Thursday, December 31, 2009
VALPARAISO, Fla. – The 2010 mayor’s race may shape up as a referendum on the city’s face-off with the Air Force over the F-35. The March 9 ballot so far pits Valparaiso Mayor Bruce Arnold against challenger Brent Smith. Arnold was a driving force behind the city’s lawsuit against the Air Force, while Smith opposed the litigation. The Air Force is building the F-35 joint training center at Eglin, but some residents have been concerned over the noise. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 12/30/09)
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
L-3 Communications Vertex Aerospace, LLC, Madison, Miss., is being awarded an $11,406,910 modification to a previously awarded contract to provide specialized technical services in support of depot level maintenance work performed at the Fleet Readiness Center, Southwest on aircraft and rework of associated components and materials. Services to be provided include modifications, in-service repairs and all other categories of service associated with aircraft depot level maintenance and its planning. Work will be performed in California, Washington, Hawaii and Arizona and is expected to be completed in April 2010. The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, Calif., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 12/30/09)
The second Lockheed Martin F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing arrived Tuesday at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. The aircraft flew nonstop from Fort Worth, Texas, and completed an aerial refueling en route. Over the next year a team will ramp up the plane for flight testing. (Source: PRNewswire, 12/29/09) In another F-35-related development, the United States may let Japan take part the multinational team developing the F-35, according to a Kyodo News report. (Source: Japan Times, 12/30/09) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base is scheduled to be the JSF training center.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
PENSACOLA, Fla. - Melinda Crawford will be appointed Wednesday as the new director of Pensacola Gulf Coast Regional Airport. Crawford has been the interim director since May 15, when former director Frank Miller left the position for a job in San Antonio, Texas. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 12/29/09)
General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products, Burlington, Vt., was awarded a $33,638,976 firm-fixed-price contract for 144 Bradley reactive armor tile sets for the Bradley Fighting Vehicle systems. Most of the work will be done in Haifa, Israel; Burlington and Lyndonville, Vt., but McHenry, Miss., will do 1.7 percent of the work. Estimated completion date is Nov. 30, 2010. Army Contracting Command, Joint Munitions and Lethality, Contracting Center, Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 12/29/09)
Raytheon Co., Tucson, Ariz., was awarded a $12,427,000 contract, with a task order from an existing requirements contract, to purchase 43 range safety systems necessary for decoy operational testings and miniature air launched decoy and jammer initial operational test and evaluation. 692 ARSS/PK Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 12/29/09)
Monday, December 28, 2009
The attempted attack of an airliner by a man wearing explosives under his clothing may mean more business for Rapiscan Systems of Torrance, Calif., and its 10,000 square-foot production facility in Ocean Springs, Miss. Louis Peters, general manager of Rapiscan Mississippi, said Rapiscan has a contract with the Transportation Security Administration to provide 150 systems for airports across the United States. The plant recently hired 25 additional workers. TSA in May awarded Rapiscan a follow-on order of about $3 million for its Rapiscan 620DV Advanced Technology X-Ray system to screen baggage and parcels. A year ago Rapiscan was named the 2008 North American Homeland Security Inspection and Screening Company of the Year by Frost & Sullivan for its ability to develop and deploy products that enhance security at airports, seaports and border crossings worldwide. (Sources: WLOX-TV, Sun Herald, Tcp, 12/28/09)
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $98,000,000 modification to the previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee contract for special tooling and special test equipment required for the manufacture of Joint Strike Fighter Air System low rate initial production aircraft. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas, and is expected to be completed in November 2011. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 12/28/09) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., will become home to the JSF training center.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
More than $84 million for F-35 structures and a 96-room dormitory at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is part of the $13.5 billion fiscal 2010 military construction budget. It’s part of the $2.4 billion headed to the Air Force for new or better dorms, fitness centers, training centers, control towers and runways. Final approval of the funds came Dec. 13, when the Senate passed the 2010 consolidated appropriations bill. President Barack Obama also must sign off on the measure. (Source: Air Force Times, 12/27/09)
MOBILE, Ala. – Teledyne Continental Motors is making a push into diesel-powered engines to enter new markets worldwide – including small unmanned aerial vehicles. Teledyne Continental is hiring engineers and has bought diesel-related technology, licenses and hardware from an outside source. Teledyne plans to announce details in January. Teledyne Continental is a unit of Teledyne Technologies of Thousand Oaks, Calif., and has about 450 workers in Mobile. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 12/27/09)
Thursday, December 24, 2009
A developer has been chosen for the new Emerald Breeze Resort on Air Force Gulf-front property in Okaloosa County. Eglin chose Innisfree Hotels and Innisfree Development for the operation and development of a $24 million hotel and multi-use resort next to the Four Points Sheraton, a dozen miles south of Eglin's west gate. The 17-acre property with 600 feet of Gulf frontage will continue its military function as a radar installation, but the resort will be open to military and civilian visitors. Innisfree beat out more than 100 potential developers to create the resort. (Sources: WEAR-TV 12/24/09, Hotels, 12/22/09)
The United Kingdom has received financial approval to buy its third Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II operational test aircraft. The approval follows recent F-35 down-select or procurement commitments by Australia, Norway, the Netherlands, Italy and the United States. The U.K. has invested $2 billion in the F-35's development. More than 100 British companies are involved in the program. (Source: Lockheed Martin, 12/22/09) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., will become home of the JSF training center.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. - Members of the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron have been tasked by National Weather Service officials to fly their first winter storm of the season on the East Coast starting Dec. 25. The Air Force Reserve's "Hurricane Hunters," assigned to the 403rd Wing, normally collect weather data during tropical storms, enabling forecasters to make more accurate predictions. Between hurricane seasons, they have a lesser known role of collecting weather data during winter storms. The Hurricane Hunters fly WC-130Js at high altitudes and drop small weather canisters, or dropsondes, designed to collect weather data in key locations of high-weather activity. (Source: AFNS, 12/21/09)
Monday, December 21, 2009
A 15-story shuttle external tank left Sunday from NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans for its roughly 900-mile trip to Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The trip usually takes six days, meaning it should arrive on or around Christmas day. The tank, manufactured by Lockheed Martin, will boost shuttle Discovery into orbit in March. (Source: Florida Today, 12/21/09)
AeroVironment of Monrovia, Calif., has received a $23.9 million firm fixed-price order under an existing contract to upgrade existing analog Raven systems being used by the Army and Marine Corps. The potential value is $66.6 million. The Raven unmanned aircraft is a 4.2-pound, hand-launched sensor platform that provides real-time video imagery for reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition in support of tactical units. (Source: BusinessWire, 12/21/09) Gulf Coast note: AeroVironment has an operation in Navarre, Fla.
An F-15C fired Raytheon’s AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder advanced, infrared-guided air-to-air missile as part of the missile's developmental testing program. The weapon successfully passed within lethal range of a BQM-74 target drone, meeting all primary test objectives. The Nov. 20 test occurred at the test range at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and marks the second time the missile has been fired. (Source: Raytheon, 12/21/09)
Saturday, December 19, 2009
MOBILE, Ala. - ST Aerospace Mobile said Friday that it has won a three-year extension of a contract to maintain/overhaul Airbus A330s, Boeing 737s, Boeing 757s and Boeing 767s for US Airways. No terms were announced. It’s the second big contract announced this month for the company at Brookley Field Industrial Complex. It earlier won a three-year $90 million contract to maintain Airbus A320s and Boeing 767s for an unnamed airline. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 12/18/09)
Friday, December 18, 2009
An innovative method for joining composite structures has passed a series of structural tests. Gene Fraser, vice president of Advanced Programs and Technology for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, said it’s a major step towards using composites in future space missions. The joint design was used to mate two segments of NASA’s composite crew module demonstrator. The test article represents the inner pressurized shell for the Orion crew module, part of the Constellation Program to return astronauts to the moon and beyond. Test results proved the mating process retains compartment pressure and withstands external loads at twice the level normally experienced in flight. Tests were done at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. (Source: Globe Newswire, 12/17/09) Gulf Coast note: Stennis Space Center, Miss., and Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans are involved in the Constellation program.
Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. of Pasadena, Calif., announced Friday that it's acquired Tybrin Corp., a 1,500-person professional services firm headquartered in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. Jacobs did not disclose the terms of the transaction. Founded in 1972, Tybrin is a supplier of mission planning solutions, systems engineering, software development, modeling and combat environment simulation, engineering and testing, range safety, and other services to the Department of Defense, NASA, and other government clients. (Source: Jacobs via PRNewswire, 12/18/09) Gulf Coast note: Jacobs has operations in Fort Walton Beach and Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and Stennis Space Center, Miss.
MOBILE, Ala. – Ten-year-old Star Aviation has won its first military subcontract. MacAulay-Brown Inc., an engineering firm based in Dayton, Ohio, awarded the Mobile company a deal to work on combat survivor locator systems for Air Force C-130s. Star will do structural and electrical engineering work, make wiring harnesses and structural parts, and support installation work. Star did not disclose the value of the work. The company is based at Brookley Field Industrial Complex, where it has about 55 workers. (Source: Mobile Press Register, 12/16/09)
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Raytheon Co., Tucson, Ariz., was awarded a $19,763,454 contract which will provide the Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile Production Lot 23 contract. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 695 ARSS, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 12/17/09)
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne received the 2009 Large Business Prime Contractor Excellence Award from NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala. The company was recognized for exemplary support of the center’s subcontracting programs under the J-2X upper stage engine and space shuttle main engine contracts. The J-2X engine will power the nation’s next generation space launch vehicles, Ares I and V. The space shuttle main engine – all tested at Stennis Space Center, Miss. – is a reusable rocket engine that has powered the shuttles since 1981. (Source: Pratt & Whitney, 12/15/09) Gulf Coast note: Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne also has an operation at Stennis Space Center.
GULFPORT, Miss. – AirTran Airways flights will resume at Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport on Jan. 8. The non-stop flights will initially be three days a week, on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, aboard a 117-seat Boeing 717. Jeremiah Gerald, director of air service and business development at the airport, said it’s been almost a year since AirTran pulled out of the market. AirTran returned under a partnership between the IP Casino Resort, Grand Biloxi Casino and Aviation Advantage. (Source: Sun Herald, 12/16/09)
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
The Pentagon is unlikely to change its list of requirements for a fleet of aerial tankers, despite objections from one of the bidders, Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said. Northrop Grumman and partner EADS said the terms favor Boeing. Northrop said it would not compete without significant changes. (Source: Reuters, 12/14/09) U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R.-Ala., said Tuesday that he’s unsure what Congress will do if the Northrop makes good on its threat. “I don't think Congress is going to want to be drawn into this, although it could very well happen," he said. (Source: Defense News, 12/15/09) Meanwhile, the war of words continues. A comment on NPR by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., saying she’s never seen anyone standing in line to build anything in Alabama, elicited a host of responses pointing out that Alabama is home to automakers, shipbuilders, aerospace workers and more. (Multiple, McClatchy, 12/15/09)
McDonnell Douglas Corp., St. Louis, Mo., was awarded a $114,558,014 contract which will provide support for small diameter bomb Increment 1 production for munitions, carriages and technical supports. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 681 ARSS/PK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 12/15/09)
GULFPORT, Miss. – Harrison County is on its way to buying some 600 acres for an industrial park north of Interstate 10 that likely will be marketed to aerospace companies. Harrison County supervisors on Monday gave the OK to buy land in Saucier for the North Harrison County Industrial Park. Larry Barnett, executive director of the Harrison County Development Commission, estimates the park will be ready for tenants in 2013. Plans call for one site of 250 to 300 acres, along with four smaller lots of 50 acres each. Barnett expects manufacturing that would be appropriate for the aerospace corridor that runs along Interstate 10 from New Orleans to Florida. (Source: Sun Herald, 12/14/09)
Monday, December 14, 2009
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne celebrated the opening of the new PoWeR Innovations Research facility on the campus of University of Alabama in Huntsville last week. The facility is part of a collaborative effort designed to develop new technologies and business strategies for both company and the Alabama university. UAH will provide offices, laboratories and support so Rocketdyne personnel can collaborate on planning, research and development activities. Rocketdyne will provide access to its technical and business personnel co-located at the university. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne will help develop new technologies of interest to both parties. (Source: Pratt & Whitney, 12/11/09) Gulf Coast note: Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne has activities at Stennis Space Center, Miss.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
The Army awarded the fifth year contract for the Lakota Light Utility Helicopter to EADS North America for $247.2 million. This contract increases the company’s supply of 45 additional Lakotas along with hardware to equip the rotary-wing aircraft for medical evacuation, personnel transport and multi-mission applications. The contract funds fiscal year 2010 production of UH-72A Lakotas to be delivered through June 2011, and brings the total number of Light Utility Helicopters ordered by the U.S. Army to 178. The contract ensures continuity of UH-72A deliveries from the state-of-the-art facility in Columbus, Miss., operated by EADS North America’s American Eurocopter business unit. (Source: EADS North America, 12/10/09) Note: Initial story
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - Eglin officials confirmed that the base will host an air show in 2010. "75 Years of Eglin Pride" is the theme for the air show scheduled for April 10-11. A wide variety of aerial performers, including the Thunderbirds, will headline the show, which will include static displays. Maj. Gen. C.R. Davis, Air Armament Center commander, said air shows allow the public to better understand the military mission. (Source: Eglin, 12/10/09)
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne helped boost into orbit the third in a series of Wideband Global SATCOM satellites designed to increase communications capabilities for the Department of Defense. The mission launched Dec. 5 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta IV with Rocketdyne RS-68 and RL10 engines providing the booster and upper stage propulsion, respectively. It was the 11th launch of a Delta IV vehicle powered by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne engines. (Source: Pratt & Whitney, 12/07/09) Gulf Coast connection: RS-68 engines are assembled and tested at Stennis Space Center, Miss.
Rolls-Royce has been selected by United Airlines to power its new fleet of Airbus A350 XWB aircraft. The contract for 25 Airbus A350 XWB plus long-term service support is worth $2 billion. The aircraft are due to be delivered between 2016 and 2019. In addition, the airline has also announced future purchase rights for a further 50 aircraft. Firm orders for the Trent XWB engine total more than 1,000 from 33 customers. The engine will enter into service in 2013. (Source: Rolls-Royce, 12/08/09) Gulf Coast connections: ATK will produce composite structures and tooling for the A350 XWB in Iuka, Miss.; XWB engines are scheduled to be tested the Rolls-Royce test stand at Stennis Space Center, Miss., beginning in 2010 or 2011.
BILOXI, Miss. – Keesler Air Force Base’s “Thunder on the Bay” air show held in April has been named the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Best Military Show Site 2009. Lt. Col. Gregory Thomas, Thunderbird commander/leader, presented the award at the annual International Council of Air Shows in Las Vegas. Thunder on the Bay was held April 4 and 5 and drew an estimated crowd of 142,000. Keesler's next air show will be March 19-20, 2011, showcased with a performance by the Navy Blue Angels, based at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla. (Source: Keesler, 12/08/09)
PALMDALE, Calif. - The first Block 40 configuration of the RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial system successfully completed its first flight last month. Designated AF-18, the Global Hawk flew about two hours from Northrop Grumman’s manufacturing facility in Palmdale to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Global Hawk production acceptance activities will transition in the near future from Edwards to Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale. The company performs Global Hawk subassembly work at its Unmanned Systems Center in Moss Point, Miss., and final assembly at its Antelope Valley Manufacturing Center in Palmdale. (Source: Northrop Grumman, 12/08/09)
Saturday, December 5, 2009
MOBILE, Ala. - ST Aerospace Mobile won a new airplane maintenance contract and could hire as many as 200 new employees. The contract calls for the company to maintain Airbus A320 and Boeing 767 planes belonging to an unnamed airline. The contract is worth $90 million for the first three years, and has an option for another two years worth another $80 million. The company has close to 1,300 employees and contractors. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 12/05/09)
Friday, December 4, 2009
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $329,400,000 modification to the previously awarded Joint Strike Fighter air system low rate initial production Lot III cost-plus-incentive-fee/award-fee contract for special tooling and special test equipment. Work will be performed in Texas, California, Florida, New Hampshire, Maryland, and the United Kingdom and is expected to be completed in November 2011. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md. is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 12/04/09) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the JSF training center.
Composite Engineering Inc., Sacramento, Calif., was awarded a $29,342,315 contract which will provide Lot 7 option to procure a quantity of 36 additional BQM-167As, also known as the Air Force Subscale Aerial Target. 691 ARSS/PK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 12/04/09)
Two senators say the Air Force should move forward with plan to buy aerial tankers even if Boeing is the only bidder. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Kent Conrad, D-S.D., said in a joint statement that there have already been too many delays. Northrop, which wants to assemble the planes in Mobile, Ala., said Tuesday it would not bid on the contract unless the Pentagon makes big changes to its request for proposals. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 12/04/09)
Thursday, December 3, 2009
MOBILE, Ala. - David Trent, head of the Airbus Engineering Center at Brookley Industrial Complex, has been named 2010 chairman of the board of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce. Opened in 2007, the Airbus center has 145 employees who do interior design work on several Airbus commercial aircraft. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 12/03/09)
EADS North American Defense, Arlington, Va., was awarded a $247,242,722 firm-fixed-price contract for the funding of program year 2005 of the Army's Light Utility Helicopter program for 45 light utility helicopters, 30 medical evacuation mission equipment packages, 30 MEDEVAC B-kits, 30 hoist B-kits, four personnel mission equipment packages, 11 engine inlet barrier filters, 34 environmental control units, and 45 airborne radio communication 231s. Work is to be performed in Columbus, Miss., with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2011. U.S. Army Aviation & Missile Command, CCAM-BH-C, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 12/03/09)
WASHINGTON - A congressional hearing on astronaut safety turned into a pep rally for NASA’s Constellation program, with lawmakers and witnesses endorsing it as the best replacement for the shuttle. U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the Arizona Democrat who heads the House subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics, organized the hearing as a counter to a presidential panel that raised questions about the value of Constellation's Ares I rocket in favor of commercial launchers. (Source: Orlando Sentinel, 12/02/09) Gulf Coast note: Stennis Space Center, Miss., and Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans are involved in the Constellation program.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
The Coast Guard is actively pursuing a vertical-takeoff-and-landing unmanned aerial vehicle to satisfy requirements for its National Security Cutter. In October, the service used Northrop Grumman's company-owned Fire Scout, P6, for land-based tests from Webster Field at NAS Patuxent River, Md. The UAV was equipped with off-the-shelf imaging surveillance radar. Northrop used its own money to integrate the radar on the aircraft and has been pouring R&D funds into the Fire Scout to reduce risk. (Source: Aviation Week, 12/01/09) Gulf Coast note: Fire Scouts are built in part in Moss Point, Miss.
GCC/Thomco LLC, Fort Walton Beach, Fla., and CCI Group, LLC, Shalimar, Fla., were each awarded a $10,000,000 contract which provides acquisition of base engineering requirements, maintenance, repair and minor construction efforts. 96 CONS/PKAC, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 12/01/09)
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Northrop Grumman won’t bid for the Air Force refueling tanker program unless changes are made to the draft request for proposals. In a letter to the Pentagon, Northrop notes the draft request shows a clear preference for a smaller tanker than the A330 the Northrop and teammate EADS are offering. The letter said competing would be a financial burden. Northrop and EADS won the contract in February 2008 over Boeing, which offered the smaller 767. The decision was overturned following a Boeing protest, and restarted in September. Northrop/EAD planned to build the tanker in Mobile, Ala. (Sources: Multiple, including Bloomberg, Reuters, Mobile Press-Register, 12/01/09)
Alliant Techsystems and Elbit Systems Ltd. have successfully conducted flight tests of the Guided Advanced Tactical Rocket (GATR) fired from an Army OH-58D Kiowa Warrior. The recent tests took place at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. GATR can be used in urban areas and against targets where a low collateral damage solution is required. GATR uses advanced acquisition, tracking and guidance algorithms to achieve one-meter accuracy against stationary and moving targets. The GATR system fills the gap between larger, more expensive guided missiles and the current family of unguided rockets. (Source: PRNewswire, 12/01/09)