, a former Florida highway patrol commander, has been named federal security director for Louis Armstrong International Airport. He succeeds Kevin McCarthy, who was named as security director for the Memphis International Airport.
(Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 11/10/08)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Allegiant to end Gulfport service

GULFPORT, Miss. - Allegiant Air is pulling out of Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport after less than two years of direct flights from the Gulfport to Orlando, Fla. The Las Vegas-based airline will end its services in Gulfport on Jan. 6. The company president and CEO said the Allegiant was unable to make the service economically viable. (Source: Sun Herald, 11/07/08)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Two Blue Angels found guilty

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - Two Blue Angels team members, one a pilot, who were removed from duty for an "inappropriate relationship" were found guilty today. The case was turned over to the Navy Personnel Command. The Navy has not identified the man and woman, but one was in the Navy, the other in the Marines. Rear Adm. Mark Guadagnini, chief of Naval air training, presided over the hearing that began Thursday. The Blue Angels flight demonstration team is based at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 11/07/08)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama to emphasize technology

President-elect Barack Obama is expected to emphasize technological investments under national security and space exploration efforts at the expense of Defense Department big-ticket acquisitions. Obama has declared his support for technological innovation across the federal government, but in particular, his campaign says he advocates unmanned aircraft, electronic warfare capabilities and cyber security. The Gulf Coast has operations involved in both space exploration and UAVs. (Source: Aviation Week, 11/05/08)

Fire Scout aboard first LCS

The Navy's first littoral combat ship, USS Freedom, will be commissioned Nov. 8 at a 10 a.m. EST ceremony at Veterans Park, Milwaukee, Wis. Secretary of the Navy Donald Winter will deliver the principal address. A Northrop Grumman Fire Scout helicopter drone is on Freedom and will remain onboard as it transits from Milwaukee to Norfolk, Va. The Fire Scout, built in part in Moss Point, Miss., will contributed to the ship's core missions of mine counter measures, antisubmarine warfare and surface warfare, as well as surveillance, targeting and communication-relay functions. (Source: Navy, Northrop Grumman, 11/05/08)

Some eye longer shuttle program

The space shuttle could continue to fly beyond its scheduled 2010 retirement date, a move that would help keep hundreds of people working at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. But the price tag of such an extension would be $2 billion per year, according to a report released this week. And it would also impact the Constellation program. (Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 11/05/08)

ST Engineering 3Q report

Singapore Technologies Engineering said Tuesday that third quarter profit rose 3 percent, though earnings in the key aerospace division fell. The company owns ST Mobile Aerospace Engineering, whose 1,600 employees at Mobile's Brookley Field Industrial Complex repair and modify jetliners, snf VT Halter Marine, whose 1,700 employees in Mississippi's Pascagoula, Moss Point and Escatawpa build and repair ships. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 11/05/08)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Ares I-X flight hardware arrives

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - The first major flight hardware of the Ares I-X rocket has arrived in Florida to begin preparation for the July 12, 2009, test flight of the agency's next-generation launch system. The Constellation program test flight will allow NASA to gather data during ascent of the integrated Orion crew exploration vehicle and the Ares I rocket. Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans and Mississippi's Stennis Space Center both are involved in the Constellation program. (Source: NASA, 11/04/08)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Keesler to host first air show in 5 years

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. – Keesler Air Force Base will host its first air show in five years this April when it presents "Thunder on the Bay." The two-day event April 4-5, 2009, will feature aerial acrobatics and static aircraft displays, though details are still being worked out. The show got its name as a result of a base-wide vote. (Source: Keesler Air Force Base, 11/03/08)

Hurlburt maintainers get DoD award

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. - Maintainers from Hurlburt Field won the Department of Defense Phoenix Award, the highest field-level maintenance award within DoD. The 1st Special Operations Maintenance group won the honor by supporting the generation of 3,200 combat sorties that flew nearly 14,000 hours over hostile territory. (Source: Air Force News Service, 11/03/08)

Northrop gets Army UAV contract

HERNDON, Va. - The Army awarded Northrop Grumman a $97 million contract to procure, modify and deliver 12 Hunter MQ-5B unmanned aerial vehicles and supporting ground stations, data links and spare parts. Northrop’s team include Stark Aerospace, Starkville, Miss.; L-3 Communications, Salt Lake City; Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; AAI Corp., Hunt Valley, Md..; APL GmbH, Germany; and Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd.'s TAMAM Division, Israel. Work will primarily be performed at Northrop’s Unmanned Aircraft System Center of Excellence, Sierra Vista, Ariz., and facilities at Starkville. Northrop also has a UAV center in Moss Point, Miss., which has also worked on Hunter aircraft. (Source: Globe Newswire, 11/03/08)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Workers ratify Boeing contract

SEATTLE - Striking Boeing machinists in Washington, Oregon and Kansas voted to ratify a new four-year contract. About 27,000 employees represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers begin returning to work with the third shift Nov. 2. The contract calls for general wage increases of 15 percent over four years, a 16 percent pension increase and lump-sum payments of at least $8,000 over the life of the agreement. (Source: PRNewswire, 11/02/08)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

City to spend more on F-35 suit

VALPARAISO, Fla. - City commissioners voted Friday to more than quadruple their budget to cover the cost of noise experts and other legal expenses in the city's dispute with Eglin Air Force Base. Commissioners in executive session approve an additional $100,000 from the general fund. The city wants to find out more about the noise the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter training center will bring to Eglin. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 10/31/08)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Two Blue Angels removed from duty

PENSACOLA, Fla. - Two members of the Navy's Blue Angels, one a pilot, were removed from duty with the team for allegedly having an inappropriate relationship. The six-plane team will fly the rest of the season – three shows that end Nov. 15 – with five F-18s. Neither team member was identified. The Blue Angels flight demonstration team is based at Naval Air Station Pensacola. (Source: AP, Navy Times, 10/30/08)

Ares I test launch delayed

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - NASA's first Ares I test flight is being pushed back to July 12 because of the delay in a final Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission. But NASA is also looking at speeding up development of the new moon rocket and an Apollo-style crew capsule for the Constellation program. Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans and Mississippi’s Stennis Space Center are both involved in Constellation. (Source: Florida Today, 10/30/08)

Land near base to be preserved

MILTON, Fla. - Gov. Charlie Crist and the cabinet approved a venture with the Navy to eventually preserve more than 5,000 acres of undeveloped land around Whiting Field Naval Air Station. The vote was unanimous to begin the process by spending $1 million for an initial 208 acres near the base's northeastern and southern perimeters. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 10/30/08)

New Orleans airport ripe for more service

NEW ORLEANS, La. - Continued high demand and nearly full airplanes make New Orleans an ideal place to add air service, aviation consultant Mike Boyd said. But that doesn’t mean Louis Armstrong International Airport, which saw service slashed after Hurricane Katrina, will gain service anytime soon. (Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 10/30/08)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Test stand takes shape at Stennis

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – A new 300-foot rocket engine test stand is rising above the trees at NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center. Fabricated steel began arriving by truck Oct. 24 for construction of the A-3 test stand that will be used to test the J-2X engine for the next generation of rockets. Work began with groundbreaking ceremonies in August 2007. The J-2X will power both Ares I and Ares V. It will be required to start at high altitudes, and the new test stand is designed to test the it at simulated altitudes of up to 100,000 feet. (Source: NASA, 10/28/08)

Gunships improve situational awareness

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - Air Force Special Operations gunships will be getting a new tool to provide increased situational awareness. The 46th Test Squadron conducted a flight test of the Rockwell Collins Data Link Processor and software that demonstrated Link 16 messaging between an AC-130, a Hurlburt Field ground station, a system integration lab at Eglin and an F-16. AC-130 aircraft can exchange battlespace information with ground and airborne participants, allowing the AC-130 to take on a mission commander role. Rockwell Collins supplies the data and display processing systems to BAE Systems, which will integrate the Link 16 capabilities onto the platform. (Source: Rockwell Collins, 10/29/08)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Boeing-union pact would limit outsourcing

Boeing and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers reached a tentative agreement Monday night. IAM says the new contract limits the amount of work outside vendors can perform in the workplace. Some 27,000 union members are on strike in Washington, Oregon and Kansas. Boeing also has Gulf Coast operations in New Orleans, La., and Fort Walton Beach, Fla. (Source: Aviation Week, 10/28/08)

Peer review may reduce protests

Two Air Force programs delayed by protests will be among the first subjected to a new review system. The new process will require Army and Navy officials to conduct peer reviews of the Air Force programs before, during and after contract decisions. The Air Force will help review contracts for the other branches. The new process began Sept. 30 for all programs worth $1 billion or more. EADS and Northrop Grumman had planned to build a refueling tanker in Mobile, but a Boeing protest was upheld. The Pentagon later decided to table the project until the next administration. (Source: Bloomberg, 10/27/08)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ares test rocket on water journey

CLEVELAND, Ohio - Full-scale components of the Ares I-X test rocket manufactured at NASA's Glenn Research Center was loaded on the Delta Mariner Oct. 22 for a nearly two-week trip down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to Port Canaveral, Fla. At Kennedy Space Center the components of the upper stage simulator of the Ares I-X test rocket will be integrated with other parts of the Ares I-X vehicle for launch in 2009. Ares I-X will be the first flight test vehicle of NASA's next generation launch vehicle system. Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans in the future will manufacture and assemble the upper stage of Ares I, as well as the core of Ares V and large structures for the Orion crew capsule. Stennis Space Center will test propulsion systems. (Source: PRNewswire 10/15/08)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Study: F-35 twice as loud as F-15

At military housing areas and base schools on Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., noise from F-35 operations will be twice as loud as F-15 flights, reaching 83 decibels. Off base, F-35 noise will reach up to 90 decibels in neighborhoods under an Eglin flight path. That's according to an environmental impact study prompted by plans to set up the joint F-35 pilot and maintenance training school at Eglin. The city of Valparaiso has expressed concern over the noise, and filed suit for more information. The report released this month shows the number of people exposed frequently to sound levels of 75 decibels or more would rise from 142 people to 2,174. (Source: Air Force Times, 10/26/08)

Friday, October 24, 2008

AF works on cyberspace roadmap

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. - The Air Force Cyber Command (Provisional) team at Barksdale and Air Force Space Command are determining how the two groups will jointly shape the cyberspace mission. The Air Force chief of staff announced Oct. 8 that there will be no new major command formed for cyberspace operations, and it will instead be a numbered Air Force under Space Command. Barksdale and locations along the Gulf Coast were among those competing for the new headquarters. (Source: Air Force News Service, 10/24/08)

City refiles suit to get F-35 noise info

VALPARAISO, Fla. – The city of Valparaiso decided to re-file a suit against the Air Force. The city first filed suit last month seeking information about the F-35 and the noise a training center will bring to Eglin Air Force Base. The city and Eglin continued to talk and the suit wasn't served. The new lawsuit says the Air Force should provide the information free or at a reduced cost rather than the more than $1 million the military said it will cost. (Source: WEAR-TV3, 10/24/08)

Teledyne 3Q report

Profits and sales at Teledyne Technologies continued to rise in the third quarter. The Thousand Oaks, Calif., based company reported profits of $30.9 million, up 14 percent from 2007’s third quarter. The news was not as good for the company’s Mobile subsidiary, Teledyne Continental Motors. The operation laid off 20 workers from its second shift earlier this month because of slumping demand for airplane engines and parts, leaving it with about 500 workers. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 10/24/08)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Raytheon 3Q report

Raytheon said third-quarter profit rose 12 percent on higher international sales of border-security equipment and Patriot air-defense systems. The company said 2008 profit will be higher than it previously forecast and that earnings next year may exceed estimates. Profit from continuing operations beat the estimates, rising to $427 million, or $1.01 a share, from $380 million, or 86 cents, a year earlier, Waltham, Massachusetts-based Raytheon said in a statement. (Source: Bloomberg, 10/23/08)

Goodrich 3Q report

Goodrich reported third quarter 2008 net income of $168 million, or $1.33 per diluted share, on sales of $1,772 million. In the third quarter 2007, the company reported net income of $127 million, or $0.99 per diluted share, on sales of $1,602 million. Third quarter 2008 sales increased 11 percent and net income per diluted share increased 34 percent compared with the third quarter 2007. Income from continuing operations during the third quarter 2008 was $168 million, a 20 percent increase over income from continuing operations of $140 million in the third quarter 2007. (Source: PRNewswire, 10/23/08)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

General Dyamics 3Q report

FALLS CHURCH, Va. - General Dynamics reported 2008 third-quarter earnings from continuing operations of $634 million, or $1.59 per share on a fully diluted basis,compared to 2007 third-quarter earnings from continuing operations of $544 million, or $1.34 per share fully diluted. Revenues rose to $7.1 billion in the quarter, a 4.5 percent increase over third-quarter 2007 revenues of $6.8 billion. Net earnings, which were equal to earnings from continuing operations, increased 16 percent over the year-ago period. (Source: PRNewswire, 10/22/08)

Lockheed Martin 3Q report

Lockheed Martin reported third quarter 2008 net earnings of $782 million, $1.92 per diluted share, compared to $766 million, $1.80 per diluted share, in 2007. Net sales were $10.6 billion, a 5 percent decrease from third quarter 2007 sales of $11.1 billion. Cash from operations for the third quarter of 2008 was $1.0 billion, compared to $935 million in 2007. (Source: Lockheed Martin, 10/22/08)

Northrop Grumman 3Q report

WASHINGTON - Northrop Grumman said higher sales of surveillance systems helped boost its third-quarter profit 4.7 percent and spurred the defense contractor to raise its 2008 earnings forecast. The company reported net income of $512 million, or $1.51 per share, in the quarter ending Sept. 30, up from $489 million, or $1.41 per share, a year earlier. (Source: AP, 10/22/08)

Boeing 3Q report

CHICAGO – The Boeing Company’s third-quarter net income declined 38 percent, to $695 million, while earnings per share declined 33 percent to $0.96 per share, both reflecting an ongoing machinists' strike and supplier production challenges. Those items reduced third-quarter commercial airplane deliveries by about 35 units and net earnings by an estimated $0.60 per share. Revenues for the quarter declined 7 percent, to $15.3 billion. (Source: PRNewswire, 10/22/08)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Virginia-class sub launches Tomahawk

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - A Virginia class submarine fired a Raytheon Tomahawk Block IV missile from the Gulf of Mexico to engage a simulated target. The flight completes the integration of the Tomahawk cruise missile onto the Navy's newest fast-attack submarine. Tomahawk Block IV is a surface- and submarine-launched precision strike stand-off weapon. It is designed for long-range precision strike missions. (Source: PRNewswire, 10/21/08)

Goodrich Foley gets airline contract

FOLEY, Ala. - Goodrich Corp. won a four-year contract with US Airways to repair thrust reversers at its Foley facility. Goodrich started the work for the Phoenix-based airline in June. The contract covers thrust reversers for an engine found on Airbus A320. Over the past 12 months Goodrich has repaired about 500 thrust reversers. Goodrich employs about 800 people in Foley. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 10/21/08)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Contract: Rush-Peak Three, $9.2M

Rush-Peak Three, Titusville, Fla., was awarded a $9.24 million firm fixed fee price contract for construction of a multi-story parking garage at the headquarters of U.S. Special Operations Command compound at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., with completion Feb. 27, 2010. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District, Mobile, Ala., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 10/20/08)

Contract: Raytheon, $12.9M

The Air Force is modifying a cost plus fixed fee contract with Raytheon Missile Systems of Tucson, Ariz., for $12.94 million to provide 436 propulsion sections to be installed into AIM-120B Air Vehicles. This effort supports foreign military sales to Turkey, Denmark, and Finland. 695ARSS, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 10/20/08)

Mississippi forges ties to Japan NASA

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. - A delegation of Mississippi’s space industry traveled to Tokyo to meet with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency following the delegation's participation in the 2008 Japan International Aerospace Exhibition in Yokohama. Craig Harvey, COO of NVision Solutions Inc., John Henry Jackson of the Mississippi Development Authority and Mark Lanoue, CEO of Emerging Technologies LLC, discussed Mississippi's role in global space technology markets with JAXA officials. Mississippi is home to Stennis Space Center and has interests in propulsion systems and geospatial technologies. (Source: NVision Solutions, 10/20/08)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Mini robots focus of FWB workshop

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. - Navigation systems for miniature autonomous systems will be the topic of a workshop Monday through Wednesday at the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort. "Challenges for Miniature Autonomous Systems" is sponsored by Eglin Air Force Base's Air Force Research Lab/Munitions Directorate. Trends show future autonomous systems will be less than 20 pounds, air-launched from small UAVs and used in greater numbers than current systems. Technical challenges include navigation, sensors and payloads. The workshop is for the DoD technical and user community, academia and industry. (Source: The Institute of Navigation)

Friday, October 17, 2008

AC-27 gunship buy OKd for Special Ops

FORT WALTON BEACH, FL. - InsideDefense says the Air Force Special Operations Command received a nod from the Pentagon to buy 16 L-3 Communications-Alenia AC-27 gunships. The plane, based on the Italian Alenia C-27 transport, is small than the Special Ops AC-130 and would supplement that aircraft. In addition to either a 30-millimeter or 40-millimeter gun, the AC-27 will fire stand-off, precision-guided munitions like the Viper Strike bomb. AF Special Ops is headquartered at Hurlburt Field, Fla. (Source: InsideDefense, 10/17/08)

JSF impact statement released

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - The final Environmental Impact Statement about the new missions at Eglin Air Force Base is now available. The study is part of the process for moving the Joint Strike Fighter and the 7th Special Forces Group to Eglin. The release marks the start of a 30-day public review. The document is available at the Eglin Web site and area public libraries. There have been some complaints about the noise the F-35 will bring to communities surrounding Eglin. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 10/17/08)

Interest in Gulfport airport keen

GULFPORT, Miss. - Aviation-related businesses have shown keen interest in an area near Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport. Airport Authority Commissioner Frank Genzer noted the interest during Thursday's quarterly meeting of the Sun Herald Business Roundtable. Much of the interest has been about a road that will lead to a new air-cargo facility and general aviation. He did not name names. (Source: The Sun Herald, 10/17/08)

IHMC's Ford named NASA advisory council chair

PENSACOLA, Fla. - Ken Ford, director of the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, was named chairman of the NASA Advisory Council. He replaces Jack Schmitt, another scientist who walked on the moon in 1972. The council provides the space agency with advice on programs and various issues of importance. Ford was appointed to the NASA Advisory Council in 2007. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 10/17/08)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Contractor taking over Keesler support

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. - Keesler leaders and Computer Sciences Corp. officials are working together to ensure a smooth transition from government to contractor responsibility for Keesler Air Force Base support operations. CSC will begin picking up the workload Nov. 1 in a transition that will take 90 days. Roger Condit, CSC program manager at Keesler, said the recruiting efforts have resulted in more than 1,300 job applicants to date. More than 90 percent of the positions have been filled. (Source: Keesler Air Force Base, 10/16/08)

Work with NASA forum lures 150

NEW ORLEANS, La. - An economic development forum Wednesday attracted about 150 small business owners who want to learn more about doing business with NASA. Louisiana Aerospace Industry Day was sponsored by Boeing and Lockheed Martin, both major NASA contractors on the next-generation Constellation program. The group heard from representatives of about a dozen companies. Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans will build some of the spacecraft for Constellation and Stennis Space Center in Mississippi will test the propulsion systems. (Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 10/16/08)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tanker program gets new manager

ARLINGTON, Va. - EADS North America named Randy Hutcherson vice president and program manager for EADS North America Tankers, the business unit with primary subcontractor responsibility in support of the Northrop Grumman KC-45A tanker. EADS and Northrop Grumman had planned to assemble the KC-45A in Mobile, Ala., but the contract was terminated following a Boeing protest and punted to the next administration. Hutcherson previously was EADS North America vice president for rotorcraft programs. David D. Haines has been appointed to the rotorcraft post. (Source: EADS North America, 10/15/08)

Trent Lott named to EADS NA board

EADS North America announced the appointment of Trent Lott, former senator from Mississippi, to the company's board of directors. Lott is the former U.S. Senate Majority Leader who also served in the House of Representatives. EADS North America CEO Ralph Crosby said Lott will provide "invaluable expertise as our company expands its presence in the U.S. defense and homeland security sectors." EADS owns Eurocopter in Mississippi and still hopes to build aerial tankers in Mobile, Ala. (Source: EADS North America, 10/15/08)

Raytheon missile in Navy user program

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - Raytheon's AIM-120C7 advanced medium range air-to-air missile has entered the Navy's weapon system user program. Two Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet strike-fighters fired two Raytheon-built missiles, an AIM-120C7 and AIM-9X, the first time the two were launched by a fleet-assigned operational Super Hornet and the first time the Navy employed both missiles in the same mission. The firings were a joint effort with the Air Force's Weapon System Evaluation Program and showed the AIM-120C7 can operate in a joint environment. The missiles were fired by aircraft assigned to the Navy's VFA-143 squadron and were launched against a BQM-167A target drone during a mission with Air Force F-15Cs from Eglin Air Force Base's 60th Fighter Squadron. (Source: PR Newswire, 10/15/08)

Stennis-Michoud group formed

NEW ORLEANS, La. - Louisiana and Mississippi officials are meeting in New Orleans today to explore ways to leverage Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans and John C. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi as an economic development magnet. The group, which includes leaders of economic development organizations in both states, will discuss steps to make the aerospace corridor attractive to aerospace companies. Michoud and Stennis will be heavily involved in the Constellation program. Michoud will build portions of the spacecraft and Stennis will test propulsion systems. (Source: Tcp, 10/15/08) (Background: “Is giant leap in the making?” Alliance Insight, 01/2008)

Seven Hurlburt airmen awarded medals

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. - Seven airmen were honored Tuesday for actions in Afghanistan. Lt. Gen. Donald Wurster, commander of the Air Force Special Operations Command, awarded three Bronze Stars and seven Air Force Combat Action Medals to members of the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 10/14/08)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

PC research park moves forward

PANAMA CITY, Fla. - Plans to develop a research park on under-utilized land at Lynn Haven Fuel Depot are moving forward. Tyndall Development Partners LLC, owned and managed by Hunt ELP Ltd., of El Paso, Texas, was selected to negotiate the transfer. The Lynn Haven Fuel Depot property consists of three parcels totaling 184 acres. Forty acres will be transferred to Florida State University to use as a satellite campus; 50 acres is a railroad right-of-way that will likely be used to improve access to the site; and the remaining 94 acres will be developed by Tyndall Development Partners, LLC. (Source: Air Force Link, 10/14/08)

Austrian UAV lands on French ship

It was a milestone when a Northrop Grumman Fire Scout helicopter drone landed on a ship in January 2006. Now an Austrian Camcopter S-100 has done so. Last week French shipyard DCNS demonstrated a deck landing and take-off system, called the SADA, using an Austrian-built Schiebel VTOL. The Northrop Grumman Fire Scout is built in part in Moss Point, Miss. (Source: Aviation Week, 10/13/08)

Monday, October 13, 2008

No agreement in Boeing strike

SEATTLE - A second round of mediated talks between Boeing and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers adjourned without agreement. No new talks are set. Some 27,000 employees in Washington, Oregon and Kansas have been on strike since Sept. 6. Boeing also has operations in the Gulf Coast. (Source: PR Newswire, 10/13/08)

GD Niceville part of JAGM missile project

The Lockheed Martin team chosen for a $122 million technology development contract for the Joint Air-to-Ground Missile system includes General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems of Niceville, Fla., which will focus on the multi-purpose warhead. JAGM replaces the HELLFIRE II and Longbow HELLFIRE missiles on the Army's Apache attack helicopter, the Warrior unmanned aerial system, the Arapaho reconnaissance helicopter, the Marine Corps' Super Cobra attack helicopter and on the Navy's Seahawk. JAGM will also replace the Maverick missile on the F/A-18 Hornet and may be used on the F-35. (Source: Lockheed Martin, 10/08/08)

LM Stennis delivers key satellite system

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - The largest A2100 spacecraft core structure ever built by Lockheed Martin has been delivered to the company's Sunnyvale, Calif., facility. The core structure with an integrated propulsion subsystem is the first satellite in the Navy's Mobile User Objective System constellation. The design features third generation mobile technology for simultaneous voice and data services. It was developed and tested at Lockheed Martin's Mississippi Space and Technology Center, an advanced propulsion, thermal, and metrology facility at John C. Stennis Space Center. (Source: Lockheed Martin, 10/13/08)

Robots over South Mississippi

MOSS POINT, Miss. - It will be a significant milestone when it occurs. Early next year a Northrop Grumman-built Fire Scout will have its first production test flight over South Mississippi. (Source: Alliance Insight, October 2008)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Nodine claims split tanker buy in works

Mobile County Commissioner Stephen Nodine says that, according to his best sources on Capitol Hill, the Pentagon likely will authorize buying tankers from both Boeing and the Northrop Grumman/EADS team. That's according to an item in a Sunday column by Pensacola News Journal reporter Carlton Proctor. The Pentagon has said it's too costly, but lately there's been more talk from a lot of circles about a split buy. Boeing wants to build tankers in Washington State, Northrop/EADS wants to build them in Mobile, Ala. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 10/12/08)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Rerouted planes prompt noise complaints

MOBILE, Ala. - Repairs on the main runway at Brookley Field have changed flight patterns, prompting some Midtown Mobile residents to complain about the noise. The 75-day project should be finished by early December. The main runway was closed to install new lights and planes are using the secondary runway. Brookley has about 89,000 takeoffs and landings per year, or more than 200 a day. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 10/10/08)

FAA OKs Goodrich composite cowl

FOLEY, Ala. - Goodrich Corp. received FAA certification for a lightweight fan cowl for V2500-A5 engine nacelles. Goodrich's Aerostructures business unit, through its Alabama Service Center in Foley, Ala., will provide a one-piece cowl as part of its aftermarket support program. The cowl, developed with Bombardier Aerospace of Northern Ireland, uses Bombardier's resin transfer infusion process that replaces the traditional honeycomb interior. The International Aero Engines V2500-A5 is widely used on the Airbus A320 aircraft, including the A319 and A321. There are about 2,500 of the engines in service worldwide. (Source: Tcp, Goodrich release, 10/09/08)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Aerospace industry day set

NEW ORLEANS, La. - The Louisiana Technology Council is hosting a Louisiana Aerospace Industry Day Oct. 15 at the New Orleans Sheraton. Small business specialists from Huntsville's Marshall Space Flight Center and Mississippi's Stennis Space Center and Shared Services Center will give presentations on contracting opportunities. Sen. David Vitter is the scheduled speaker. Details. (Source: Tcp, 10/09/08)

NASA transition job losses updated

NASA released the latest estimates on the number of jobs that will be lost with the transition from the Space Shuttle program to Constellation. For Mississippi's Stennis Space Center, the figure is the same as the previous March estimate – 200. In FY 2008 Stennis had 400 in the space program. Back in March NASA estimated Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans would lose between 800 and 1,300 jobs in the transition. The latest estimate settles on the 800 figure. Michoud in FY 2008 had 1,900 workers. (Source: Tcp, 10/09/08)

Cyber command fades

BILOXI, Miss. - Air Force senior leaders met in Colorado Springs last week and decided to establish a nuclear major command rather than a separate Air Force cyber command. Biloxi and other cities around the country had put in pitches to be chosen as headquarters for the cyber command. Now it will be a numbered air force within space command. (Source: The Sun Herald, 10/09/08)

Michoud reduces job losses

NEW ORLEANS, La. - Three dozen workers were laid off Wednesday at the Michoud Assembly Facility in eastern New Orleans, fewer than the 200 expected in the first round of employment reductions as the space shuttle program winds down. Cuts in the Lockheed Martin workforce had been expected as the contract to build shuttle external fuel tanks end. All of the tanks needed to fly the shuttle before its 2010 retirement are already in production. (Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 10/09/08)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Florida airport expansion delayed

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - Financial market uncertainties led officials at Northwest Florida Regional Airport - the former Okaloosa County Airport - to delay an expansion of the ticketing area, concourse and baggage claim. The airport recently received a $250,000 grant from the Florida Department of Transportation for the first phase of work. They will likely decide later this year whether to move forward or to wait some more. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 10/08/08)

New Orleans airport eyes privatization

NEW ORLEANS, La. - Even as the state ponders a possible takeover of Louis Armstrong International Airport, airport officials are exploring the idea of turning it over to private management. Airport officials laid out the idea of privatizing Armstrong at a meeting of the council's Aviation Committee on the same day the Chicago approved turning Midway Airport to a private operator. (Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 10/08/08)

Contract: DRS-C3, $8.7M

DRS-C3 Systems Inc., Fort Walton Beach, Fla., was awarded an $8.69 million firm fixed price contract for 564 tube-launched optically-tracked wire guided missile launchers. Work will be performed in Fort Walton Beach, with estimated completion date of July 31, 2010. U.S. Army Aviation & Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 10/08/08)

Drone system delivered to Army

EADS North America delivered a jet-powered target drone system, DT35/DT45, to the Army for evaluation in the training of missile defense crews. The system delivered to McGregor Range, N.M., consists of subscale aerial targets, catapult launcher and ground control stations. The DT35/DT45 contract was awarded to Applied Geo Technologies Inc., a tribally-chartered aerospace corporation of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. Its corporate office is in Choctaw and it operates a unit at Stennis Space Center. EADS North America is a principal subcontractor and supplier to AGT. (Source: EADS North America, 10/07/08)

Eurocopter UH-72A hits milestone

COLUMBUS, Miss. - EADS North America marked an industrial milestone for the U.S. Army's UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopter program, delivering its first final assembly line aircraft from the production facility at Columbus, Miss. The Lakota is built by American Eurocopter, a business unit of EADS North America. (Source: EADS North America, 10/07/08)

FOIA request regarding F-35: $1.5M

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - The documents sought in a Freedom of Information Act request will take 51,428 hours to complete and cost the city of Valparaiso nearly $1.5 million. The Air Force denied a requests that the fee be waived. Valparaiso filed suit seeking records relating to BRAC, the Joint Land Use Study and draft Environmental Impact Statement. The city is concerned about the noise that a new F-35 joint training center will bring to Eglin Air Force Base. Valparaiso has not yet served the papers. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 10/07/08)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Gunship commander wins award

WASHINGTON - The aircraft commander of an AC-130H Spectre gunship won the Cheney Award for providing close-air support to troops in Afghanistan in May 2007. Capt. Chad Bubanas, 18th Flight Test Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla., and his crew were on routine patrol when they were radioed about a crashed CH-47. The gunship provided support when survivors came under hostile fire. The Cheney Award is named for 1st Lt. William Cheney, killed in an air collision in 1918. The award is presented each year to aviators who demonstrate an act of valor, extreme fortitude or self-sacrifice in a humanitarian venture. (Source: Air Force, 10/07/08)

Panhandle hurricane threat down

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - The Atlantic hurricane season runs through Nov. 30, but the Eglin Air Force Base Weather Squadron is confident the threat to the Panhandle has declined sharply. Upper level winds across the Gulf of Mexico now resemble those expected in late October or November with persistent wind shear. Richard Henning, meteorologist with the 46th Weather Squadron, said that "shuts the door about a month early on any more hurricane activity that might threaten the Panhandle." (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 10/06/08)

Schools likely to be impacted by F-35

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - A new report from the Environmental Protection Agency says children may have trouble learning in five Okaloosa County schools because of the noise when F-35s are stationed at Eglin Air Force Base. It also says some homes exposed to 75 decibels or higher should be bought from willing sellers. The report was obtained by Channel 3 News. (Source: WEAR TV3, 10/06/08)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Talks continue over tanker termination fee

EADS North America and KC-45 prime contractor Northrop Grumman are still in talks with the Air Force about termination of its tanker contract. Defense Department leadership killed the award after congressional auditors cited flaws in the process in the wake of a Boeing protest. After an initial attempt to speed through a new acquisition award this year, Pentagon leaders punted to the next administration. EADS/Northrop wanted to build the planes in Mobile, Ala., and Boeing wants to build them in Washington State. (Source: Aviation Week, 10/06/08)

Navy orders EADS helicopters

The Navy has ordered five UH-72 Light Utility Helicopter to be used for pilot training at the Naval Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, Md. The Navy joins the active Army and the Army National Guard in acquiring UH-72 Lakotas. The Navy's firm fixed-price order is valued at more than $24 million. Deliveries are scheduled from October 2009 through January 2010. The aircraft are produced in Columbus, Miss., under the management of American Eurocopter. (Source: EADS North America, 10/06/08)

NASA awards future vehicles contracts

WASHINGTON - NASA has awarded research contracts worth a total of $12.4 million to six industry teams to study advanced concepts for subsonic and supersonic commercial transport aircraft that could enter service in 25 to 30 years. The teams are led by Boeing, GE Aviation, Lockheed Martin, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Northrop Grumman. The separate 18-month study contracts are valued at some $2 million each. (Source: NASA, 10/06/08)

Student-designed lunar tools sought

WASHINGTON - A new NASA contest challenges college-level students to design tools or instrument packages that could be used on the next generation of human-driven moon rovers. Full-time students enrolled in universities, colleges, trade schools, community colleges and professional schools in the United States or its territories can compete as individuals or teams. Details. (Source: NASA)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Contract: Northrop Grumman, $23.2M

Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems of San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a contract modification for $23.2 million. This action will provide for Long Lead associated with 5 Global Hawks. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity. Portions of Global Hawk fuselages are built in Moss Point, Miss. (Source: DoD, 10/03/08)

Work begins on joint AF, Navy school

PENSACOLA, Fla. - Ground was broken Thursday at Naval Air Station Pensacola for the $45 million Air Force Navigator Training Hangar and Combat Systems Officer Instruction Facility. When finished next year, it will begin training about 400 Air Force and Navy students each year as navigators, weapons systems officers and electronic warfare officers. It replaces an Air Force school in San Antonio, Texas. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 10/03/08)

Valparaiso delays serving suit to AF

VALPARAISO, Fla. - The city of Valparaiso has not yet served to the Air Force a lawsuit filed Sept. 22. The City Commission met in executive session Thursday after some commissioners disagreed with the decision to file the Freedom of Information Act suit. The city is seeking additional information on the Joint Strike Fighter mission at Eglin Air Force Base. Residents are concerned about noise and other issues. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 10/02/08)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Avalex makes Inc. list

Aircraft display maker Avalex of Pensacola, Fla., made Inc. Magazine's 2008 list of 5,000 fastest growing private businesses in America. Avalex, which makes displays for military and surveillance aircraft, was in the 2,583rd spot with $9.2 million in reported 2007 earnings. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 10/02/08)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Contract: Rolls-Royce, $90M

Rolls-Royce Defense Services Inc., Indianapolis, Ind., was awarded a $90.4 million contract for intermediate and depot level maintenance and related support for T-45 F405-RR-401 Adour engines at Naval Air Station Kingsville, Texas, NAS Meridian, Miss., NAS Pensacola, Fla., and NAS Patuxent River, Md., to be completed in Sept. 2013. Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 10/01/08)

Contract: DTS Aviation, $14M

The Air Force is modifying a CLINS contract with DTS Aviation Services Inc., Fort Worth, Texas, for $14 million for aircraft backshop maintenance, munitions, and equipment support for the Air Armament Center and for Air Armament and Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence Systems Testing for 12 months. 96 CONS/MSCB, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 10/01/08)

Northrop CEO open to split tanker buy

The Pentagon has said buying aerial tankers from both Northrop Grumman/EADS and Boeing would be too expensive, but CEO Ron Sugar of Northrop is open to the idea. He told Reuters his company would be supportive of whatever the government wants. Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., has proposed buying from both companies. Northrop won the contract in February to assemble the tankers n Mobile, Ala., but the GAO sided with Boeing’s protest. Last month the Pentagon punted to the next administration. (Source: Reuters, 09/30/08)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Counties win state defense grants

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties are among the organizations that will receive state defense grants designed to improve Florida's position as a host for military installations and activities. The state will award $2.25 million in two categories of defense grants: reinvestment and infrastructure. The Economic Development Council of Okaloosa County, Team Santa Rosa Economic Development Council and Pensacola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce will receive grants from both categories. (Source: governor’s press office, 09/30/08)

Official addresses F-35 noise issue

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. - An Air Force official says the F-35 fighters will be no louder than an F-22 or F-18. Major General Charles Davis spoke Tuesday to a group at Okaloosa Island to address concerns, mainly from Valparaiso residents, that jets will be too noisy and lower property values once Eglin Air Force Base begins a new mission as the location for Joint Strike Fighter training. That new mission will bring some 10,000 people to Okaloosa County in the next 10 years. (Source: WEAR-TV3, 09/30/08)

Contract: U of Florida, $30M

University of Florida of Gainesville, Fla., is being awarded a contract for a maximum of $30 million to promote/enhance local graduate level engineering education by fulfilling research, development, test, and evaluation requirements for Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The tasks will result in insertion of real-world scenarios into the curriculum. Theoretical and/or applied research in areas including aerodynamic and computational fluid dynamics, computer science/software engineering, electro-magnetic/optics, engineering mechanics, guidance and control technology, systems engineering, and signal processing is contemplated. Air Force Research Laboratory AFRL/RWK, Eglin, is the contracting activity. (Source: DefenseLink, 09/30/08)

Contract: Boeing-SVS, $30M

Boeing-SVS, Inc., Albuquerque, N.M., is being awarded a contract for a maximum of $30 million to provide Advanced Tactical Laser Extended User Evaluation. The ATL EUE is an effort to operate and evaluate the single residual systems developed during the ATL Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration. This proprietary system integrates a high-energy laser into an Air Force C-130 aircraft. 687 ARSS/PK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DefenseLink, 09/30/08)

Contract: New Mexico State U, $9.9M

New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, N.M., is being awarded a cost reimbursement no fee contract for a maximum of $9.95 million. This contract will establish Unmanned Aerial System Program for UAS research, development, test, and evaluation, including USS operations in the National Airspace System. AAC/PKET, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DefenseLink, 09/30/08)

Cabana leaving Stennis for Kennedy

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - Bob Cabana is leaving as director of John C. Stennis Space Center in mid-October to become director of the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Cabana replaces William Parsons, who is leaving NASA to pursue opportunities in the private sector. Stennis Deputy Director Gene Goldman will become acting director at Stennis. Goldman, who began his NASA career in 1990, joined Stennis in October 2006. Prior to that he was manager of the Space Shuttle Main Engine Project at NASA's George C. Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. (Source: NASA, 09/30/08)

McArtor: Airbus committed to Mobile

MOBILE, Ala. - Airbus passed the 100-employee mark at its aircraft engineering center in Mobile, and the company remains committed to expanding, according Allan McArtor, chairman of Airbus Americas. The Mobile Engineering Center formally opened at the Brookley Field Industrial Complex in February 2007 with 32 employees. Initially assigned to interior design work on the A350 aircraft, its mission has grown. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 09/30/08)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Contract: Del-Jen, $20.3M

Del-Jen, Inc., Gardena, Calif., has been awarded $20.3 million by the Navy to exercise the first option period under a previously awarded contract with award options for Base Operations Support (BOS) services at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Saufley Field, Corry Station, and Bronson Field. (Source: DefenseLink, 09/29/08)

Contract: DynCorp, $9.6M

DynCorp International LLC, Fort Worth, Texas, has been awarded a $9.6 million estimated value modification to a previously awarded contract to exercise an option for aircraft maintenance and life cycle support for 12 Navy UC-35 aircraft. Sixteen percent of the work will be performed at Naval Air Station New Orleans. (Source: DefenseLink, 09/29/08)

Fire Scout wins 2nd year low-rate run

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Northrop Grumman's Fire Scout helicopter drone has moved into its second year of low-rate initial production with a $32.9 million contract award from the Naval Air Systems Command. It's the second of three planned LRIP buys. The Navy plans to conduct technical evaluation of the Fire Scout aboard an FFG-7 in early 2009. (Source: Northrop Grumman, 09/29/08)

Congress affirms commitment to space

The NASA Authorization Act cleared Congress on Saturday and provides funding for space programs and aeronautics research and development. Provisions include $20.2 billion for the agency, with an additional $1 billion dedicated to accelerated development of the Orion spacecraft and Ares 1 launch vehicle. Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans and Stennis Space Center in Mississippi are key players in those programs. (Source: PR Newswire, 09/29/08)

Valparaiso to discuss suit

VALPARAISO, Fla. - The city commission meets Thursday behind closed doors to discuss the suit the city filed against the Air Force. In the suit, the city alleges that information about Base Realignment and Closure measures has been withheld. The city is requesting all Air Force records relating to BRAC, the Joint Land Use Study and the draft Environmental Impact Statement. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 09/28/08)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Destin to weigh in on F-35 noise

DESTIN, Fla. - At a special meeting Monday night, the City Council will weigh the merits of a boost to the Emerald Coast economy compared to the drawbacks of added noise overhead. At issue are plans to base the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the related equipment and personnel at Eglin Air Force Base. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 09/26/08)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Rolls-Royce to power BAMS

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Rolls-Royce says it will be providing AE 3007H engines to power the Navy’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Unmanned Aircraft System. The BAMS project uses Navy versions of the Global Hawk and will provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance for the fleet. Global Hawk is built in part in Moss Point, Miss. (Source: Business Wire, 09/25/08)

Contract: L-3 Vertex, $42.5M

L-3 Communications Vertex Aerospace LLC, Madison, Miss., was awarded a $42.5 million modification to a previously awarded contract to exercise an option for logistics support for 123 TH-57B/TH-57C aircraft. Work will be performed at Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Milton, Fla. and NAS Patuxent River, Md. (Source: DefenseLink, 09/25/08)

Contract: Sikorsky, $132.8M

Sikorsky Support Services Inc. of Pensacola, Fla., was awarded a $132.8 million modification to a previously awarded contract to exercise an option for contractor logistics support services for the T-34, T-44, and T-6 aircraft. Work will be performed at more than a dozen locations, including Pensacola, Milton, Fla., and Fort Rucker, Ala. (Source: DefenseLink, 09/25/08)

Riley: Mobile will build tankers

MOBILE, Ala. - Alabama Gov. Bob Riley told some 250 real estates agents that Air Force refueling tankers will be built in Mobile. "Absolutely," predicted the governor. Northrop/EADS won the contract in February and planned to build them in Mobile, but Boeing's protest was upheld. Early this month the Pentagon decided to scrap the competition and let the next administration decide. (Source: Mobile Press Register, 09/26/08)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Project eyes LIDAR on UAVs

KILN, Miss. - The House-passed defense authorization bill includes $1.2 million for a project exploring the use of commercially available LIDAR on unmanned aerial systems. Optech International of Kiln is leading the effort. LIDAR has a similar goal to radar but measures scattered light rather than radio waves to "see" distant objects. Lidar-equipped military UAVs could be used in the littoral zone over shallow waters. (Source: Tcp, 09/25/08)

Fire Scout test aimed at Coast Guard

The first flight of a Fire Scout with multimode maritime radar has removed a major obstacle to U.S. Coast Guard interest in the shipborne vertical-takeoff-and-landing unmanned air vehicle. Mike Fuqua, Fire Scout business development manager for builder Northrop Grumman, says the Coast Guard has made clear its interest in the Fire Scout for operation from its new National Security Cutter. Fire Scouts are built in part in Moss Point, Miss. (Source: Aviation Week, 09/25/08)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bill: Tanker fight would consider subsidies

WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Norman Dicks, D-Wash., says the defense authorization bill passed Wednesday contains a provision requiring the Defense Secretary to review the impact of subsidies on the tanker replacement program. Dicks said a new competition is expected to be launched by the next administration after a WTO ruling on the subsidy complaint. (Source: news release, 09/24/08)

Gates rules out split tanker buy

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has ruled out a potential compromise on the U.S. Air Force tanker contract that would split the order between Boeing Co. and Northrop Grumman Corp., saying the cost of such a proposal would outweigh any benefit to the military. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 09/24/08)

Pensacola getting new baggage system

PENSACOLA, Fla. - Siemens has been awarded a $7.19 million design-build contract for the new in-line baggage screening system at Pensacola Gulf Coast Regional Airport.Siemens will provide 438 meters of baggage handling conveyor, 11 high-speed diverters, four explosives detection systems and four sort units. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 09/24/08)

Valparaiso sues Air Force

VALPARAISO, Fla. - The city of Valparaiso has sued the Air Force, alleging that previously requested information about Base Realignment and Closure measures have been withheld. The city wants all Air Force records relating to BRAC, the Joint Land Use Study and the draft Environmental Impact Statement. City officials and residents are worried about noise generated by the Joint Strike Fighter mission's F-35s that that will stand up at Eglin Air Force Base beginning in 2011. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 09/23/08)

Employee wins Tyndall suit

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - A former Tyndall Air Force Base employee has won nearly $1 million in damages from the U.S. Air Force. A federal jury last week found that Bridgett Keegan was a victim of gender discrimination when she was passed over for promotion twice in 2005 for two men who were less qualified, according to Keegan’s attorney and employees at the federal courthouse in Panama City. (Source: Florida Freedom Newspapers, 09/24/08)

Monday, September 22, 2008

AFSOC buying more aircraft

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. - While the broader Air Force is bogged down in some of its aircraft programs, its Special Operations Command is moving ahead to replace refuelers, helicopters, buy small cargo aircraft and boost gunship capabilities. One of its new aircraft, the Bell-Boeing CV-22, is slated to be deployed next month to Africa. The command has nine CV-22s, five at Hurlburt and four at Kirtland AFB, N.M. The final seven MH-53 Pave Low helicopters being replaced by the CV-22 will be retired by the end of this month. (Source: Aviation Week, 09/21/08)

Contract for science center awarded

NASA has awarded the Infinity site development contract to Gottfried, LLC of Covington, La. The $4.4 million contract marks the official start of construction of the science center in Hancock County, Miss., just a short distance from the Louisiana-Mississippi state line. (Source: Infinity, 09/22/08)

Fire Scout shows tracking ability

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - A Northrop Grumman-owned Fire Scout drone helicopter demonstrated it can search for, detect, and track multiple targets during a test surveillance mission Sept. 19 at the Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz. test center. The ability is crucial for naval littoral combat missions. The Fire Scout is build in part in Moss Point, Miss. (Source: Northrop Grumman, 09/22/08)

NASA, AF want hypersonic centers

WASHINGTON - NASA and the Air Force are looking for university and industry partners to advance hypersonic research. NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate in Washington and the Air Force Research Laboratory's Office of Science Research at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, have released a broad agency announcement describing their intent to establish three national hypersonic science centers. As much as $30 million will be used to fund the centers over five years, with a maximum grant of some $2 million a year. Details: www.grants.gov (Source: NASA, 09/22/08)

Friday, September 19, 2008

DayJet suspends operations

BOCA RATON, Fla. - Air taxi start-up DayJet has suspended air taxi operations. DayJet has struggled to obtain financing to reach the critical mass of operations necessary to achieve profitability. The FAA said DayJet retains its operating certificate and that company officials did not indicate whether the carrier was permanently going out of business. DayJet has served Pensacola, Fla., since October 2007. News release. (Source: AviationWeek, 09/19/08)