Monday, August 31, 2009

Contract: InDyne, $168.1M

InDyne, Inc., Reston, Va., was awarded a $168,100,565 contract for Eglin Test and Training Complex Range operation and maintenance. It includes mission and engineering support of range system design/modification/configuration and range support service. Air Armament Center (AAC/PKE), Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 08/31/09)

Contract: Tybrin, $37.4M

Tybrin Corp., Fort Walton Beach, Fla., was awarded a $37,382,944 contract for software engineering support of guided weapons systems evaluations, simulations, and other services supporting research and development for the principals and customers of the Air Armament Center. AAC/PKET, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 08/31/09)

Contract: Lockheed, $7.2M

Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded a $7,250,000 contract to provide for software and hardware updates as required for the F-16 avionics test station located at the 46TH Test Squadron's Data Links Test Facility at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Air Armament Center (AAC/PKE), Eglin, is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 08/31/09)

WTO ruling expected this week

The World Trade Organization is expected release a ruling this week on aircraft subsidies that could light a political fire under the multibillion dollar Air Force aerial tanker contract. The U.S. accuses European Union countries of providing illegal subsidies to Airbus, and the European Union in turn claims Boeing receives subsidies and tax breaks from Washington state plus non-repayable benefits from military and space contracts. (Source: The Hill, 08/31/09)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Three cities hope to snag Southwest

Three Panhandle cities, Pensacola, Fort Walton Beach and Panama City, are competing to land low-cost, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines. Panama City hopes to get the service at a new airport it plans to open in 2010, while Fort Walton Beach would like to have Southwest to make up for losing AirTran to Pensacola nine years ago. For Pensacola, landing the carrier would coincide with a $78 million expansion. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 08/30/09)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Contract: Atlantic Electric, $14.9M

Atlantic Electric, LLC, N. Charleston, S.C., is being awarded a $14,909,128 firm-fixed-price contract for construction to repair and replace airfield lighting at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans. The work provides for the demolition and replacement of a range of runway lights, and repaving shoulders of runways and taxiways. Work will be performed in New Orleans, La., and is expected to be completed by April 2011. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 08/28/09)

Contract: Anderson Drace, $14.5M

Anderson Drace Joint Venture, Gulfport, Miss., is being awarded a $14,453,279 construction contract for construction of a dormitory at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. Work will be performed in Biloxi, Miss., and is expected to be completed by June 2011. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 08/28/09)

Contract: Northrop Grumman, $13.4M

Northrop Grumman, San Diego, Calif., was awarded a $13,423,877 modified contract for Global Hawk engineering, manufacturing and development activities to develop replacement of the current engine turbine with its commercial variant. 303 AESG/SYK, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 08/28/09)

Web site planned to lure F-35 to Tyndall

PANAMA CITY, Fla. – Bay County supporters of Tyndall Air Force Base plan a new Web site that promotes the base’s capabilities in a bid to get new F-35s and other missions at the base. At the request of the Bay Defense Alliance, Applied Research Associates is donating its services to develop the site. Eglin is the initial home of the Joint Strike Fighter Training Center, but other bases are also looking to get F-35s that are not currently scheduled for Eglin. (Source: Panama City News Herald, 08/27/09)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Replacement trainer at Whiting

WHITING FIELD, Fla. – The first two of new T-6B Texan II training aircraft that will replace the T-34C Turbo Mentor arrived at Naval Air Station Whiting Field Thursday. The T-34s have been used at Whiting since 1978, but the T-6 is bigger, stronger and has a digital cockpit – more in keeping with the advanced aircraft used by the nation’s military today. The T-34 will be phased out as 156 T-6s are brought in to Whiting. Students will begin using the new planes in April and all aircraft will arrive by 2015. (Sources: Pensacola News Journal, WEAR-TV, Santa Rosa Press Gazette, 08/27/09)

Ares I test delayed

The test firing of the Ares I solid rocket motor was canceled Thursday just 20 seconds before the test at contractor ATK’s facility in Utah. A broken valve of an auxiliar power unit appears to have been at fault. Ares I, part of NASA’s Constellation Program, faces an uncertain future. A commission named to review the manned space program is supposed to present its findings on Aug. 31, but has already indicated NASA does not have ample funding to return astronauts to the moon by 2020. (Sources: Multiple, 08/27/09) Gulf Coast note: Stennis Space Center in Mississippi and Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans are both involved in the Constellation Program.

Tanker has successful test

The second A330 tanker transport aircraft for Australia has completed its mission equipment outfitting with a successful “power on” and is being readied for pre-delivery flight testing. The aircraft underwent conversion to military configuration in Australia, and the power on verifies successful operation of more than 400 installed wiring harnesses that go into the plane as part of its military modifications. The aircraft is the same basic configuration as the KC-45 Northrop Grumman and EADS are offering to the United States for its tanker. (Source: EADS, 08/26/09)

Boeing to seek permit for 787 line

Boeing says it is ready to take the first steps to make it easier to build a second 787 final assembly line in North Charleston, S.C., should it decide to do so. The former Vought plant already makes part of the airplane's fuselage. The company said no decision has been made, and that Boeing simply intends to take the procedural step of filing the necessary permits. (Source: Aviation Week, 08/26/09) Gulf Coast note: Boeing and Northrop Grumman are competing to build aerial tankers for the Air Force. Northrop and partner EADS want to assemble the planes in Mobile, Ala., and Boeing wants to assemble them in Washington state.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Alternative field for F-35 discussed

NAVARRE, Fla. – Eglin Air Force Base officials hosted a meeting Tuesday to discuss an alternative that would use Eglin's Choctaw Field in south Santa Rosa County for the Joint Strike Fighter training mission. The meeting introduced three alternatives being considered in the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the bed-down of the F-35 Joint Strike Training Center. The Air Force is looking at alternative runways because of noise complaints from residents of the city of Valparaiso. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 08/25/09)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Keesler to dedicate facility

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. – The 81st Training Wing and 403rd Wing will dedicate the Colonel Lawrence E. Roberts Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Facility Friday. The 140,000 square-foot complex was built in honor of retired Roberts, who flew with the Tuskegee Airmen and made Biloxi his home until his death in 2004. The two-story, $22.6 million facility will be used to maintain the new C-130J six bladed composite propeller, and many other significant aircraft maintenance capabilities. (Source: Keesler Air Force Base, 08/24/09)

Eglin hospital tower named for doctor

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – The Eglin hospital’s inpatient tower was named for Col. Adanto D’Amore in a ceremony Monday. D’Amore served as the 96th Medical Group commander from the hospital’s inception to its completion. He died April 28 after more than 70 years of active medical practice. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 08/24/09)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Stennis A-2 stand goes on standby

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – The A-2 test stand at Stennis Space Center is being deactivated and placed on “standby” status now that the last space shuttle main engine test has been done. Engine No. 0525 was tested July 29, and the shuttle program is set to end in 2010. The new A-3 test stand is still being built and will be used for high-altitude testing of the J-2X engine that will be used in Ares I and Ares V rockets. Activation on the A-3 stand is scheduled to begin in early 2011. (Source: NASA, 08/20/09)

Aviation park holds certification event

MOSS POINT, Miss. – The Jackson County Aviation Technology Park was designated as “shovel-ready” during a certification ceremony today. The designation means all the work to prepare a site for construction has already been done by the time a potential tenant comes calling. The 300-acre park already has one tenant, the Northrop Grumman Unmanned Systems Center, which builds portions of the Global Hawk and Fire Scout. (Source: Tcp, 08/20/09)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Stennis engineers part of leadership class

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - Two Stennis Space Center engineers were among the inaugural class of graduates from NASA's Systems Engineering Leadership Development Program. Dawn Davis of New Orleans and Bryon Maynard of Lacombe, La., were among 15 program participants recognized during a leadership workshop and graduation ceremony at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Both are completing development assignments related to NASA's Constellation Program, the agency's plan to return Americans to the moon and possibly beyond. (Source: NASA, 08/17/09)

Add another to split buy backers

Add John Lehman to the list of defense experts who see buying tankers from both Boeing and Northrop Grumman as a solution to the Air Force's dilemma over replacing refueling tankers. Lehman, an investment banker and former Navy secretary under President Ronald Reagan, has long been an advocate of competitive acquisition in government contracting. It's good business, he told the Mobile Press-Register. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 08/19/09)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Contract: Raytheon, $21.M

Raytheon Co., Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz., was awarded a $20,975,816 contract for the Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile system improvement program. 696 ARSS, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 08/18/09)

Contract: McDonnell, $12.5M

McDonnell Douglass Corp., St. Louis, Mo., was awarded a $12,500,000 contract with performance incentives to provide for three Massive Ordnance Penetrator separation test vehicles, associated aircraft and handling equipment and technical support for one single and one dual release separation and de-conflict test on the B-52 aircraft. AAC/708 ARSG PK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 08/18/09)

Contract: BTS, $13.4M

Business Technology and Solutions, Beavercreek, Ohio, was awarded a $13,377,733.89 contract for the technical and acquisition management support program that provides a wide range of non-engineering, technical and acquisition management support required in the acquisition, development, production, and support of various equipment and weapon systems within the Air Armament Center and other organizations at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. AAC/PKES, Eglin, is the contracting activity (Source: DoD, 08/18/09)

Contract: Colsa, $10.8M

Colsa Corp., Huntsville, Ala., was awarded a $10,838,796.97 contract for the technical and acquisition management support program that provides for a wide range of non-engineering, technical and acquisition management support required in the acquisition, development, production, and support of various equipment and weapon systems within the Air Armament Center and other organizations at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. AAC/PKES, Eglin, is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 08/18/09)

Lockheed to trim space jobs

Lockheed Martin plans to cut about 800 jobs at its space systems division by the end of the year due to anticipated flat space program budgets. The company will offer a voluntary buyout plan this month to space systems employees. The cuts will include technical, managerial and administrative positions at facilities in Denver and Sunnyvale, Calif. (Source: Washington Post, 08/18/09) Gulf Coast note: Lockheed Martin has a space and technology operation at Stennis Space Center, Miss.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Contract: McDonnell, $98M

McDonnell Douglas Corp., St. Louis, Mo., was awarded a $98,000,000 contract to provide integration and production of the laser joint direct attack munitions system on various Foreign Military Sales aircraft platforms throughout the life of the contract. 680 ARSSG/PK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 08/17/09)

F-35 does aerial refueling test

A short takeoff/vertical landing variant of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter has become the first F-35 to complete an aerial refueling test using the Navy- and Marine Corps-style probe-and-drogue refueling system. It’s the first in a series of tests that will clear the STOVL F-35B variant for extended-range flights, particularly to its primary test site at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. (Source: Lockheed Martin, 08/14/09) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., will be the home of the F-35 training center.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

New op for Navy enlisted - Fire Scout pilot

When the Navy opens a preliminary training pipeline for the unmanned Fire Scout helicopter, enlisted sailors will be at the controls. The Navy will begin with a senior chief aviation electronics technician and an air traffic controller fresh out of “A” school. The Navy plans to scrutinize their performance and consider whether to open the door for more sailors to join the field. Starting in October, the sailors will undergo the same Fire Scout training provided earlier to a cadre of rated helicopter pilots. By early next year, they will join a detachment from Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light 42 on a counter-drug deployment to South America on the frigate USS McInerney. (Source: Navy Times, 08/15/09) Gulf Coast note: Fire Scouts are built in part in Moss Point, Miss.

Pensacola expects nonstop DC service

PENSACOLA, Fla. – US Airways said Friday it will begin nonstop service to Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. early next year from Pensacola Gulf Coast Regional Airport. The proposed new service is the result of a US Airways deal with Delta to swap slots at New York's LaGuardia Airport and Reagan National, airport spokeswoman Belinda Zephir said. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 08/15/09)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Training command gets new leader

PENSACOLA, Fla. – Rear Adm. Joseph F. Kilkenny has taken over from Rear Adm. Gary R. Jones as commander of the Naval Education and Training Command. The change of command was Thursday at the National Naval Aviation Museum at Naval Air Station Pensacola. The training command, headquartered in Pensacola, is the largest in the Navy. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 08/14/09)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

AF gets new surgeon general

The new Air Force surgeon general has ties to the Gulf Coast. Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Charles B. Green became the Air Force's 20th surgeon general during a ceremony at the Pentagon this week. He replaced Lt. Gen. (Dr.) James G. Roudebush, who retired. Green completed residency training in family practice in 1981 at Eglin Regional Hospital at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. (Source: AFNS, 08/12/09)

Contract: Jacobs, $98.1M

Jacobs Technology Inc., Tullahoma, Tenn., was awarded a $98,143,337 indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract to provide technical, engineering and acquisition support program at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and various other tenant organizations. AAC/PKES, Eglin AFB is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 08/13/09)

Contract: Utilis, $6.2M

Utilis USA, LLC, Fort Walton Beach, Fla., is being awarded $6,213,975 under a previously awarded contract for general purpose medium shelters. Work will be performed in Fort Walton Beach; Celina, Ohio; and Destin, Fla. and is expected to be completed in February 2010. Marine Corps Systems Command (M67854), Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 08/13/09)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mobile gets new air service

MOBILE, Ala. – A new charter air service is now available in Mobile. Springdale Travel and Charter Services launched their “Mobile Direct” with a demonstration flight from Mobile Regional Airport to Birmingham. They use an eight-seat Cessna Citation jet that will serve airports within 1,500 miles of Mobile. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 08/12/09)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Seattle wonders as Boeing eyes South

SEATTLE - The possibility of a second Boeing assembly site for the 787 outside Washington has spread concern in the state's aerospace industry. Boeing is looking at sites in Washington and South Carolina to house a new final assembly plant for its 787 because the aircraft is two years behind schedule. Industry observers say the company is also looking at sites in Texas and elsewhere in the South. (Source: Wall Street Journal, 08/11/09)

Fire Scout featured on computer game

SAN DIEGO – Northrop Grumman’s Fire Scout unmanned helicopter is featured in the latest version of the U.S. Army's America's Army 3 computer game. America's Army 3 includes Fire Scout as part of an introduction to the game's Unmanned Aircraft Systems integration. America's Army is one of the most popular computer game franchises. (Source: Northrop Grumman, 08/11/09) Gulf Coast note: Fire Scouts are built in part in Moss Point, Miss.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Fire Scout completes flight tests

SAN DIEGO - The Fire Scout unmanned helicopter recently completed flight tests aboard the USS McInerney, part of a series of evaluations leading to operational evaluation this fall. The tests took place last month off the coast of Mayport, Fla., and the total number of shipboard landings was pushed to 88 under a variety of conditions. The Fire Scout is slated to deploy aboard McInerney during its next counter-narcotics trafficking deployment later this year. (Source: Northrop via Globe Newswire, 08/10/09) Gulf Coast note: Fire Scouts are built in part in Moss Point, Miss.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Orion to visit Pensacola, Stennis

A full scale mockup of NASA's Orion crew exploration vehicle will be moved from Florida to Texas to continue its testing. But on the way it will make several stops so the public can see the Constellation Program vehicle. After a stop in Tallahassee Monday, the mockup will be at Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., then at John C. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. It goes on to Jackson, Miss., Thursday and arrives at Houston Friday. The mockup is used to study the environment for astronauts and recovery crews after an Orion ocean splashdown. (Source: NASA, 08/07/09)

Hurricane Hunters in Hawaii

HONOLULU, Hawaii – Five Air Force Reserve WC-130Js from Mississippi arrived at Hickam Air Force Base Friday to track Hurricane Felicia. The planes are with the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron based at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, and are known as Hurricane Hunters. The planes fly into the eye of a hurricane to make critical measurements about the storm. (Source: AP via Sun Herald, 08/08/09)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Avalex sees growth in ground vehicle biz

PENSACOLA, Fla. – Avalex Technologies, known for aircraft display systems, is getting more involved in supplying displays and digital recorders for military ground vehicles. Company officials, who say 92 percent of their work is in aerospace, see continued growth in the military ground vehicle market. It’s projected to reach 25 percent of Avalex’s gross sales. The company plans to attend the Aug. 10-12 Military Vehicles Exhibition & Conference in Detroit. Avalex has products for land, air and sea vehicles. (Source: Avalex, 08/05/09)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Global Hawk hits milestone

SAN DIEGO - Northrop Grumman’s RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system recently reached the milestone of 25,000 combat hours during a sortie in July from a deployed location. It was first flown in 1998 and has logged 1,229 missions, many of them non-combat. It can reach more than 60,000 feet in altitude for more than 32 hours. (Source: Northrop Grumman via Globe Newswire, 08/05/09) Gulf Coast note: Global Hawk central fuselage work is done in Moss Point, Miss.

Singapore Technologies 2Q report

Singapore Technologies Engineering reported its profit fell 9 percent for the second quarter of 2009 to $75.91 million from the second quarter 2008. It is the parent company of ST Mobile Aerospace Engineering, which has 1,200 workers at Brookley Field Industrial Complex in Mobile, Ala., and VT Halter Marine, which has 1,500 employees at shipyards in Pascagoula, Moss Point and Escatawpa, Miss. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 08/05/09)

AF focuses on info protection

Cyber attacks on government systems have gotten the attention of the Defense Department. In a recent directive memorandum, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz wrote that the ability to protect information is essential to the success of the Air Force mission and warrants special attention. The Information Protection directorate, established in 2007, hosted a workshop at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., in June to exchange ideas about guarding information. Attending were more than 130 IP team members from major commands and installations. The workshop's objective was for attendees to return to their duty locations with the same knowledge base to impart to their colleagues. (Source: AFNS, 08/03/09)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Pentagon eyes bunker buster speedup

Reuters reports that the Pentagon wants to speed deployment of its 30,000-pound "bunker-buster" bomb to place on radar-evading Northrop Grumman B-2s soon as July 2010. The non-nuclear Massive Ordnance Penetrator, still being tested, is designed to destroy deeply buried bunkers beyond the reach of existing bombs. The 20-foot long bomb built by Boeing is a third heavier than the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Burst Bomb, which was tested twice at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., in 2003. The MOP program is handled by Eglin. (Source: Reuters, 08/02/09. AF photo)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Race for second F-35 training heats up

The Arizona Republic is reporting that the Air Force is re-evaluating secondary bases that will be used for F-35 training, adding more criteria. All bases are again in the running. The paper says the Air Force secretary and the Air Force chief of staff have asked that additional factors, such as housing and medical access, be considered. Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the primary training site, and Luke Air Force Base in Arizona and Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho were top runners for the secondary location. (Source: Arizona Republic, 08/01/09) Gulf Coast note: Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., has been lobbying to become a site for the F-35s.

Euro Hawk structural assembly complete

SAN DIEGO - Northrop Grumman has finished assembling the first Euro Hawk unmanned aircraft system for the German Ministry of Defence. The Euro Hawk, a derivative of the Block 20 Global Hawk, will serve as the German Air Force's high-altitude, long-endurance signals intelligence system. (Source: Northrop Grumman, 07/31/09) Gulf Coast note: Central fuselage work for Global Hawks is done in Moss Point, Miss.