Saturday, May 31, 2014
Air New Zealand is close to placing an order for around a dozen A320 family aircraft worth well over $1 billion at list prices to expand its fleet of mainly Airbus medium-haul jets, industry sources said Saturday. The deal could be announced on the sidelines of a global airlines meeting in Doha on Sunday. Airbus has called a news conference to announce an airplane order on Sunday, but declined to give further details. (Source: Reuters, 05/31/14) Gulf Coast note: Airbus is building an A320 final assembly in Mobile, Ala., that will open in 2015.
Canada's Bombardier suffered a setback to plans to build a jetliner to compete against the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 when a C Series flight test vehicle had an engine failure. The plane was on the ground at an airport near Montreal Thursday when one of the two Pratt & Whitney Pure Power engines, a new design, caught fire. The cause is being investigated. The engine is also available for the Airbus A320neo. Bombardier's largest plane's debut is already behind schedule. (Sources: Bloomberg, 05/30/14, 24/7WallSt.com, 05/31/14) Gulf Coast note: Airbus is building an A320 final assembly line in Mobile, Ala.
ESA South, Inc., Cantonment, Fla., was awarded a $45,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for emergency temporary roof repairs to residential structures in support of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster response. Work will be performed in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland and Washington, District of Columbia. Work will also be done in Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia, with an estimated completion date of May 31, 2019. Bids were solicited via the Internet with nine received. Funding will be determined with each order. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha, Neb., is the contracting activity (W9128F-14-D-0014). (Source: DoD, 05/30/14)
Thursday, May 29, 2014
In three separate flight tests Tuesday, F-35 aircraft demonstrated air-to-air combat capability, completed the first flight test with the next level software load and accomplished a landing at the maximum test speed and drop rate. In the Point Mugu Sea Test Range airspace off the California coast, an F-35B demonstrated the jet's air-to-air combat capability when it sequentially engaged two aerial targets with two AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM). Test pilot Lt. Col. Andrew ‘Growler’ Allen tracked two maneuvering drone targets, making the very first dual AMRAAM shot from any F-35 variant, and the first live AMRAAM shot from the F-35B short take off and vertical landing variant. Fleet-wide, the Lockheed Martin F-35 has, to date, amassed more than 17,000 flight hours, with all three variant aircraft at the F-35 Integrated Training Center at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., surpassing the 5,000 sorties milestone this week. (Source: Lockheed Martin, 05/29/14)
PENSACOLA, Fla. -- A new land-speed record for legged robots was achieved last week by researchers at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC). The HexRunner robot reached an estimated 30-33 mph on an open course without any support tethers. It was filmed by the Discovery Channel, which is expected to broadcast it later this summer. HexRunner is a running robot with six spring-loaded legs revolving around a central hub, with three legs on each side of the hub. At the tip of the top leg it stands six feet high. HexRunner was developed as part of IHMC's DARPA-sponsored FastRunner project. (Source: IHMC, 05/29/14)
L-3 Communications Vertex Aerospace LLC, Madison, Miss., is being awarded a $55,410,943 modification to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery requirements contract (N00019-13-D-0007) to exercise an option for logistics services support of the TH-57 aircraft fleet. Services to be provided include all logistics services and materials for organizational and depot level services to support and maintain the aircraft. Work will be performed at Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Milton, Fla., and is expected to be completed in May 2015. No funds are being obligated at the time of award. Funds will be obligated against individual delivery orders as they are issued. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 05/29/14)
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Orbital Sciences Corp. is delaying the launch of its second robotic resupply mission to the International Space Station to investigate the failure of a rocket engine during a test at NASA's Stennis Space Center, Miss. An Aerojet Rocketdyne AJ26, one of two used on Orbital's Antares launch vehicle, failed midway through a test. Orbital Sciences will postpone the June 10 launch of the company's unmanned Cygnus spacecraft. The mission will not launch to the space station before June 17. (Source: space.com, 05/28/14) Previous
Fourteen environmental sites at the Mobile Aeroplex will be tested for hazardous substances. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is providing Mobile with $400,000 to help clean up those potentially contaminated lands on the complex and surrounding neighborhoods. Half of the funds are to test lands for hazardous substances, and the other $200,000 to test land for oil contaminants. The funds are through EPA's Brownfields Program. (Source: al.com, 05/28/14) The Aeroplex, the former Brookley Air Force Base, is the site of multiple aerospace operations, including Airbus, ST Aerospace, Star Aviation and Continental Motors.
MOBILE, Ala. – Mobile's oldest aviation company is Continental Motors, located at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley. The company, which makes piston engines for some of the best known small aircraft manufacturers in the world, was bought by Aviation Industries of China (AVIC) in 2011. And now the new owners are investing in the Mobile facility and tapping the talent of Robert Ross to run its worldwide piston engine operations. A feature story (Source: Mobile Chamber of Commerce Business View, June issue)
MOBILE, Ala. - Airbus is seeking additional liaison engineers for its A320 final assembly line being built at Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley. The four positions posted Tuesday morning in the latest hiring wave include liaison engineers for electrical systems installations, power plant and mechanical, avionics systems and cabin systems. For complete job listings, click here. (Source: al.com, 05/27/14)
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co., Sunnyvale, Calif., has been awarded a $7,400,000 cost-plus-award-fee modification (P00788) to F04701-95-C-0017 to generate simulation scenarios in support of Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center's initial operational test and evaluation at Space-Based Infrared Systems Engineering and Manufacturing Development, Block 20. The tasks required to perform this effort consist of collection and checkout of backgrounds, as well as generation of scenarios, including scenario checkouts and documentation of the checkouts. Work will be performed at Sunnyvale and Azuza, Calif., and is expected to be completed by Dec. 30, 2016. Fiscal 2014 research and development funds in the amount of $1,595,900 are being obligated at time of award. Infrared Space Systems Contracts Division, Space and Missile Systems Center, El Segundo, Calif., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 05/27/14) Gulf Coast note: Lockheed Martin at Stennis Space Center, Miss., does the core propulsion system work on the SBIRS satellites.
EADS North America Inc., Herndon, Va. was awarded a $33,797,867 modification (P00795) to W58RGZ-06-C-0194 to increase funds and exercise an option for contractor logistic support for the Utility Helicopter-72A. Work is to be performed in Columbus, Miss., with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2016. Fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance (Army) appropriations in the amount of $33,797,867 are being obligated at award. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal (Aviation), Ala., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 05/27/14)
KILN, Miss. -- A new building and entrance sign has risen at Stennis International Airport and other new amenities will be available after July 4. Million Air Stennis, the company which runs aeronautical operations at the facility just outside NASA's Stennis Space Center, has been constructing a new building and hangar that dwarfs the one-story facility it has been using. It has a conference room, theater, flight planning room, cafe, two lounges and two sleeper rooms for overnight stays. The airport also recently added a 125-acre drop zone. Up to 70 percent of the customers are military-related and come there for training exercises, including cargo drops. The FAA approved a $235,053 grant for the installation of new fencing along the airport's perimeter. (Source: Sun Herald, 05/26/14)
Sunday, May 25, 2014
BRIGHTON, U.K. – Ricardo, a a global engineering, strategic, and environmental consultancy, has been awarded an order from UTC Aerospace Systems for the manufacture of components used within the flap actuation system for the Airbus A320 family of aircraft. Ricardo will supply geared, splined, and prismatic machined components. "We are delighted to receive the first orders from UTC Aerospace to manufacture components for the popular Airbus A320 family of aircraft," said Ricardo managing director of performance products, Mark Barge. (Source: Ricardo via Aerospace Manufacturing and Design, 05/24/14) Gulf Coast note: Airbus is building an A320 final assembly line in Mobile, Ala.; UTC Aerospace has an operation in Foley, Ala.
Saturday, May 24, 2014
MOBILE, Ala. – An A350 that has been undergoing extreme temperature tests at Eglin Air Force Base near Fort Walton Beach, Fla., paid a visit to Airbus' new home in Mobile with a low-altitude flyover Friday. It flew over Mobile Aeroplex, where Airbus has an engineering center and is building an A320 final assembly line, and it also flew over the Robert Trent Jones golf course, site of the Airbus LPGA Classic. The A350 is a mid-size, widebody jetliner that has been undergoing extreme weather tests at the McKinley Climatic Lab at Eglin over the past few weeks. (Source: al.com, 05/23/14) Previous
Friday, May 23, 2014
STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. -- An AJ-26 rocket engine used to power Orbital Sciences' Antares launch vehicle failed during hot fire testing Thursday in South Mississippi. The Aerojet Rocketdyne engine, a modified version of the Russian-built NK-33, is fueled with a liquid oxygen kerosene. The publication NASAspaceflight quoted sources and saying the engine was being tested at the E-complex when it exploded halfway through the test, but nobody was injured. Orbital Sciences has already had multiple successful launches of the Antares, which lifts the cargo vehicle Cygnus on supply missions to the International Space Station. Back in 2011, another AJ-26 engine being tested at Stennis Space Center failed and was damaged by fire. The test stand itself suffered only minor damage. (Sources: NASAspaceflight, Sun Herald, Spaceflight Now, 05/23/14) Previous: AJ-26 testing continues; Fire damaged engine
TAMPA, Fla. -- U.S. Special Operations Command plans to add a forward-facing gun and better armor to its 50 CV-22 Ospreys, and Hellfire missiles to the AC-130 fleet, along with new command and control and radio frequency jammers and countermeasures to both platforms. That's according to a briefing during an annual conference in Tampa. The command has developed a laser-guided small diameter bomb that will be fielded on the AC-130 gunship this summer, and is just starting the process of fitting Hellfire missiles on the aircraft. (Source: Air Force Times, 05/22/14) Gulf Coast note: Hurlburt Field, Fla., is home of the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
M7 Aerospace LLC, San Antonio, Texas, is being awarded a $16,139,462 modification to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery requirements contract (N00019-11-D-0002) to exercise an option for logistics support for 12 Navy/Marine Corps UC-35 aircraft and seven Navy C-26 aircraft at 10 locations. Services to be provided include organizational and depot level maintenance, parts, support equipment maintenance, and engineering support. Ten percent of the work will be at the Fleet Marine Reserve Detachment, Belle Chasse, La. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 05/21/14)
STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. -- A union strike against Lockheed Martin at Stennis Space Center ended Tuesday when the union agreed to a new three-year contract. Members of Local 2249 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union began the strike Friday over pensions. The union represents about 115 workers who support NASA rocket testing at SSC in South Mississippi. The site is NASA's largest rocket engine test facility. (Source: Sun Herald, 05/20/14) Previous
MOBILE, Ala. -- Airbus launched its second hiring wave Tuesday for manufacturing jobs at its A320 final assembly line being built at the Mobile Aeroplex. The hourly positions include aircraft mechanics, cabin installers and aircraft systems installers. Starting pay rates range from $16.50 to $22.50 an hour plus benefits. A minimum of nine months training abroad is required, including possibly in Tianjin, China. The company also announced it’s seeking a salaried supply chain inspector. For a complete list of available positions, visit the AIDT website. (Source: al.com, 05/20/14)
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co., Sunnyvale, Calif., has been awarded a $20,000,000 modification (P00004) to FA8810-13-C-00001 for acceleration effort in support of the production of Space-Based Infrared Systems (SBIRS) Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) 5 and 6 satellites. The total cumulative face value of the contract is $346,849,435. The contract modification is for planning and production parts including hinges, valves, structures and special test equipment to support the SBIRS GEO 5/6 satellite production. Work will be done in Sunnyvale and is expected to be completed by June 19, 2016. Space and Missile System Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 05/20/14) Gulf Coast note: Core propulsion system work for the SBIRS is done by Lockheed Martin at Stennis Space Center, Miss.
The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., has been awarded a $27,685,574 modification (P00058) to FA8678-10-C-0100 for QF-16 Full-Scale Aerial Target (FSAT) Lot 2. The total cumulative face value of the contract is $158,649,517. The contract modification is for the exercise of the Lot 2 production option under the basic contract. This option is for the purchase of 23 QF-16 FSATs and 23 four-year warranties of the QF-16 Drone-Peculiar Equipment (DPE). Work will be performed at St. Louis and will be completed by May 20, 2016. The DPE warranty period will end on May 20, 2020. Fiscal 2013 and 2014 procurement and fiscal 2014 research and development funds in the amount of $27,685,574 are being obligated at time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center/EBYK (Aerial Targets), Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 05/20/14)
GULFPORT, Miss. -- Additional flights and larger planes will fly into the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport this summer. Clay Williams, airport executive director, said spring and summer are typically the busiest travel time in this market. Many of the changes involve larger aircraft. Last week the Federal Aviation Administration said it will provide $4.5 million to rehabilitate the zones at the end of the runway that take the force of a plane touchdown. (Source: Sun Herald, 05/19/14)
Monday, May 19, 2014
A new resort has opened on Okaloosa Island. The "Holiday Inn Resort Beachfront" is the first private hotel to be built on Air Force land. The project has been in the works for six years, the result of an Air Force directive to find under-utilized properties and make some money off of them. Innisfree Resorts built the hotel on this prime stretch of beachfront, and they'll pay the Air Force a portion of their revenue. The money will be used for projects to boost morale and welfare on Eglin Air Force Base. (Source: WEAR-TV, 05/19/14)
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $9,830,814 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee contract (N00019-02-C-3002) to execute Mode 5 Identification Friend or Foe for the F-35 air system. Work will be performed in El Segundo, Calif. (35 percent); San Diego, Calif. (35 percent); and Fort Worth, Texas (30 percent), and is expected to be completed in May 2016. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 05/19/14) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 training center.
Saturday, May 17, 2014
China Southern Airlines plans to buy 80 A320 jetliners with a listed value of at least $7.3 billion from Airbus. Asia’s largest carrier’s order includes 50 A320neo jets, the company said in a statement to the Shanghai stock exchange. (Source: Bloomberg, Reuters, 05/16/14) Gulf Coast note: Airbus is building an A320 final assembly line in Mobile, Ala.
Friday, May 16, 2014
STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – Lockheed Martin workers who operate NASA test stands went on strike today in the wake of negotiations over the company's plan to end pensions. Members of Local 2249 of the International Machinists and Aerospace workers started picketing outside the main gate after midnight. They will not picket over the weekend, but plan to return Monday. The strike affects 116 union members. Lockheed Martin and the union are at the end of a three-year contract. (Sources: WLOX-TV, Sun Herald, 05/16/14) The company also operates the Lockheed Martin Mississippi Space and Technology Center at SSC, which works on satellite systems. It is not involved in the strike.
Airbus Group on Wednesday delivered the 300th UH-72A Lakota helicopter to the Army. Every Lakota has been delivered on time and on budget by a workforce that's more than 50 percent U.S. military veterans. The Lakota is manufactured at the company's Airbus Helicopters facility in Columbus, Miss. Since the contract was awarded in 2006, the company has delivered the Lakota in seven different configurations for missions including training, border security, search and rescue, medical evacuation, disaster response, VIP transport and range support. Five aircraft are also in service with the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, which trains Navy, Marine Corps and Army test pilots. Army officials have recently indicated plans to modernize the service's rotorcraft training fleet with the UH-72A. (Source: Airbus Group, 05/14/14) Gulf Coast note: Airbus also has operations in Mobile, Ala.
STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. -- NASA is nearing completion on two major structural restoration construction packages for the B-2 Test Stand that will be used to test the core stage of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS). SLS will carry astronauts deeper into space than ever before. Beginning in 2016 the core stage, powered by four RS-25 engines, will be tested on the B-2 stand. The SLS stage is 50 percent longer than the Saturn stages previously tested on B-2, so the main derrick crane atop the stand had to be upgraded. That work will be done this month. Work package No. 2, replacement of fixed and movable platforms, will be done in July. Packages 3 and 4 both are scheduled to be finished in 2015. (Source: NASA, 05/15/14)
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Jacobs Technology Inc., Bedford, Mass., has been awarded a $23,547,235 cost-plus-fixed-fee and cost-reimbursable contract to provide engineering and technology acquisition support services, which consists of disciplined systems/specialty engineering and technical/information assurance services, support, and products using established government, contractor, and industry processes. Work will be performed at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Hanscom AFB, Mass., Lackland AFB, Texas, Schreiver AFB, Colo., and Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, and is expected to be complete by Nov. 30, 2015. Fiscal 2012, 2013 and 2014 procurement, aircraft procurement, missile procurement, and foreign military sales (for Oman and Taiwan) funds in the amount of $2,826,951 will be obligated at time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center/PZM, Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts, is the contracting activity (FA8721-14-C-0016). (Source: DoD, 05/15/14)
*EADS-NA, Herndon, Va., was awarded a $55,361,816 sole-source modification (P00780) to contract W58RGZ-06-C-0194 to procure 10 UH-72A Lakota helicopters with ARC-231 radios. Fiscal 2014 other procurement funds in the amount of $55,361,816 were obligated at the time of the award. Estimated completion date is June 30, 2015. Work will be performed Columbia, Miss. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 05/15/14)*The name of the company is now Airbus Helicopters.
The Air Force chief of staff today announced the assignment of Maj. Gen. Leonard A. Patrick, commander, Second Air Force, Air Education and Training Command, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., to vice commander, Headquarters Air Education and Training Command, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas. Also announced was the assignment of Brig. Gen. Mark A. Brown, who has been selected for the grade of major general, director, financial management, Headquarters Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, to commander, Second Air Force, Air Education and Training Command, Keesler Air Force Base. (Source: DoD, 05/15/14)
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Textron Systems Corp., Textron Defense Systems, Wilmington, Mass., has been awarded a $17,283,970 modification (P00022) to FA8682-11-C-0044 for the completion of mission control unit software development and aircraft integration for the sensor fuzed weapon. The total cumulative face value of the contract is $310,983,586. The contract modification is for the final phase of sensor fuzed weapon integration to the Indian Jaguar aircraft. This contract involves 100 percent of foreign military sales for India. FMS funding in the amount of $17,283,970 will be obligated at time of award. Work will be performed at Wilmington and is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2015. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Long Range Systems Division, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 05/14/14)
GULFPORT, Miss. -- Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport commissioners Travis Lott and Frank Genzer tentatively approved a lease with Gateway America to manage the airport's cargo warehouse. The lease would relieve the airport of up to $175,000 a year in operating expenses that Gateway will assume, and generate $3,500 a month in rent. Gateway currently leases 20 percent of the warehouse for an irradiation operation focused on oysters, and under the cargo management agreement with the airport, it would need to find other tenants and customers for the 40,000-square-foot building. (Source: Sun Herald, 05/13/14)
MOBILE, Ala. -- Airbus Americas posted two new positions for its A320 final assembly line being built at Mobile Aeroplex. One is for a health, safety and environmental specialist and one for a manufacturing engineer. The assembly line will open in 2015 and the first plane will be delivered in 2016. For a complete list of available positions, visit the AIDT website. (Source: al.com, 05/13/14)
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
MOBILE, Ala. -- The Alabama Aviation Training Center is open for business at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley. The first class of 22 hourly workers are preparing for future employment at the Airbus A320 final assembly line being built a few blocks away. The facility includes six classrooms, five laboratories, general office space, a conference room, break room and a shop floor where the majority of the training will take place. A formal grand opening of the Alabama Industrial Development Training program operation is set for June 24. (Source: al.com, 05/13/14)
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $101,900,000 not-to-exceed modification to a previously awarded cost-reimbursement contract (N00019-12-C-0070). This modification provides for non-recurring engineering and sustainment tasks for mission systems software and autonomic logistics development of the F-35A Conventional Take Off and Landing Air System for the government of Israel under the Foreign Military Sales Program. In addition, this modification provides for the procurement of autonomic logistics hardware to support Israel pilot training. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas, and is expected to be completed in April 2015. Foreign military sales funds in the amount of $37,900,000 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 05/13/14) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the F-35 training center.
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Raytheon has delivered the 1,000th Miniature Air Launched Decoy Jammer to the U.S. Air Force as part of the Lot 5 production contract. The ADM-160C MALD-J variant, an autonomous stand-in-jammer, can also operate in decoy mode. MALD, with a range of 500 nautical miles, protects aircraft by duplicating the combat flight profiles and signatures of U.S. and allied aircraft. MALD-J adds radar-jamming capability to the basic MALD platform. (Source: Raytheon, 05/13/14) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., manages the MALD-J program.
Monday, May 12, 2014
MCLEAN, Va. -- Exelis was ranked No. 1 in Aviation Week's 2014 Top-Performing Company study in the $1 billion to $5 billion revenue category. The annual study examines more than 50 aerospace and defense companies. It analyzes the operational performance and business strategy execution of the publicly-traded companies among other factors. Exelis is a diversified global aerospace, defense, information and services company. It employes about 17,000 people and generated 2013 sales of $4.8 billion. (Source: Business Wire, 05/12/14) Gulf Coast note: Exelis has an operation in Panama City, Fla., that develops and produces mine defense systems.
Saturday, May 10, 2014
A high-end model aircraft built to look like a jet fighter almost hit a US Airways plane about five miles from Tallahassee Regional Airport back in March, according to reports. The pilot of a Bombardier CRJ2 regional jet told the FAA it was flying at 2,300 feet when it passed what appeared to be a remote-controlled aircraft. American Airlines Group, which owns US Airways, is investigating. There have been at least six other incidents since September 2011 in which pilots have reported close calls with unmanned aircraft. The FAA plans to impose rules by the end of the year governing civilian drones of less than 55 pounds. (Source: Bloomberg, Reuters via Airwise, 05/09/14, AP via ABC News, 05/10/14)
Friday, May 9, 2014
MOBILE, Ala. -- A partnership between the Mobile Airport Authority and Bishop State Community College will result in the conversion of three buildings at the Mobile Aeroplex and establishment of the Alabama Aerospace Innovation and Research Center. The center at the Aeroplex, home to Airbus, ST Aerospace, Star Aviation and Continental Motors, is ntended as an aerospace center of excellence. The concept is to set up space as a home away from home for Alabama research institutions that want to do collaborative aerospace work with tenants at the Aeroplex. (Sources: al.com, FOX10tv, 05/09/14)
An injunction that temporarily prevented the Air Force and United Launch Alliance from buying Russian-made RD-180 engines for launch vehicles has been lifted. The injunction was issued April 30 after SpaceX filed suit, saying purchase of the engines violated sanctions imposed on Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin and 10 others. But letters submitted to the court by the departments of State, Treasury and Commerce said the maker of the engines, NPO Energomash, is not subject any of the sanctions. The engines are used in ULA Atlas V rockets that launch government satellites. (Source: Space Travel, Space News, 05/09/14) Previous
CAMP SHELBY, Miss. - Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center signed an agreement with the University of Southern Mississippi formalizing an agreement that will bring them together to address military transportation, logistics, and freight-based economic development innovations across the region. Camp Shelby officials signed the agreement with USM's Center for Logistics, Trade, and Transportation, a move intended to strengthen the strategic intermodal logistics hub opportunities and incorporate the capabilities and collaborative efforts between the center and the military. (Source: Camp Shelby Public Affairs, 05/09/14) Previous
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Turkey plans to buy its first two Lockheed Martin F-35A fighters, the government announced Tuesday, while at the same time affirming it still plans on eventually ordering 100 of the fighters for $16 billion. The statement said the government's commitment to the F-35 program "continues strong as ever." (Sources: multiple, including Reuters, 05/06/14, International Business Times, 05/07/14, Pratt and Whitney, 05/07/14, Reuters via Hurriyet, 05/08/14) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the F-35 training center. Previous related
The Lockheed Martin F-35 fleet, which surpassed 16,000 cumulative program flight hours to date in April, flew a monthly record high for System Development and Demonstration (SDD) with 282 flight hours and 153 flights in April. Operational F-35s fleet-wide flew 812 hours, with SDD F-35 aircraft flying 282 flight hours in one month. In 2014, through April, F-35A test aircraft flew 420 hours; F-35B test aircraft flew 281 hours; and F-35C test aircraft flew 222 hours. Operational F-35s of all three variants flew 2,790 hours for the year. Operational F-35s at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., flew 515 flight hours in April, and operational F-35 at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., flew 172 hours. Eglin’s 33rd Fighter Wing is home to 48 F-35A/B/Cs and provides training for U.S. military and program partner nation pilots and maintenance personnel. Yuma is home to the Marine Corps’ first operational F-35B aircraft. Among the record SDD flights, the F-35B completed its 700th vertical takeoff and landing sortie, and it began crosswind landings and expeditionary operations. (Source: Lockheed Martin, 05/08/14)
MOBILE, Ala. -- Airbus Group executive Jean Botti will deliver the commencement address at the University of South Alabama Saturday. Botti, who is the chief technical and innovation officer at the company, will speak to the nearly 1,400 students scheduled to graduate at 2 p.m. in the Mitchell Center. (Source: al.com, 05/08/14) Airbus is building a $600 million A320 final assembly line at the Mobile Aeroplex.
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
SUNNYVALE, Calif. -- Lockheed Martin completed the propulsion module for the fourth Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO-4) space vehicle and is now proceeding with satellite assembly, integration and test. SBIRS provides continuous early warning of ballistic missile launches and other tactical intelligence. Final assembly and test of the GEO-4 satellite's propulsion module occurred earlier this year at Lockheed Martin's Mississippi Space & Technology Center at Stennis Space Center. The propulsion module maneuvers the satellite during transfer orbit to its final location and conducts on-orbit repositioning maneuvers throughout its mission life. (Source: Lockheed Martin, 05/06/14)
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Birmingham's Brasfield & Gorrie won a $45 million contract to build two stands at Marshall Space Flight Center to test the fuel tanks and other key hardware of NASA's Space Launch System. One stand will be 215 feet tall and will test the SLS liquid hydrogen tank. The second stand will be 85 feet tall and will test the liquid oxygen tank of the new rocket. The stands will take about a year to build with construction will begin late this month. The core stage of the SLS is 200 feet tall, larger than the 75-foot tall Saturn V first stage of the past. The core is composed of two fuel tanks, a main engine compartment, an intertank ring to join the two tanks and a top ring to attach the core to the Orion upper stage. The tanks are being built at Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. (Source: al.com, 05/06/14) Of note: Stennis Space Center, Miss., will test the RS-25 engines that will power the core stage of SLS. Previous related
BERWYN, Pa. -- Triumph Aerostructures-Vought Aircraft has been selected by Airbus to furnish the wing reinforcement kit that allows for the installation of Sharklets on the Airbus A319 and A320 in-service aircraft. The kit consists of multiple subassemblies and components that reinforce the wing for the Sharklet loads. The multi-year contract is worth over $160.0 million. Production will be done at the company’s Nashville, Tenn., facility, with first delivery expected early 2015. (Source: Business Wire, 05/07/14) Gulf Coast note: Airbus is building an A320 final assembly line in Mobile, Ala.
|A350 XWB starts testing at Eglin|
MOBILE, Ala. -- Airbus Americas posted two new positions Tuesday for its A320 final assembly line being built at Mobile Aeroplex. One is for a customer manager and the other a station coordinator. The assembly line will open in 2015 and the first plane will be delivered in 2016. For a complete list of available positions, visit the AIDT website. (Source: al.com, Fox10-TV, 05/06/14)
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
*EADS North America, Herndon, Va., was awarded a $25,474,389 modification (P00787) to contract W58RGZ-06-C-0194 to increase funds and exercise an option for contractor logistics support on the Lakota Utility Helicopter (UH-72A). Work will be performed in Columbus, Miss., with an estimated completion date of Nov. 30, 2015. Fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance Army funds in the amount of $25,472,339 were obligated at the time of the award. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 05/06/14) *This is how the information appears in the DoD listing. The name of the company is now Airbus Helicopters.
|Cold-shock test at Stennis|
|MQ-8B, left, and MQ-8C await|
EM tests at Pax River
Monday, May 5, 2014
Two reserve colonels in New Orleans have been nominated for promotions. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced today that the president nominated Marine Corps Reserve Col. Helen G. Pratt and Marine Corps Reserve Col. Patrick J. Hermesmann for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Pratt is currently serving as the deputy commander, 4th Marine Logistics Group, New Orleans, and Hermesmann is currently serving as vice chief of staff, Marine Forces Reserve, New Orleans. (Source: DoD, 05/05/14)
Sunday, May 4, 2014
DENVER -- The two modules of the first GOES-R series weather satellite spacecraft have been delivered to a cleanroom at Lockheed Martin's Space Systems facility near Denver. The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R series (GOES-R) is NOAA's next-generation geostationary weather satellites. With the delivery of the system module and the propulsion module, the weather satellite will now undergo integration and testing. It is slated to launch in early 2016. The system module of the A2100-based satellite, which houses three major electrical subsystems, was built at Lockheed Martin’s Newtown, Pa. facility. The propulsion module recently underwent integration of its engines, fuel tanks and various propulsion components at the company's Mississippi Space and Technology Center at NASA’s Stennis Space Center. (Source: Lockheed Martin, 05/01/14)
Saturday, May 3, 2014
NEW ORLEANS -- NASA is looking for partners to develop hundreds of acres of underutilized green space around Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, NASA's 43-acre manufacturing facility. NASA says development of the green space at MAF is an integral part its vision for transforming the facility. MAF had been the location where space shuttle's external tanks were built, but employment dropped with the end of that program in 2011. NASA has been transforming MAF from a single project facility to a multi-tenant plant used by NASA, other government agencies and commercial entities. NASA is using MAF to build the Orion spacecraft and the core stage of the Space Launch System. It's also being used by Lockheed Martin to build composite components for Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser. Better utilizing the space around Michoud has been discussed for years. As far back as 2008, NASA talked about turning the 830 acres around MAF into a research park, similar to Cummings Research Park in Huntsville, Ala.. (Source: GCAC, 05/03/14) (FBO notice, 05/01/14)
Friday, May 2, 2014
United Technologies Corp., Pratt & Whitney Military Engines, East Hartford, Connecticut, is being awarded a $105,170,571 fixed-price-incentive-fee advance acquisition contract to procure long-lead components, parts and materials in support of 34 low rate initial production Lot IX F-135 propulsions systems for the F-35 aircraft, including 26 F-135-PW-100 for the U.S. Air Force; six F-135-PW-600 for the U.S. Marine Corps; and two F-135-PW-100 for the U.S. Navy. In addition, this contract provides for the procurement of 13 F-135-PW-100 and 6 F135-PW-600 systems for international partners and foreign military sales customers. Work will be performed in East Hartford, Connecticut (67 percent); Indianapolis, Indiana (16.5 percent); and Bristol, United Kingdom (16.5 percent); and is expected to be completed in September 2017. Fiscal 2014 aircraft procurement, Air Force and Navy funds, as well as international partner and foreign military sales funds in the amount of $105,170,571 are being obligated on this award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(1). This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Air Force (31 percent); the U.S. Navy (26 percent); international partners (35 percent) and international participants (8 percent). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N00019-14-C-0004). (Source: DoD, 05/02/14) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the F-35 training center.
The U.S. Army’s decision to buy 100 more Mississippi-built UH-72 Lakota helicopters for pilot training increases the chance for international sales, officials said. "If you look at the other opportunities both in the U.S. and allies, common sense would say, if you have the largest rotary wing operator of aircraft in the world and they've made this selection, that takes a lot of risk out of your decision making," John Burke, Airbus Group's Lakota program manager, said at a luncheon with reporters Thursday in Washington. The Lakota, built in Columbus, Miss., is a militarized version of the commercial EC145. The operation in Mississippi previously was known as American Eurocopter. The Army doesn't use the Lakota in combat but instead for homeland security, drug interdiction, general support, logistics and medical evacuation. The Army had planned to conclude its purchase of 340 Lakota UH-72s in 2015. The Pentagon cut back Lakota purchases in its 2014 budget proposal, however, its 2015 spending plan adds 100 aircraft for pilot training. The company plans to deliver the 300th aircraft to the Army in the coming weeks. (Source: Defense News, 05/01/14) Gulf Coast note: In addition to the Airbus Helicopters facility in Columbus, Airbus has an engineering center and Airbus Military operation, and is building an A320 final assembly line in Mobile, Ala.
MOBILE, Ala. -- Rob’t J. Baggett Inc., with offices in Mobile and Theodore, and Birmingham-based B.L. Harbert International were awarded the final general contractor packages by Hoar Program Management for the Airbus A320 final assembly line being built at Mobile Aeroplex. Thompson Engineering of Mobile was selected for quality assurance material testing for these packages. Harbert International will be responsible, among other things, for the delivery center at the complex. Rob't J. Baggett will be responsible for, among other things, the transshipment hangar and main gate. (Source: al.com, 05/01/14)
The Atlantic Council, a U.S. think tank on transatlantic relations, honored Airbus Group CEO Tom Enders with the 2014 Distinguished Business Leadership Award at its Annual Awards Dinner in Washington, D.C. The banquet was attended by some 800 guests from over 60 countries. The ceremony followed a speech earlier in the day at the Atlantic Council on the need to further government and industrial relationships on both sides of the Atlantic. Enders accepted the leadership award from former Alabama Gov. Bob Riley. (Source: Airbus Group, 05/01/14) Gulf Coast note: The Airbus A320 final assembly line being built in Mobile, Ala., will open next year. Enders' and Alabama became close partners beginning with the competition to built aerial tankers for the Air Force. Airbus Group, at the time called EADS, planned to build them in Mobile, but Boeing won the contract. Enders continued talking to Alabama, and eventually a business case made sense to build A320s jetliners in Mobile.
Thursday, May 1, 2014
A U.S. court issued an injunction blocking United Launch Alliance, a Lockheed Martin/Boeing joint venture, from buying Russian-made rocket engines after SpaceX filed a lawsuit protesting the contract. SpaceX, which sued Monday, said the contract should have been competitively bid. The preliminary injunction was issued late Wednesday by Judge Susan Braden of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. The ruling blocks payments to any entity subject to the control of Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, including the Russian state-owned company that makes the rocket engines. Rogozin heads Russia's defense industry and space program, and is on a sanctions list over the crisis in Ukraine. The injunction could be lifted if the U.S. Treasury, Commerce Department or State Department reviews the deal and finds it does not violate sanctions. (Source: AFP via Space Travel, Washington Post, AFP via Space Travel, 05/01/14) Gulf Coast note: SpaceX will be testing its deep-space rocket engine at Stennis Space Center, Miss.; United Launch Alliance's Delta IV rocket uses RS-68 engines tested at SSC; Lockheed Martin builds satellite core propulsion systems at SSC; Aerojet Rocketdyne tests AJ-26 engines, modified versions of the Russian-built NK-33 and NK-43 engines, at SSC. The AJ-26 powers Orbital Science's Antares rocket, used to launch the Cygnus spacecraft on cargo missions to the International Space Station. Previous
NASA has selected 383 research and technology proposals for negotiations that may lead to contracts worth a combined $47.6 million. The proposals, from 257 U.S. small businesses and 29 research institutions, are part of NASA's Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program. Eight selected proposals involve technology being administered by the Office of the Chief Technologist at NASA’s Stennis Space Center, Miss. (Source: NASA, 05/01/14)
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas -- A Navy T-34C training aircraft crashed during a routine mission over the Gulf of Mexico at 10:20 a.m. today. The student-pilot and instructor from Naval Air Station Corpus Christi's Training Squadron 28 bailed out. Initial reports indicate neither was injured. A Coast Guard search and rescue helicopter recovered the flyers. The crash is under investigation. (Source: Navy News Service, 05/01/14) Gulf Coast note: T-34C Turbo Mentors have been used in primary naval aviation training for more than two decades, but have been replaced by the T-6A Texas aircraft at Training Air Wing Five at Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Fla.
PENSACOLA BEACH, Fla. – The Airbus A320 final assembly line being built in Mobile, Ala., was a topic of discussion during one session of the 2014 World Trade Conference at Pensacola Beach. The 14th annual conference being held today through Friday included a session titled "Trade Opportunities in the Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor." It included brief presentations by aerospace and aviation officials from the region. Troy Wayman, vice president of economic development at the Mobile Chamber, touched on the regional nature of luring aviation activities to the aerospace corridor. He said that Mobile not only claims its own considerable assets, but claims the assets of its neighbors to the east and west. Much of the attention in this region has been on Airbus' final assembly line, which will open in 2015. The first A320 will be produced in 2016. Michelle Hurdle, director of economic and community development at Airbus in Mobile, said all the major sections will be shipped by sea to Mobile. She said the original thought that it would mean one ship a month, but now it looks more like one ship a week. Europe's Airbus is just one example of foreign interest in the region. Crystal Sircy, senior vice president of business development for Enterprise Florida, said that state is working 295 active economic development projects right now, and 35 percent are foreign direct investment. She didn’t know how many of those are for Northwest Florida. (Source: GCAC, 05/01/14)
Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, San Diego, California, is being awarded a $10,833,670 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the development and integration of a Multi Capability Pod (MCAP) onto the MQ-8C Fire Scout, including the purchase of two MCAPS and one MCAP Mass Model. The MCAP provides multiple electronic warfare sensors for employment in the littorals. Work will be performed in Rancho Bernardo, California (59 percent); Chantilly, Virginia (40 percent); and Fort Worth, Texas (1 percent), and is expected to be completed in June 2015. Fiscal 2013 research, development, test and evaluation, Defense-wide and fiscal 2013 procurement, Defense-wide funds in the amount of $10,833,670 are being obligated at time of award, $4,219,667 of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to FAR 6.302-1. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N00019-14-C-0011). (Source: DoD, 05/01/14) Gulf Coast note: Final assembly work on the Fire Scout is done in Moss Point, Miss.
Retired Marine Col. Robert Work was confirmed by the Senate on April 30 as the new deputy secretary of defense. The 61-year-old Work, a former Navy undersecretary, will be closely watched by the defense industry. In July 2011, Work questioned whether the Navy's F-35C program, the variant of the plane designed for carriers, could be reduced in favor of more unmanned systems. He was Navy undersecretary from 2009-13. (Source: Military.com, 05/01/14) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 training center; Northrop Grumman builds portions of two unmanned systems, Fire Scout and Global Hawk, in Moss Point, Miss.