Thursday, July 31, 2014

Contract: L-3 Vertex, $29.8M

L-3 Communications Vertex Aerospace LLC, Madison, Miss., is being awarded a $29,803,395 modification to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery requirements contract (N00019-14-D-0019) to provide organizational, intermediate, and depot level maintenance and logistics support for T45TS aircraft based at Naval Air Station Meridian, Miss., Naval Air Station Kingsville, Texas, and Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla. This requirement also includes the support and maintenance of the T-45 aircraft at all operational sites, numerous outlying fields, and various detachment sites. Work will be performed in Kingsville (58 percent), Meridian (36 percent), and Pensacola (6 percent), and is expected to be completed in September 2014. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 07/31/14)

Spirit announces new service

NEW ORLEANS -- Spirit Airlines announced plans for nonstop flights from Louis Armstrong International Airport to Chicago and Detroit. The flights to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and Detroit begin Nov. 6, said an announcement from the Miramar, Fla.-based airline. Also, beginning Friday, Spirit plans to add direct flights to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport. When all the flights are running, Spirit will have five nonstop flights from New Orleans, including an existing route to the Dallas and Ft. Worth metropolitan area. (Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 07/30/14)

FBO seeks more space

PANAMA CITY, Fla. -- Relocation of the Panama City–Bay County International Airport to West Bay, further from Panama City itself, hindered general aviation activity. But officials at the new airport's fixed-base operator (FBO) are seeing improvement and now need more space. Sheltair provides services for general aviation at Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, including fuel services, airplane storage and other ground support services. Thanks to steady customer growth, Sheltair is now seeking to significantly increase the amount of land leased from the Airport Authority. The request will go before the authority next month. Sheltair, a Fort Lauderdale-based company, operates 14 facilities across the U.S., with locations in Florida, Georgia and New York. (Source: News Herald, 07/30/14)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Assystem opening Mobile office

MOBILE, Ala. – French engineering company Assystem has become the latest Airbus-related company to announce plans for a Mobile operation. The Paris-based company has 11,000 employees in 19 countries and is expected to have about 10 people in Mobile at at location within the Mobile Aeroplex, where Airbus is building an A320 final assembly line. (Source:, 07/29/14). The company offers aerospace, energy, automotive and other clients project consulting and IT services, specializing in outsourced research and development. Research projects encompass such fields as embedded computing, optics and infrared, digital modeling and simulation and ergonomics.

815th remains at Keesler for now

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- The 815th Tactical Airlift Squadron will remain at Keesler Air Force Base for now, and when it might be deactivated is up in the air. Community leaders are waiting to hear whether the decision to delay deactivation of the 815th could lead to C-130 aircraft remaining at Keesler Air Force Base. The Air Force has been planning to move 10 C-130s from Keesler to, most recently, Arkansas. But those plans are in limbo for now. In addition, the Air Force has rescinded restrictions on the 815th, meaning it can now replace personnel. No matter what happens with the 815th, the base will still have the 403rd Reserve Wing's Hurricane Hunters. (Sources: WLOX-TV, 07/29/14, Sun Herald, 07/28/14)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Outlook: Pilot, tech demand rising

Boeing is forecasting continued strong growth in demand for commercial pilots and maintenance technicians as the global fleet expands over the next 20 years. Boeing's 2014 Pilot and Technician Outlook says that between 2014 and 2033, there will be a need for 533,000 new commercial airline pilots and 584,000 new commercial airline maintenance technicians. Pilot demand is up about 7 percent compared to 2013 and maintenance demand is up just over 5 percent. North America is projected to need 88,000 pilots and 109,000 technicians. (Source: Boeing, 07/30/14) Gulf Coast note: Workforce development experts and educators in the region are developing new aviation training programs to meet the growth of aerospace activities in the Gulf Coast region.

Triton development costs up

The cost to develop the Triton unmanned reconnaissance plane for the Navy has increased at least 25 percent, or $720 million, according to Navy estimates and congressional investigators. The scheduled dates to begin production and deployment of the Northrop Grumman-built drone have each slipped more than two years. The Navy plans to buy some 70 of the MQ-4 Tritons, based on the Global Hawk unmanned aircraft. The projected start of initial production has been delayed by 31 months to December 2015. The target date to declare an initial squadron of the drones ready for combat has slipped to April 2018. The projected start of full-rate production has slipped to January 2018 from December 2015. (Source: Bloomberg, 07/28/14) Gulf Coast note: Central fuselage work on the Triton is done by Northrop Grumman in Moss Point, Miss.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Contract: SAIC, $10.4M

Science Applications International Corp., McLean, Va., is being awarded a $10,437,025 modification under a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N00033-10-D-6506) with firm-fixed-price and/or firm, fixed-price, level-of-effort task orders for information technology ashore operations support services in support of Military Sealift Command's Command, Control, Communications and Computer Systems directorate. Work will be performed in Washington, D.C. (74.7 percent); Norfolk, Va. (16.9 percent); San Diego, Calif. (5.9 percent); Pensacola, Fla. (2.4 percent); Scott Air Force Base, Ill. (less than 1 percent); Yokohama, Japan (less than 1 percent); and Naples, Italy (less than 1 percent), and is expected to be completed by July 2015. Fiscal 2015 working capital funds in the amount of $10,437,025 will be obligated on individual task orders subject to the availability of fiscal 2015 funds, and will not expire at the end of that fiscal year. The U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity (N00033-10-D-6506). (Source: DoD, 07/28/14)

FAA fines Southwest $12M

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Aviation Administration has proposed a $12 million civil penalty against Southwest Airlines for failing to comply with regulations in three separate enforcement cases related to repairs on Boeing 737 jetliners operated by the Dallas-based airline. The FAA alleges that beginning in 2006, Southwest conducted alterations to eliminate potential cracking of the aluminum skin on 44 jetliners. The FAA conducted an investigation that included both the airline and its contractor, Aviation Technical Services (ATS) of Everett, Wash. In one case, the FAA said that ATS failed to follow proper procedures for replacing the fuselage skins on these aircraft. Southwest has 30 days to respond to the allegations. (Source: FAA, 07/28/14) Gulf Coast note: Southwest serves New Orleans, Pensacola, Fla., and Panama City, Fla.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Transfer of F-35Bs has begun

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Most of the Marines who have been stationed at the F-35 training center at Eglin have moved to South Carolina, part of the relocation of VMFAT-501 from Eglin to Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort. Fifteen of the 33rd Fighter Wing's 49 F-35s belong to the Marines. Those aircraft will stay at Eglin for about a year while the Marines work to get the proper infrastructure in place at Beaufort, said Air Force Lt. Hope Cronin, a spokeswoman for the 33rd wing. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 07/25/14)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Contract: B3H, $7M

B3H Corp., Shalimar, Fla., has been awarded a $7,069,922 modification (0003) to FA4890-12-D-0014-SK02 for English language instructors and an English language training program using Defense Language Institute English Language Center courseware, methodology and processes. The total cumulative face value of the contract is $20,326,840. This modification provides for the exercise of the second option year; no option years remain. Work will be performed in Saudi Arabia, and at King Abdul Aziz Air Base, Dhahran, and is expected to be completed by Jan. 31, 2016. This contract is 100 percent foreign military sales for the Saudi Arabia. Foreign military sales funds in the amount of $7,069,922 are being obligated at time of award. The 338 Specialized Contracting Squadron/PKB, Joint Base San Antonio, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 07/25/14)

Contract: Lakeview, $10.3M

Lakeview Center Inc., Pensacola, Fla., as awarded a $10,280,538 modification (P00015) to contract W9124D-10-D-0031 for dining facility/cook support. Funding and work location will be determined with each order. Estimated completion date is Aug. 31, 2015. Army Contracting Command, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Ft. Lewis, Wash., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 07/25/14)

1st Australian F-35s roll out

FORT WORTH, Texas -- A ceremony was held Thursday at Lockheed Martin for the official roll out of the first two F-35 Joint Strike Fighters for the Royal Australian Air Force. The F-35 will provide the RAAF with fifth generation fighter capability and provides benefits to the Australian aerospace industry, with more than $412 million already contracted and up to $6 billion in expected manufacturing orders over the life of the program. AU-1 and AU-2 will undergo functional fuel system checks before being transported to the flight line for ground and flight tests in the coming months. They'll be delivered to the RAAF later this year and will be based at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., where they'll be used for Australian and partner country pilot training. (Source: Lockheed Martin, 07/24/14) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the training center for the Air Force, Navy and Marine variants of the Joint Strike Fighter.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

JAGM dual-mode tested

Lockheed Martin recently demonstrated its Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) dual-mode guidance section during a second internally funded flight test at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. During the test, the rail-mounted JAGM flew 6.2 kilometers and initially acquired the target using its precision strike, semi-active laser. The dual-mode guidance section then engaged its millimeter wave radar, and the moving target was destroyed. This flight test is a risk reduction milestone critical to Lockheed Martin's performance on the U.S. Army's 27-month Continued Technology Development program. (Source: PRNewswire, 07/23/14) Eglin in Northwest Florida is responsible for the development,  test, evaluation and sustainment of air-delivered non-nuclear weapons, navigation and command and control systems.

Huge weld tool nearly complete

NEW ORLEANS -- The 170-foot Vertical Assembly Center (VAC) is near completion and will soon be ready to build the core stage of NASA's Space Launch System, the most powerful rocket in history and designed for deep space missions. VAC is the world's largest spacecraft welding tool, part of a family of tools at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility designed to build the core stage. The core stage will store cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen that will feed the vehicle's RS-25 engines, which will be tested at nearby Stennis Space Center, Miss. The core stage, comprised of the forward skirt, the liquid oxygen tank, the intertank, the liquid hydrogen tank and the engine section, recently passed its critical design review. (Source: Space Travel, 07/23/14) Previous

Airline selects Trent 7000

Hawaiian Airlines selected six Airbus A330-800neo aircraft powered by the newly-launched Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engine. The new aircraft will replace six A350-800 aircraft that the airline has on order. The Trent engine family has accumulated more than 75 million flight hours over the last 19 years. Each member of the Trent engine family has been either the market leader, aircraft launch engine, or both. (Source: Rolls-Royce, 07/23/14) PreviousGulf Coast note: Trent engines are tested at the Rolls-Royce outdoor test stand at Stennis Space Center, Miss.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bohai buying 70 A320s

The Hong Kong unit of China's Shenzhen-listed Bohai Leasing signed a deal worth about $7.76 billion to buy 70 A320neo aircraft from Airbus Group, the Chinese company announced. Subsidiary Hong Kong Aviation Capital signed the agreement on July 17 and it was approved by a special meeting of its board of directors on the following day, Bohai Leasing said. This month, BOC Aviation, the aircraft leasing arm of the Bank of China, ordered 43 planes from Airbus, including 36 A320ceo and seven A320neo models. (Source: Reuters, 07/21/14) Gulf Coast note: Airbus is building an A320 final assembly line in Mobile, Ala.

FACC gets A320 sharklet work

Switzerland-based FACC AG signed a contract with Airbus for the production, as a second source, of Sharklet wing tip devices for the single-aisle A320. FACC also recently won an Airbus contract for the redesign and manufacture of overhead stowage bins, ceiling panels and cove light panels as well as for the manufacture of the aft belly fairings for the A320 family. FACC will produce the components in Ort im Innkreis, Austria. Sharklets are large devices designed by Airbus that are made of light-weight composites and increase fuel efficiency. They are an option on A320 and standard on A320neo models. (Source: Composites World, 07/21/14) Gulf Coast note: Airbus is building an A320 final assembly line in Mobile, Ala.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Contract: Raytheon, $8.5M

Raytheon Co., Tucson, Ariz., has been awarded a $8,527,198 modification (P00026) to a firm-fixed-price contract (FA8675-13-C-0003) for Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) Production Lot 27. The total cumulative face value of the contract is $564,772,594. The contract modification provides for integration and testing for AMRAAM contract line item numbers 0008, 0009, and 0010 being produced under the basic contract. Work will be performed at Tucson and is expected to be completed by June 30, 2016. Foreign military sales contract funds in the amount of $8,527,198 are being obligated at the time of the award for Australia. This Air Force Life Cycle Management Center/EBAK, Eglin AFB, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 07/18/14)

Operators meeting a first

MOBILE, Ala. – Airbus Defense and Space's U.S. military aircraft unit late last month held its first operators conference in Mobile. About thirty representatives from business and government owners of C212 aircraft fleets from five countries attended. Operators from Alaska, Oregon, Florida, North Carolina and Wyoming in the U.S., as well as from Chile, Australia, Spain and Argentina participated. Airbus opened a 30,000-square-foot maintenance, repair and overhaul center at Mobile Regional Airport in 2009, and in February a new component repair facility was added. The Mobile operation provides American operators of the C212 and CN235 tactical transports with the capabilities of a certified FAA and European Aviation Safety Agency repair station as well as direct support from the aircraft manufacturer. Some capabilities at the repair facility may support the Airbus A320 Family aircraft assembly line, currently under construction in Mobile. (Source: Market Wired via DigitalJournal, 07/17/14)

Airbus tops Boeing at air show

Airbus beat rival Boeing in aircraft orders at this year's Farnborough International Airshow near London, landing nearly twice as many orders and commitments. But Boeing said it has won more in the year to date. Boeing put its figure at 783 and Airbus' at 648. Airbus said Thursday its orders and commitments at Farnborough for 496 aircraft were valued at $75 billion. Demand for its A320neo, or "new engine option," was particularly strong. Boeing, meanwhile, secured business worth $40.2 billion for 201 airplanes. (Source: AP via ABC, 07/17/14) Gulf Coast note: Airbus is building an A320 final assembly line in Mobile, Ala.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Space Florida project moves forward

PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Space Florida is moving ahead with plans for the first commercial development in the nine-acre Pensacola Technology Park, issuing a request to recruit and architectural firm and citing Sept. 12 as its deadline to negotiate an agreement with one. The Melbourne-based quasi-government agency filed a "Request for Qualifications" with Florida officials that detailed its building plans for a nearly 60,000-square-foot facility that would include areas for technological research and training. Space Florida's plans envision five tenants that would rent space in the building. Space Florida's role is to strengthen the state's position as a leader in aerospace research, investment and exploration. It's headquartered just outside Kennedy Space Center. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, WEAR-TV, 07/17/14) Previous

RS-25 for SLS on test stand

RS-25 installed on A-1 test stand. NASA photo
STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – In a key milestone in NASA's Space Launch System program, an RS-25 engine was installed Thursday on the A-1 Test Stand. The team at NASA's Stennis Space Center in South Mississippi will perform developmental and flight certification testing of the engine, No. 0525, a modified version of the space shuttle main engine that powered missions into space from 1981 to 2011. The SLS core stage will be powered by four RS-25 engines. Early tests on the engine will collect data on the performance of its new advanced engine controller and other modifications. (Source: NASA, 07/17/14) The core stage of the SLS is being built at Michoud Assembly Facility, New Orleans.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Contract: Northrop, $17M

Northrop Grumman Corp., Aerospace Systems, El Segundo, Calif., has been awarded a $17,059,000 modification (P00270) to a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (F19628-00-C-0100) for radar software deficiency corrections. The contract modification is for Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program radar system development and demonstration alignment with the Global Hawk Block 40 program schedule. The total cumulative face value of the contract is $1,529,683,365. Work will be performed at El Segundo and is expected to be completed on Sept. 30, 2015. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 07/16/14) Gulf Coast note: Global Hawks are built in part in Moss Point, Miss.

Contract: URS Group, $8M

URS Group Inc., Mobile, Ala., was awarded an $8,000,000 firm-fixed-price indefinite- delivery contract for architectural and engineering services for the Mobile District and South Atlantic Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Funding and work location will be determined with each order with an estimated completion date of July 15, 2019. Bids were solicited via the Internet with 28 received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile, is the contracting activity (W91278-14-D-0065). (Source: DoD, 07/16/14)

Enterprise Florida gets award

LONDON -- Enterprise Florida was recognized for 20 years of service to small businesses through international trade and development support. The award was presented at the Farnborough International Airshow by Kenneth Hyatt, Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade at the U.S. Department of Commerce and Tom Kallman, president and CEO of Kallman Worldwide. Florida has the largest representation of any state at this year's show near London, with two pavilions and 11 small businesses and organizations exhibiting. The state is home to more than 2,000 aviation and aerospace companies employing 82,000 workers. (Source: Enterprise Florida, 07/16/14)

Airbus gets XWB orders

Air Mauritius has placed an order for six long range A350 XWB jetliners. Air Mauritius said it signed a tentative deal to buy four A350-900 planes from Airbus and would lease two from AerCap to replace its six A340 planes. The deal for the four new planes is worth around $1.2 billion at list prices. Dubai-based airline Emirates had last month cancelled an order for 70 A350 planes in a setback to Airbus. The planes are powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. (Sources: Reuters, Rolls-Royce, 07/16/14) Gulf Coast note: Rolls-Royce XWB engines are tested at Stennis Space Center, Miss.; Airbus A350s have been tested at McKinley Climatic Lab at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

Airshow reception draws 200

LONDON, England – The Mobile region's delegation to the Farnborough International Airshow had 25 one-on-one meetings Tuesday with potential recruits before hosting the Mobile Bay Aerospace Reception. Some 200 people participated in the reception. Troy Wayman, the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce's vice president of economic development, said the purpose of the meetings was to establish connections or remain visible to longtime prospects. Mobile, Ala., is home to Airbus' newest A320 final assembly line. It's scheduled to open next year and produce its first plane in 2016. (Source:, 07/15/14)

Airport launches new website

PENSACOLA, Fla. – Pensacola International Airport today launched its new, mobile-friendly website, The redesigned site includes new navigation tools. "We wanted our website to incorporate information for airport travelers, general aviation pilots, and our many customers," said Airport Director Greg Donovan. The new site also includes a community directory with special events and local promotions. (Source: City of Pensacola, 07/16/14)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Alcoa wins $1.1B PW deal

NEW YORK -- Alcoa has announced a $1.1 billion deal to supply jet engine parts to Pratt and Whitney, including the world's first lightweight aluminum alloy fan blade. It developed the forging for the aluminum blade for PW's PurePower engines using an advanced aluminum alloy and a proprietary manufacturing process. Alcoa also is developing for the PurePower engines a fan blade forging using its most advanced aluminum-lithium alloy. "We're going where no materials scientist has gone before," said Alcoa chairman and chief executive Klaus Kleinfeld, saying the company "cracked the code on forging an aluminum fan blade that is lighter and enables better fuel efficiency." (Source: Industry Week, 07/14/14) Gulf Coast note: The PurePower engine is an option on the A320neo. Airbus is building an A320 final assembly line in Mobile, Ala.

GE Auburn to add 3D printing

GE Aviation will install a high-volume, additive manufacturing facility at its existing operations in Auburn, Ala., according to an announcement Tuesday at the Farnborough International Airshow near London. The $50 million 3-D printing initiative will produce fuel nozzles for jet engines. The company will partner with Auburn University and other institutions on workforce, research and technology requirements for the project. The Auburn plant, which opened last year and produces machined parts for jet engines, has more than 70 workers and is expected to reach 300 by the end of the decade. (Source:, 07/15/14) Gulf Coast note: GE Aviation also has an engine parts plant near Hattiesburg, Miss.; Rolls-Royce tests the Trent series of jetliner engines at Stennis Space Center, Miss. For background stories on 3D printing here, see Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor 2014-2015, Chapter I, pages 31-33, "Aerospace a big player in 3D print" and "AMRO takes leap into 3D printing."

Airbus posts more jobs

MOBILE, Ala. -- Airbus is looking to fill five corrosion protector positions at its A320 final assembly line being built at Mobile Aeroplex. Corrosion protectors are responsible for performing all sealing and corrosion protection within the required stations of the aircraft, focusing on the wings. A minimum of six months training abroad is required. For a complete list of job postings, click here. (Source:, 07/15/14)

Pentagon: F-35 won't make show

The F-35 will not make its international debut at the Farnborough Air Show this week, the Pentagon said Tuesday afternoon. The announcement came hours after the Defense Department said the fleet, grounded after a June 23 runway fire at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., could fly again under restrictions. That raised hope the fighter might make a showing at Farnborough. But at an afternoon press conference, Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said the fighter jet would not make it overseas after all. The show was seen as an important showcase for the fighter, the Pentagon’s most expensive weapons program, which will rely heavily on foreign sales. (Source: Washington Post, 07/15/14)

F-35 to fly with limits

The U.S. Navy and Air Force have approved a limited return to flight for the F-35 fighter, keeping alive the possibility that it could make an appearance at the Farnborough International Airshow in England this week. The Pentagon said Tuesday that Navy and Air Force officials approved the flight resumption on Monday but imposed restrictions that will remain in effect until the cause of a June 23 engine fire is corrected. The entire fleet of nearly 100 planes, built by Lockheed Martin and powered by a single Pratt and Whitney F136 engines, was grounded after the fire at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. (Source: AP via ABC, The Hill, Reuters, 07/15/14)

ST Aerospace secures contracts

SINGAPORE -- ST Aerospace secured new contracts to cover aerospace-related jobs such as airframe, component and engine maintenance, cabin modification and pilot training. ST Aerospace is the aerospace unit of Singapore Technologies Engineering (ST Engineering). In a statement on Monday, ST Engineering says the contracts include a five-year agreement with a regional U.S. airline for heavy maintenance of 42 Embraer E-170 and E-175 aircraft at its San Antonio facility. (Source: ChannelNewsAsia, 07/14/14) Gulf Coast note: ST Aerospace has a maintenance, repair and overhaul facility in Mobile, Ala., and plans to open a satellite operation in Pensacola, Fla.

UTC chosen by Airbus

UTC Aerospace Systems has been chosen by Airbus to supply new wheels and carbon brakes for A320neo family aircraft through its Landing Systems facility in Troy, Ohio. The equipment is scheduled to enter into service in 2015 on the current A320 family of aircraft. The new wheels and brakes are designed as a product improvement and will be introduced across the current A318/A319/A320 and A319/A320neo platforms. UTC Aerospace Systems designs, manufactures and services integrated systems and components for the aerospace and defense industries. (Source: Aerospace Manufacturing and Design, 07/15/14) Gulf Coast note: Airbus is building an A320 final assembly line in Mobile, Ala., that will open in 2015 and produce its first plane in 2016; UTC Aerospace has a plant in Foley, Ala.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Contract: Lockheed, $278.6M

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $278,649,002 modification to the previously awarded F-35 Lightning II Low Rate Initial Production Lot VI contract (N00019-11-C-0083). This modification provides for non-recurring sustainment activities, to include procurement of Depot Phases I-IV sustainment activities. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (35 percent); El Segundo, Calif. (25 percent); Warton, United Kingdom (20 percent); Orlando, Fla. (10 percent); Nashua, N.H. (5 percent); and Baltimore, Md. (5 percent), and is expected to be completed in October 2018. Fiscal 2012 aircraft procurement (Navy and Air Force) funds and international partner funds in the amount of $278,649,002 will be obligated at time of award, $236,913,238 of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 07/14/14) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., trains F-35 pilots and maintainers.

Contract: Multiple, $960M

Lockheed Martin Corp., Gaithersburg, Md. (FA87732-13-D-0001); Jacobs Technology, Fort Walton Beach, Fla. (FA8732-13-D-0002); SRA International, Fairfax, Va. (FA8732-13-D-0003); L-3 National Security Solutions, Reston, Va. (FA8732-13-D-0004); Raytheon, Garland, Texas (FA8732-13-D-0006); InfoReliance Corp., Fairfax, Va. (FA8732-13-D-0026); CACI-ISS, Inc., Chantilly, Va. (FA8732-13-D-0027); Northrop Grumman Information Systems, Herndon, Va. (FA8732-13-D-0028), General Dynamics Information Technology, Needham, Mass. (FA8732-13-D-0029); and International Business Machines Corp., Reston, Va. (FA8732-13-D-0030) are being awarded a $960,000,000 multiple award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (ID/IQ) contract for Network-Centric Solutions-2 (NETCENTS-2) Application Services. This contract vehicle will provide services such as sustainment, migration, integration, training, help desk support, testing and operational support. Other services include, but are not limited to, exposing data from Authoritative Data Sources to support web-services or Service Oriented Architecture constructs in Air Force enterprise environments. This contract vehicle is the mandatory source for all USAF units purchasing services that fall under the scope of the contract. Because this is an ID/IQ contract, the location of performance is not known at this time and will be cited on individual delivery orders. The period of performance is 10 years. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition; offers were solicited electronically through FedBizOps and 21 offers were received. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center/HICK, Maxwell Air Force Base-Gunter Annex, Ala., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 07/14/14)

Mobile team wraps up day one

FARNBOROUGH, England -- With some two dozen formal and informal meetings done, the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce called opening day of the Farnborough International Airshow near London a success. "We had some very good introductory meetings. All were aware of Mobile, but had not been before. That could change," Jana Stupavsky, a senior project manager with the chamber, said in a chamber blog post about the day's activities. (Source:, 07/14/14) The greater Mobile area is home to multiple aerospace and aviation operations, including an Airbus A320 final assembly line that will open next year.

Florida opens two airshow pavilions

FARNBOROUGH, England – The state of Florida this year has two pavilions at the 2014 Farnborough International Airshow, one of the world's largest exhibitions. Florida has the largest representation of any state at the show, according to Gray Swoope, Florida Secretary of Commerce and Enterprise Florida president and CEO. He said this is the first year Florida has had two pavilions. The show near London, which started Monday has some 1,500 exhibiting companies from some 50 nations. (Source: Enterprise Florida, 07/14/14) Florida is home to hundreds of aerospace and aviation activities.

Cygnus heads to ISS

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. – Fresh supplies and research experiments began a three-day journey to the International Space Station on Sunday after a successful launch atop an Antares rocket. The rocket took off from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at 12:52 p.m. EDT. The commercial Orbital Sciences Cygnus supply ship will complete the cargo delivery Wednesday with an automated approach to the space station. The Antares rocket is powered by twin Aerojet Rocketdyne AJ26 engines, which are tested at Stennis Space Center, Miss. (Source: Spaceflight Now, 07/14/14)

F-35s may still make show

FARNBOROUGH, England -- F-35 fighters still stands a chance of showing up at the Farnborough International Airshow as engineers work to restore clearance. Military chiefs and the international consortium that built the Lockheed Martin jet are hopeful four planes due to appear at the U.K. event will be able to cross the Atlantic, U.S. Defense Undersecretary Frank Kendall said at a briefing in Farnborough. The plane was grounded following an engine fire on June 23 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., where pilots and maintainers are trained. The fire is thought to have been caused by friction between blades and the cowl around them. The jet has already missed an appearance at the naming of a U.K. aircraft carrier from which it will serve, the Royal International Air Tattoo and the first day of the Farnborough show, which runs until Sunday. (Source: Bloomberg, 07/14/14)

AF reorganizing, cutting positions

The Air Force will eliminate 3,459 positions through a major reorganization of headquarters across the nation and overseas. The Air Force said today it would deactivate and realigning organizations at headquarters Air Force, major commands, numbered air forces and field operating agencies, resulting in savings of $1.6 billion across the Air Force in the next five years. The reorganization will help meet the Department of Defense's directive to reduce costs and staff levels by at least 20 percent. As part of ongoing cost savings initiatives, the Air Force will also continue to reduce contract spending, operating budgets and travel expenditures. (Source: DoD, 07/14/14) Gulf Coast note: Hurlburt Field, Fla., will lose 22 positions and Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., will lose one. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 07/14/14)

Trent 7000 picked for A330neo

Rolls-Royce today announced that Airbus picked the new Trent 7000 as the exclusive engine for the Airbus A330neo. The Trent 7000, launched today, is the seventh member of the Trent engine family. Over the last 19 years, Rolls-Royce Trent engines have accumulated more than 75 million flight hours. The majority of modern widebody aircraft, either in service or on order, are powered by Trent engines. (Source: Rolls-Royce, 07/14/14) Gulf Coast note: Rolls-Royce tests Trent engines at its outdoor facility at Stennis Space Center, Miss.

SDB II steps up integration work

Raytheon, the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force have begun Small Diameter Bomb II integration activities on the F-35, F/A-18E/F, and F-16 aircrafts. Preliminary SDB II fit checks and pit tests have been completed on the F-35, supporting the Joint Strike Fighter's ability to carry eight SDB IIs internally. SDB II can strike targets from a range of more than 40 nautical miles, with a dynamic warhead that can destroy both soft and armored targets while keeping collateral damage to a minimum through a small explosive footprint. (Source: Raytheon via PRNewswire, 07/14/14) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 training center, and manages SDB Increment II.

Contract: Raytheon, $80.8M

Raytheon has been awarded an $80,768,012 firm-fixed-price and cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the Lot 7 Miniature Air Launched Decoy Jammer (MALD-J) missile (200 each) to include: data, mission planning, process verification program, and operational flight software. Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz., and is expected to be completed by June 30, 2016. This award is a result of a sole-source acquisition. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center/EBJM, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity (FA8682-14-C-0004). (Source: Raytheon via PRNewswire, 07/14/14)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

American picks LEAP-1A

FARNBOROUGH, England -- American Airlines has selected CFM International's LEAP-1A engine to power its new fleet of 100 Airbus A320neo family aircraft. CFM values the engine order at $2.6 billion U.S. at list price. The aircraft order was originally announced in July 2011 and American will begin taking delivery in 2017. American has been a CFM customer since 1996 and the airline's fleet includes 375 Airbus A320 family and Boeing 737 aircraft powered by CFM56 engines. CFM International is a joint venture of General Electric and Safran. (Source: Business Wire, 07/13/14) Gulf Coast note: Airbus is building an A320 final assembly line in Mobile, Ala.; GE Aviation has a jetliner engine parts plant near Hattiesburg, Miss., and Auburn, Ala.; Safran has an engineering center in Mobile.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Navy keeps F-35 grounded

The U.S. Navy on Friday maintained a grounding order for F-35B and F-35C variants, saying it was still not clear what caused an engine failure on an Air Force F-35 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., last month. "At this time, I do not have sufficient information to return the F-35B and F-35C fleet to flight," Vice Admiral David Dunaway, who heads the Navy's Air Systems Command, said in an update to a fleetwide grounding order issued by U.S. officials on July 3. A copy of the document was obtained by Reuters. Hopes had been high three F-35Bs would attend the Farnborough International Airshow, which begins next week. (Source: Reuters, 07/12/14, The Hill, 07/11/14)

Friday, July 11, 2014

LHA 6 heads to California

PASCAGOULA, Miss. -- The Navy's newest amphibious assault ship, LHA 6, set sail from Ingalls Shipbuilding Friday morning. America, which can accommodate 1,059 crew and 1,687 Marines, is slated for a commissioning on Oct. 11 in San Francisco. It will be homeported in San Diego. The ship can carry a variety of aircraft, including 12 MV-22 Osprey, nine F-35B Joint Strike Fighters, four AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters, four CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters and two MH-60S search and rescue helicopters. (Source: Mississippi Press, 07/11/14)

Pensacola starting new aero pipeline

PENSACOLA, Fla. – The Escambia County School District and Pensacola State College are moving ahead with plans to create a pipeline of talent for the aerospace industry. PSC President Ed Meadows expects the aerospace program, where students can earn the airframe and powerplant certification to become aerospace mechanics, to be in place within the next two and a half to three years. The school district is beginning a similar aerospace training program at its George Stone Technical Center and has hired an instructor to teach aerospace mechanics. The first class is planned to begin in August of 2015. The district also is planning an aerospace career academy at Washington High School. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 07/10/14) Previous related; Background material: Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor 2014-2015Chapter III: The skilled worker pipeline

CFM nears $2.6B order

A General Electric joint venture is nearing an order from U.K. discount airline EasyJet for 200 jet engines valued at $2.6 billion. The Leap-1A engines from CFM International would power 100 Airbus Group A320neos that EasyJet agreed to buy in 2013. The deal may be announced at the Farnborough International Airshow in England. It would mark a setback for Pratt and Whitney, which vies with CFM to supply engines for the latest model in the top-selling A320 jet family. Safran, of France, is the other partner of CFM International. (Source: Bloomberg, 07/10/14) Gulf Coast note: Airbus is building an A320 final assembly line in Mobile, Ala.; GE Aviation has a jetliner engine parts plant near Hattiesburg, Miss., and Auburn, Ala.; Safran has an engineering center in Mobile; economic development teams from the I-10 region will attend the Farnborough air show.

SMBC nears $10B order

Irish leasing company SMBC Aviation Capital is in advanced talks to buy some 100 Airbus aircraft, which could be announced at the Farnborough Airshow. The order may include the current generation of A320 single-aisle jetliners and the more fuel-efficient A320neo, and is potentially worth up to $10 billion at list prices. Dublin-based SMBC Aviation Capital, owned by Japan's Sumitomo Mitsui Banking and until 2012 the leasing arm of Royal Bank of Scotland, declined to comment. (Source: Reuters, 07/10/14) Gulf Coast note: Airbus is building an A320 final assembly line in Mobile, Ala.; economic development teams from this region will be attending the Farnborough show.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Florida aero strength highlighted

Florida can lead the nation in aircraft manufacturing, according to a just released report by Florida TaxWatch. The study says that during the last 10 years, the number of aircraft manufacturing establishments in Florida increased by almost 60 percent. It credits the state's tax policies and Enterprise Florida’s application of incentives. The report, "Ready for Takeoff," says commercial aviation in the state is expected to increase by 5 percent annually during the next 20 years. Florida, which in late 2013 was ranked by PricewaterhouseCoopers as the most attractive state for aircraft manufacturing, is second to California in the number of aviation and aerospace establishments. Florida TaxWatch is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit research institute. (Sources: Florida TaxWatch, Florida Trend, Sunshine State News, 07/10/14)

Bombardier, PW test engine fix

Bombardier said on Wednesday that it's testing a fix for its CSeries engine with Pratt and Whitney and expects to resume flight testing in the coming weeks. An engine failure in late May grounded the new jetliner that's designed to compete in the smaller jetliner market against industry leaders Boeing and Airbus. Bombardier restarted ground tests on the $4.4 billion aircraft June 10 after engine maker Pratt said it likely understood the root cause of the problem and that it did not lie with its gearing system. Despite the delay in flight testing, Montreal-based Bombardier has said it still expects the narrow-body plane will enter service in the second half of 2015. (Source: Reuters, 07/09/14) Gulf Coast note: Airbus is building an A320 final assembly line in Mobile, Ala.; another PW engine, the F135 that powers the F-35 fighter, caught fire at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., in June.

Boeing forecast bullish

Boeing released a bullish 20-year forecast for jetliner demand, saying on Thursday that the world will need 36,770 new planes worth $5.2 trillion by 2033. The company's annual projection is up 4.2 percent from its 2013 forecast, and it predicted beating rival Airbus Group in the lucrative market for twin-aisle planes as the planes are built and delivered over the next two decades. (Source: Reuters, 07/10/14) Gulf Coast note: Airbus is building an A320 final assembly line in Mobile, Ala.

Airbus posts more openings

MOBILE, Ala. – The Airbus A320 final assembly line being built in Mobile is looking for quality inspectors for both the line and the supply chain. Both positions require at least nine months' training abroad. For a complete list of available positions associated with the Mobile project as they become available, check the Alabama Industrial Development Training program site. (Source:, 07/09/14)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Contract: Kaman, $8.5M

Kaman Precision Products Inc., Orlando, Fla., has been awarded a $8,475,368.48 firm-fixed-price modification (P00016) to FA8681-13-C-0029 for Lot 11 Production of Joint Programmable Fuze systems. The contract modification provides for the exercise of an option for an additional quantity of 3,069 state-of-the-art fuze systems being produced under the basic contract. Work will be performed at Orlando and is expected to be completed by September 2016. This contract is 8 percent foreign military sales for Morocco and Singapore. Fiscal 2012, 2013 and 2014 ammunition procurement funds in the amount of $8,475,368 will be obligated at time of award. This is not a multiyear contract. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center/EBDK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 07/09/14)

Hagel to visit Eglin, Ft. Rucker

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will visit Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and Fort Rucker, Ala., during a two-day tour that begins Wednesday. The trip is intended to ensure that the Defense Department stays focused on the long-term concerns affecting U.S. interests worldwide, said Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby. Hagel's first stop is Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in Southeast Georgia, home to Navy Ohio-class ballistic and guided-missile subs. On Thursday Hagel will be at Eglin, home of the center where F-35 pilots and maintainers are trained. It's also where an F-35 caught fire while on the runway preparing for take off. The plane has been grounded since July 3 pending an investigation. Hagel's final stop is at Fort Rucker in Southeast Alabama, home of Army aviation. (Source: DoD, 07/08/14)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Alabama team goes to airshow

MOBILE, Ala. -- A delegation of business and community leaders from the greater Mobile area will attend next week's Farnborough International Airshow in the United Kingdom. The group will tout the Mobile area's logistical and infrastructure assets. Mobile is already well-known as the city that landed an Airbus A320 final assembly line, but it has multiple aerospace and aviation companies in both Mobile and Baldwin counties, including industry giant United Technologies. The delegation includes Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson, and representatives of the Mobile County Commission, Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, Mobile Airport Authority, Alabama Port Authority and Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance. (Source: Mobile Chamber, 07/07/14)

Florida team Farnborough-bound

A five-member delegation from Northwest Florida is leaving for London later this week to attend the Farnborough International Airshow. Headed up by Florida's Great Northwest, the region's economic development marketing organization, the group includes representatives of Gulf Power, PowerSouth, the Greater Pensacola Chamber and Bay County Economic Development Alliance. The team has set up appointments over the four-day event with aerospace companies. The state of Florida will also have a booth at the air show to promote incentives, workforce advantages, tax advantages and other business-friendly programs available to aviation companies. (Source: Florida's Great Northwest, 07/08/14)

Monday, July 7, 2014

United outsourcing 630 plus jobs

United Airlines said Monday it plans to outsource some 630 ticket and gate agents and baggage handler jobs at 12 airports, including Pensacola International Airport, Fla. It's the latest cost-saving move. United would shift these jobs from its payroll and hire other companies to provide the employees under the outsourcing plan. United Continental was formed in 2010 with the merger of United and Continental. It's been trimming costs, but one of the biggest was the announced closure of the Cleveland hub. (Source: Reuters, 07/07/14)

Contract: Lockheed, $6.8M

Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $6,785,176 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee contract (N00019-12-C-0004) to provide maintenance for Lot VII F-35 air systems in support of the U.S. Marine Corps and the government of the Netherlands. Work will be performed in Beaufort, S.C. (55 percent) and Yuma, Ariz., (45 percent), and is expected to be completed in March 2015. This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Marine Corps (90.5 percent) and the government of the Netherlands (9.5 percent). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 07/07/14)

Mobile studied for aero guidance

PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Representatives from the Greater Pensacola Chamber and a delegation of regional partners and educators went to Mobile, Ala., earlier this month to tour aerospace and aviation facilities. The visit was to help develop aerospace and aviation workforce training programs and education curricula in Northwest Florida. The group visited ST Aerospace Mobile, which is planning to establish a satellite operation in Pensacola, Mobile Regional Airport and the Mobile Aeroplex, site of the future Airbus A320 final assembly line. Attendees met with senior-level executives, community leaders and partners in education to discuss aeronautical career opportunities and current training programs. (Source: Greater Pensacola Chamber, 07/07/14)

Linde gets NASA contract

NASA has awarded a contract to Linde LLC to supply liquid nitrogen and liquid oxygen to six of its research/space flight centers, including Stennis Space Center, Miss., and Michoud Assembly Facility, New Orleans. The contract calls for Linde to supply over 360,000 tons of liquid nitrogen and some 64,000 tons of liquid oxygen to support operations. Other centers covered by the contract are Glenn Research Center, Ohio; Goddard Space Flight Center, Md.; Johnson Space Center, Texas; and Marshall Space Flight Center, Ala. Nitrogen is used by the agency for pneumatic actuation, purging and inerting, pressurization, and for its cooling value. Oxygen is used as an oxidizer in cryogenic rocket engines. Linde LLC is part of Linde North America Inc., part of the Linde Group of Germany, the world's largest industrial gas company. (Source: Linde via PRNewswire, 07/07/14)

Friday, July 4, 2014

2nd AF gets new commander

BILOXI, Miss. – Brig. Gen. Mark Brown took command of the Second Air Force during a ceremony Thursday. Brown comes to the Second Air Force, which conducts basic military and non-flying technical training, after serving as comptroller, Headquarters Air Force Materiel Command, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. He takes over for Maj. Gen. Leonard Patrick, who took command in July 2011. (Source: Sun Herald, 07/03/14)

Drone unit now at Hurlburt

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- The 919th Special Operations Wing welcomed the 2nd Special Operations Squadron, its remotely piloted aircraft unit, to Northwest Florida. The 2nd SOS, comprised of about 140 Air Force reservists formerly located at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., began RPA operations at Hurlburt June 14. The unit is at Hurlburt, but none of the aircraft will be located here. Remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs) are flown in various combat theaters worldwide. The 2nd SOS Airmen are associated with their active-duty counterparts in the 3rd SOS, assigned to Air Force Special Operations Command's 27th SOW at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. In addition to changing locations, the squadron also changed aircraft from the MQ-1 Predator to the MQ-9 Reaper a couple of months ago. In 2009, when the 2nd SOS was first activated at Nellis, most of Air Force RPA functions, including AFSOC RPA, were centralized in Nevada. The move to Hurlburt completes the process of placing AFSOC RPA operations on AFSOC bases. Since its inception, the 2nd SOS has flown 57,225 hours on 2,346 combat support sorties. (Source: AFNS, 07/03/14)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Plane makes emergency landing

PENSACOLA, Fla. -- American Airlines Flight 386, traveling from Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), experienced smoke or an odor in the cabin. As a precaution, the MD-80 was diverted to Pensacola International Airport (PNS) and landed without incident around 8 p.m. All 115 passengers and five crew members are safe, and arrangements were being made to board them on another flight to DFW. (Sources: Pensacola News Journal, City of Pensacola, Fox10-TV, 07/03/14)

Statement on F-35 grounding

The technical air worthiness authorities of the Department of the Air Force and Department of the Navy have issued a directive to ground the F-35 fleet based on initial findings from the runway fire incident that occurred at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., on June 23. According to Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby, the root cause of the incident remains under investigation. Additional inspections of F-35 engines have been ordered, and return to flight will be determined based on inspection results and analysis of engineering data. Preparations continue for F-35 participation in international air shows in the United Kingdom, however a final decision will come early next week. (Source: DoD, 07/03/14) Previous: Source: All F-35s to be inspected; AF keeps limits on F-35 flights

Italy nears F-35 maintenance deal

Italy is closing in on a deal with the U.S. to become the top maintenance provider for the F-35 fighter in Europe through a unit of state-controlled Finmeccanica, Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti said. The push for a role in maintenance emphasizes Pinotti's commitment to the F-35 program, even as Italy considers cutting its order for the fighter jets. Frank Kendall, the Pentagon's top weapons buyer, will visit the plant in Cameri, Italy, on July 18, Pinotti said. Italy and the UK are buying the F-35B variant. Italy announced in February 2012 that its initial planned purchase of 131 jets would be reduced to 90. (Source: Bloomberg, 07/02/14) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 training center for pilots and maintainers; Finmeccanica's Selex Galileo has an operation at Stennis International Airport in Kiln, Miss., near NASA's Stennis Space Center. The company also has a DRS Technologies operation in Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

Top dogs going to Farnborough

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James and Frank Kendall, chief of Pentagon acquisition, will be among the senior American officials going to the Farnborough Air Show this year. That's according to Breaking News editor Colin Clark. It will be the largest and highest-ranking U.S. contingent to attend a major air show in several years, he wrote. The F-35 isn't flying now during an investigation into a fire that struck one F-35A at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., home of the F-35 training center. But three Marine variant F-35B models flew to Maryland after the fire and are preparing to fly to the UK for Farnborough and the earlier Royal International Tatoo. (Source: Breaking Defense, 07/02/14)

Sources: All F-35s to be inspected

Reuters is reporting that U.S. and British military officials are working on a joint directive to require mandatory inspections of engines on all Lockheed Martin F-35 jets, after an Air Force F-35A caught fire at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., last week. That's according to sources familiar with the situation, according to Reuters. Eglin is home of the F-35 training center, and the incident there involved the third stage of the Pratt and Whitney F135 engine, the sources said. "The engine ripped through the top of the plane," one said. The inspections could take about 90 minutes, and will prevent a planned F-35 "fly by" at the July 4 naming ceremony of Britain's new aircraft carrier. But the U.S. Marine Corps said it still plans to send four jets to participate in the Royal International Air Tatoo and Farnborough International Air Show. (Source: Reuters, 07/02/14)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Contract: Lockheed, $29.6M

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $29,574,329 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee contract (N00019-02-C-3002) to define the tasks required to update the F-35 Lightening II Joint Strike Fighter Air System to be in compliance with informational security functional constraints. Work will be performed in Orlando, Fla., (70 percent) and Fort Worth (30 percent) and is expected to be completed in January 2017. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 07/02/14) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 training center.

Boeing, NASA sign SLS pact

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Boeing finalized a contract with NASA to develop the core stage of the Space Launch System (SLS), the most powerful rocket ever built. The $2.8 billion contract validates Boeing's earlier selection as prime contractor on the SLS core stage, including avionics, under an undefinitized contract authorization. In addition, Boeing will study the SLS Exploration Upper Stage, which will further expand mission range and payload capabilities. The agreement comes as NASA and Boeing complete the Critical Design Review (CDR) on the core stage, the last major review before full production begins. During the CDR, experts examined and confirmed the final design of the rocket's cryogenic stages that will hold liquefied hydrogen and oxygen. It's NASA's first CDR on a deep-space human exploration launch vehicle since 1961, when the Saturn V rocket underwent a similar review. (Source: Boeing, 07/02/14) Gulf Coast note: Michoud Assembly Facility, New Orleans, is building the core stage and the Orion multi-purpose crew vehicle, part of the SLS program; Stennis Space Center, Miss., tests the SLS engines.

J-2X testing completed

Aerojet Rocketdyne recently completed its final J-2X test series at NASA's Stennis Space Center, Miss. Over three years Aerojet Rocketdyne teams manufactured, assembled, and tested four newly developed engine test articles that achieved an accumulated duration of nearly five hours firing time and demonstrated full power operation for twice its designed life service. The liquid-oxygen/liquid-hydrogen fueled engine is designed to start at altitude and re-start in space as part of a second or third stage of a large, multi-stage launch vehicle. With its full nozzle extension installed, the J-2X is more than 15 feet tall and 10 feet in diameter at its base and weighs 5,400 pounds. The engine is one of several options being considered to power the upper stage of NASA's future 130-metric-ton Space Launch System, designed to launch crew and cargo to deep space destinations. Aerojet Rocketdyne is a GenCorp company. (Source: Product Design and Development, 06/30/14)

Restored jet marks anniversaries

PENSACOLA, Fla. -- A restored F/A-18 jet painted in the blue and gold colors of a Blue Angel jet, was unveiled at the entrance to Naval Air Station Pensacola on Tuesday. The unveiling is one of a series of events this year marking the 100th anniversary of the base and 50th anniversary of the Blue Angels flight demonstration team. The F/A-18 replaced an F-11 that had been on display at the site since 1965. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 07/02/14)

Deal near on CFM engines

American Airlines Group is close to finalizing an order for 200 CFM International engines to equip 100 A320neo jetliners that the airline has on firm order, according to three people familiar with the matter. The deal, worth some $2.6 billion at list price, is a loss for Pratt and Whitney, a unit of United Technologies, which makes the other engine offered on the A320neo. CFM International is a joint venture between GE Aviation and Safran. (Source: Reuters, 07/02/14) Gulf Coast note: Airbus is building an A320 final assembly line in Mobile, Ala.; Safran has an engineering center in Mobile; GE Aviation has a jet engine parts manufacturing plant near Hattiesburg, Miss.; UTC has an operation in Foley, Ala.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Contract: L-3 Vertex, $151.4M

L-3 Communications Vertex Aerospace LLC, Madison, Miss., is being awarded a $151,365,660 indefinite-delivery requirements contract to provide organizational, intermediate, and depot level maintenance and logistics services in support of about 200 T-45 aircraft based at Naval Air Station Meridian, Miss.; NAS Kingsville, Texas; NAS Pensacola, Fla; and NAS Patuxent River, Md. Logistics services to be provided include sustaining engineering, supply and government property management, and procurement of associated parts and materials. Work will be performed in Kingsville (48 percent); Meridian (44 percent); Pensacola (7 percent); and Patuxent River (1 percent), and is expected to be completed in September 2015. Contract funds will not be obligated at time of award. Funds will be obligated on individual delivery orders as they are issued. This contract was competitively procured via an electronic request for proposals; four offers were received. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, is the contracting activity (N00019-14-D-0011). (Source: DoD, 07/01/14)