Friday, November 28, 2014

Contract: Bering Sea Env., $7.1M

Bering Sea Environmental LLC, Anchorage, Alaska, has been awarded a $7,149,346 modification (P00051) to exercise an option on previously awarded contract FA4890-11-C-0004 to provide program support for Air Combat Command's Air Combat Training System Operations and Maintenance support services. Work will be performed at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.; Langley Air Force Base, Va.; Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C.; Shaw Air Force Base, S.C.; Barksdale Air Force Base, La.; Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.; Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho; Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England; Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany; and Aviano Air Base, Italy, and is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2015. Acquisition Management and Integration Center, Newport News, Va., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 11/28/14)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Contract: Lockheed, $492M

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $492,008,803 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee contract (N00019-12-C-0004) to provide non-air vehicle spares, support equipment, Autonomic Logistics Information System hardware and software upgrades, supply chain management, full mission simulators and non-recurring engineering services to support Low Rate Initial Production Lot VII F-35 aircraft for the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy and international partners. Work will be performed in Orlando, Fla. (81 percent); El Segundo, Calif. (9 percent); Fort Worth, Texas (5 percent); Owego, N.Y. (4 percent); and Samlesbury, United Kingdom (1 percent), and is expected to be completed in December 2021. This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Air Force (37 percent), the U.S. Navy (23 percent); U.S. Marine Corps (20.5 percent); and international partners (19.5 percent). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 11/26/14) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center.

Contract: Lockheed, $64.3M

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $64,283,943 cost-plus-incentive-fee contract for the modification of 14 F-35A air vehicles for the U.S. Air Force (13) and the government of the Netherlands (1), and 13 F-35B air vehicles for the U.S. Marine Corps (11) and the government of the United Kingdom (2). This contract includes procurement for 528 modification kits, installation, and labor. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (40 percent); Cherry Point, N.C. (12 percent); San Diego, Calif. (10 percent); Cedar Rapids, Iowa (7 percent); Ogden, Utah (6 percent); Nashua, N.H. (4 percent); Eglin, Fla. (3 percent); Greenville, S.C. (3 percent); Samlesbury, United Kingdom (3 percent); Edwards, Calif. (2 percent); Marabar, Fla. (2 percent); Tucson, Ariz. (2 percent); Redondo Beach, Calif. (2 percent); Orlando, Fla. (2 percent); Baltimore, Md. (1 percent); and Owego, N.Y. (1 percent), and is expected to be completed in September 2017. This modification combines purchases for the U.S. Marine Corps (48 percent); U.S. Air Force (39 percent), and international partners (13 percent). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting authority (N00019-15-C-0016). (Source: DoD, 11/26/14)

Contract: UTC, $11.5M

United Technologies Corp., Pratt & Whitney Military Engines, East Hartford, Conn., is being awarded an $11,473,337 firm-fixed-price modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee contract (N00019-13-C-0016) for annualized sustainment, procuring operations and maintenance services for Low Rate Initial Production VIII F-135 propulsion systems for F-35 aircraft. This effort will include supply chain management, inventory optimization, flight service representatives at operational sites, oversight and planning of training activities, and aircraft retrofit activities. Work will be performed at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. (6 percent), and various locations within the continental United States (94 percent), and is expected to be completed in December 2015. This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Air Force (52 percent), the U.S. Navy (46 percent), and international partners (2 percent). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 11/26/14) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Contract: UTC, $105.5M

United Technologies Corp., Pratt & Whitney Military Engines, East Hartford, Conn., is being awarded a $105,492,976 cost-plus-incentive-fee modification to the previously awarded fixed-price-incentive-firm target contract N00019-13-C-0016. This modification exercises an option for sustainment efforts and operations and maintenance services in support of Low Rate Initial Production Lot VIII F135 propulsion systems, including hardware and training course materials and equipment. The engines are used in Lockheed Martin F-35 fighters. Work will be performed in Hartford (55 percent); Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. (12 percent); Oklahoma City, Okla. (7 percent); Palmdale, Calif. (5 percent); and various locations throughout the continental United States (21 percent); work is expected to be completed in December 2015. This contract combines purchase for the U.S. Marine Corps (49 percent); the U.S. Air Force (33 percent); the U.S. Navy (10 percent); and the international partners (8 percent). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 11/25/14) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center.

RR wins $5B order

Rolls-Royce won a $5 billion order for Trent engines to power 50 new Airbus planes ordered by Delta Air Lines. Trent XWB engines will power 25 Airbus A350s and Trent 7000 engines will power 25 Airbus A330neo aircraft. Rolls Royce is the only supplier of engines for both aircraft. The Trent XWB will power the first A350 XWB into service later this year. (Sources: Rolls-Royce, 11/20/14, Reuters, 11/21/14) Gulf Coast note: Rolls-Royce tests XWB and Trent engines at its outdoor test facility at Stennis Space Center, Miss.

801st SOAMXS wins award

A Hurlburt Field maintenance squadron received the Secretary of Defense Maintenance Award for field-level medium category units. The 801st Special operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron received the award for superior aircraft maintenance during the period of Oct.1, 2012 through Sept. 30, 2013. The squadron, comprised of more than 480 Air Commandos, maintained 16 CV-22 Osprey and nine MC-130H Talon II aircraft during that period. (Source: 1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs, 11/21/14)

Contract: Lockheed, $7M

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $7,011,951 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee contract (N00019-12-C-0004) to exercise an option for interim contractor support for the F-35 Low-Rate Initial Production Lot VII air systems. Work will be performed at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C. (55 percent), and Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz. (45 percent), and is expected to be completed in November 2015. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 11/24/14) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Making way for Lakota

FORT RUCKER, Ala. - On one of the coldest days of the year in southeast Alabama, three OH-58D Kiowa Warriors Army aviation training helicopters geared up for their final flights from Fort Rucker. But despite of their departure, "aviators will continue to be trained to top standards at the home of Army Aviation," said Lt. Col. Mark Gillespie, 1st Battalion, 14th Aviation Regiment commander, an OH-58D pilot for 20 years. The Army is developing AH-64D/E helicopter models as well as continuing to develop pilots at nearby Hanchey Army Airfield using the UH-72A Lakota helicopter as the primary training aircraft. (Source: Fort Rucker, 11/21/14) Airbus Helicopters produces Lakotas in Columbus, Miss.

Friday, November 21, 2014

F-35C squadron passes milestone

The "Grim Reapers" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101, the Navy's first F-35C Lightning II carrier variant squadron, reached a milestone this month by surpassing 1,000 mishap-free flight hours in the F-35C. As the F-35C Fleet Replacement Squadron, VFA-101 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., trains Navy aircrew and maintenance personnel to fly and repair the aircraft. The unit became the Navy's first F-35C squadron after receiving the aircraft June 22, 2013, from Lockheed Martin, and completed the first check flight, Aug. 14. (Source: NNS, 11/21/14)

Contract: Raytheon, $32.2M

Raytheon Co., Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz., has been awarded a $32,221,204 modification (P00010) to previously awarded contract FA8681-13-C-0196 for Enhanced Paveway II guided bomb unit kits and a 10-year warranty for each kit. Contractor will provide 500 Enhanced Paveway II guided bomb units 49 and 50 kits (each kit includes an enhanced computer control group and an air foil group) and a 10-year warranty for each kit to be supplied to the Royal Saudi Air Force. Work will be performed at Tucson and is expected to be completed by July 1, 2016. This contract involves foreign military sales. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity (FA8681-13-C-0196). (Source: DoD, 11/21/14)

Contract: Lockheed, $4.1B

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $4,123,746,486 modification to a previously awarded fixed-price-incentive firm-target contract (N00019-13-C-0008) for the production of 43 Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Lot VIII F-35 aircraft. This includes manufacture and delivery of 29 F-35A aircraft for the U. S. Air Force (19), government of Italy (two), government of Norway (two), government of Japan (four) and government of Israel (two). In addition, this modification provides for 10 F-35B aircraft for the U.S. Marine Corps (six) and government of the United Kingdom (four); and four F-35C aircraft for the U.S. Navy (three) and U.S. Marine Corps (one). This modification also provides for LRIP Lot VIII production requirements, including diminishing manufacturing sources redesign and management, ancillary mission equipment, including pilot flight equipment, and concurrency changes to LRIP Lot VIII aircraft. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (55 percent); El Segundo, Calif. (15 percent); Warton, United Kingdom (10 percent); Orlando, Fla. (5 percent); Nashua, N.H. (5 percent); Baltimore, Md. (5 percent); and Cameri, Italy (5 percent), and is expected to be completed in May 2017. Fiscal 2014 aircraft procurement funds (Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy), international partner funds, and foreign military sales funds in the amount of $4,120,352,986, will be obligated at the time of this award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract combines purchases for the Air Force (41 percent); Marine Corps (14 percent); Navy (12 percent); international partners (19 percent); and foreign military sales (14 percent). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting authority. (Source: DoD, 11/21/14) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Contract: Kaman, $28.9M

Kaman Precision Products, Inc., Orlando, Fla., has been awarded a $28,892,973 firm-fixed-price modification (P00023) to exercise the option for Lot 11 production of joint programmable fuze systems. Contractor will provide an additional quantity of 7,846 state-of-the-art fuze systems being produced under the basic contract. Work will be performed at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2016. Fiscal 2014 and 2015 ammunition procurement funds in the amount of $28,892,973 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, is the contracting activity (FA8681-13-C-0029). (Source: DoD, 11/20/14)

Contract: Boeing, $64.4M

The Boeing Corp., St. Louis, Mo., has been awarded a not-to-exceed $64,391,684 cost-plus-incentive-fee, firm-fixed price contract for research and development leading to the procurement of 60 long delay fuzes and development of an embedded fuze system. Work will be performed at St. Louis and is expected to be completed by March 31, 2017. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Fiscal 2014 research, development, test and evaluation, and ammunition procurement funds, in the amount of $28,443,116 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity (FA8681-15-C-0050). (Source: DoD, 11/20/14)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Navy project moves forward

FOLEY, Ala. -- The Baldwin County Commission Tuesday endorsed vacating a portion of a county owned road to allow the Navy to extend a runway for new, more capable training aircraft. The nearly $30 million project has been in the works for a long time, and the Navy now believes the project can be finished by summer. The existing Doc McDuffie needs to be vacated so the Navy can expand its east-west runway at Barin Field to accommodate more advanced training aircraft. In return, the federal government will build a new road for residences and businesses located nearby. (Source: al.com, 11/18/14)

Tyndall area development OK'd

PANAMA CITY, Fla. -- A beachfront neighborhood of up to 195 homes could be allowed in the flight path of Tyndall Air Force Base after the Bay County Commission on Tuesday approved a land-use plan amendment. The request from Sugar Sands Partners to make a large-scale amendment to its comprehensive land-use plan for 165 acres would increase the maximum number of units from the current 16 residential units. Base officials said the best protection for the base’s mission would be leaving the zoning as it is, but recommended several changes if the amendment is approved, including height restrictions and buildings with enhanced noise and vibration restriction standards. (Source: Panama City News Herald, 11/18/14)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Fifth gens jointly train

F-35s and F-22s fly in formation at Eglin.
U.S. Air Force photo
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Four F-22 Raptors from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., were deployed to Eglin Air Force Base earlier this month for the unit's first operational integration training mission with the F-35A Lightning II’s of Eglin's 33rd Fighter Wing. The training was to improve integrated employment of fifth-generation assets and tactics. The training allowed both units to gain operational familiarization and capture lessons learned to improve future exercises. The F-35s and F-22s flew offensive counter air, defensive counter air and interdiction missions together, exploring ways to maximize their fifth-generation capabilities. (Source: 33rd Fighter Wing, 11/17/2014) Eglin is home of the F-35 integrated training center. F-22 pilots are trained at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.

Airbus to supply Orion module

Airbus Group will develop and build a service module for the U.S. space capsule, Orion, the first marking the first time a European firm will provide system-critical elements for a U.S. space project. Airbus Defense and Space, Europe's largest aerospace group, said the contract signed with the European Space Agency is worth around $488 million. The service module will provide propulsion, power supply, thermal control and the central elements of the life support system of the capsule designed for deep space missions. The module is based on the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) developed and constructed by Airbus on behalf of ESA as a supply craft for the International Space Station. (Source: multiple, including Reuters, 11/17/14, Space Daily, 11/18/14) Gulf Coast connections: The first space-bound Orion, slated to launch next month atop a Delta IV, was built at Michoud Assembly Facility, New Orleans. The Delta IV's RS-68 engines were tested at Stennis Space Center, Miss.; Future Orion launches will be aboard NASA's massive Space Launch System, being built in part at Michoud Assembly Facility. The SLS's RS-25 engines will be tested at Stennis Space Center; Airbus is building an A320 final assembly line in Mobile, Ala., where it also has an engineering center and an Airbus Military operation.

Contract: Airbus D&S, $18.5M

Airbus Defense and Space Inc., Herndon, Va., was awarded an $18,541,542 modification (P00858) to contract W58RGZ-06-C-0194 for contractor logistic support to include flying hours, mission equipment packages and direct labor support. Fiscal 2015 operations and maintenance (Army) funds in the amount of $18,541,542 were obligated at the time of the award. Estimated completion date is Dec. 31, 2015 .Work will be performed in Columbus, Miss. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 11/17/14)

Job postings continue

MOBILE, Ala. – Four classifications of hourly manufacturing positions at the Airbus final assembly line were posted Monday. The jobs at the plant, which will open next year, include ground handling technicians, aircraft mechanics structure installation, aircraft cabin interior installation and aircraft electrical installation. For a complete list of Airbus jobs in Mobile, visit the Alabama Industrial Development Training website. (Source: al.com, 11/17/14)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Navy marks first with Fire Scout

When the Littoral Combat Ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) departs next week for a lengthy deployment to the Western Pacific, it will mark the first deployment of the Navy's manned MH-60R Seahawk helicopter with the unmanned MQ-8B Fire Scout helicopter. Detachment 1 of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 35 (HSM-35) will be ship's aviation detachment and operate one MH-60R and one MQ-8B in the ship's first deployment. HSM-35 of Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado, Calif., is the Navy's first squadron to operate both the MH-60R and MQ-8B. The same pilots who fly the Seahawk also are tried to fly the Fire Scout. (Sources: Seapower, 11/12/14, Washington Times, Times of San Diego, 11/14/14) Gulf Coast note: Final assembly of Northrop Grumman Fire Scouts is done in Moss Point, Miss.

More jobs available

MOBILE, Ala. -- Airbus posted two more jobs Friday for the A320 final assembly line being built at the Mobile Aeroplex. One is for an aircraft conformity manager, the other for a flight line and ground handling manager. For a complete list of Airbus jobs in Mobile, visit the Alabama Industrial Development Training website. (Source: al.com, 11/14/14)

Friday, November 14, 2014

F-35 has first night flight off carrier

The Navy version of the F-35 made its first night flight off an aircraft carrier on Thursday near the end of two weeks of at-sea testing aboard the USS Nimitz. Two Lockheed Martin F-35C jets on the carrier have already met 95 percent of the requirements for the first of three rounds of sea-based tests, proving to be more reliable and performing better than expected, Navy test pilots told reporters. By midday Thursday, the jets had carried out over 101 catapult launches from the carrier, 214 planned "touch and go" landings, and 104 arrested landings using a redesigned tailhook. The tests are being done south of San Diego. (Source: Reuters, 11/13/14) Gulf Coast note: Navy and Marine pilots get initial training in Pensacola and Milton, Fla.; Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Contract: Arete, $11.7M

ArĂȘte Associates, Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded a $11,742,120 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N61331-11-C-0007) for one AN/DVS-1 coastal battlefield reconnaissance and analysis (COBRA) Block I low-rate initial production system to support the littoral combat ship mine countermeasures mission. The primary mission of AN/DVS-1 COBRA is to conduct unmanned aerial tactical reconnaissance in littoral battlespace for detection and localization of mine fields and obstacles in the surf zone and beach zone prior to amphibious assault. Work will be performed in Tucson and is expected to be completed by February 2017. The Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division, Panama City, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 11/13/14)

FAL powerhouse now online

MOBILE, Ala. – Work on the powerhouse for the Airbus A320 final assembly line was completed this week, officials said Wednesday. The powerhouse will provide utility services for the plant under construction at the Mobile Aeroplex. Designed and built by Honeywell, it will require five full-time technicians to oversee the facility when it reaches full operation. Honeywell will also manage and maintenance the facility under a 10-year service agreement with Airbus. The $600 million plant will open next year and produce its first plane, an A321, in 2016. (Source: al.com, Honeywell via PRNewswire, 11/12/14)

Global Hawk sustainment pact inked

SAN DIEGO – The Department of Defense awarded Northrop Grumman a $306 million contract to continue logistics and sustainment services on the RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system, an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft. This contract comes on the heels of Global Hawk winning the Dr. James G. Roche Sustainment Excellence Award for the second year in a row. The new agreement continues an existing contract for Global Hawk maintenance, inventory management, parts procurement and other tasks necessary to ensure the availability of the Global Hawk. (Source: Northrop Grumman, 11/12/14) Gulf Coast note: Global Hawk fuselages are built in Moss Point, Miss.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Orion hoisted atop Delta IV

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA's Orion spacecraft is at its launch pad after completing its penultimate journey in the early hours Wednesday. It arrived at Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 3:07 a.m. EST, where the spacecraft then was lifted onto a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket in preparation for its first trip to space. Orion will travel almost 60,000 miles into space Dec. 4 during an unmanned flight designed to test many of the spacecraft's systems before it begins carrying astronauts on missions to deep space. (Source: NASA, 11/12/14) Gulf Coast note: Orion was built at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility, New Orleans; the Delta IV is powered by Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-68 tested at Stennis Space Center, Miss.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Flight Design team visits Continental

MOBILE, Ala. – German light sport aircraft maker Flight Design, getting ready for the proof-of-concept flight of its new four-seat C4 aircraft, sent a team to the Continental Motors engine manufacturing plant at the Mobile Aeroplex. Flight Design's technical team attended a weeklong session covering detailed operational knowledge about the Continental IO-360-AF powerplant that was selected for the all-composite C4. The six cylinder 180 horsepower alternate fuels engine is progressing towards FAA Part 33 certification allowing operation on unleaded fuels meeting the UL91 specification or higher. All certification work is complete and FAA approval is expected in 2014. (Source: Aviation Pros, 11/10/14)

Bell 505 has maiden flight

Bell 505 Jet Ranger X has first flight.
Bell Helicopter/Business Wire photo
Bell Helicopter announced that the new Bell 505 Jet Ranger X helicopter had a successful 30-minute first flight at the company's Mirabel, Quebec, manufacturing facility. The 505 is a five-seat, single-engine turbine helicopter that was unveiled at HELI-Expo 2014 in February 2014. Bell has already received more than 240 letters of intent for the new model. (Source: Business Wire, 11/10/14) Gulf Coast note: Bell in August broke ground on an 82,300 square-foot helicopter assembly plant in Lafayette, La., about 135 miles west of New Orleans, that will assemble Bell 505 Short Light Single helicopters.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Tests begin on shape-changing wing

NASA has begun testing a aircraft wing surface that can change its shape in flight. NASA's green project could make future jetliners quieter and more fuel-efficient. The Adaptive Compliant Trailing Edge, ACTE, replaces the current trailing edge and moving parts with an assembly that bends and twists to maneuver an aircraft through the air. The lighter ACTE promises improved aerodynamics, which in turn improves fuel efficiency. The lighter weight also allows for larger fuel tanks in the wings, improving an aircraft's range. It also promises noise reduction during takeoff and landing. The ACTE project at Armstrong Flight Research Center, Calif., is a joint effort between NASA and the Air Force Research Laboratory using flaps designed and built by FlexSyst Inc., of Ann Arbor, Mich. The airfoil can be retrofitted to existing wings or integrated into new ones. (Source: NASA, 11/07/14) Gulf Coast note: Airbus, which will build A320 family aircraft in Mobile, Ala., and Boeing use winglets on the end of wings to improve fuel efficiency by reducing drag; the Air Force Research Lab has its munitions directorate at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Pilot in fatal crash identified

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE — The pilot who died when his F-16C crashed into the Gulf of Mexico Thursday has been identified as Matthew J. LaCourse, a civilian pilot assigned to the 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron. His plane went down 50 to 75 miles south of Panama City during a routine training mission. The cause has not been announced. LaCourse, 58, retired from the Air Force as a lieutenant colonel in 2000. In 2012, LaCourse, who lived in Panama City Beach, marked 2,000 flying hours in an F-4. (Source: Panama City News Herald, 11/07/14)

Friday, November 7, 2014

United to serve Bay County

PANAMA CITY, Fla. – United Airlines said this week that it will serve Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP) in early 2015. The airline will provide twice-daily, year-round service to Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Operated by United's regional branch, United Express, the first flight is scheduled to take off March 5. The company plans to use ExpressJet Airlines' 50-seat Embraer ERJ 145 aircraft. The airport is also served by Southwest Airlines. (Source: Panama City News Herald, 11/07/14)

MoU signed for 100 A320s

China Aircraft Leasing Co. signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus for 100 A320 family aircraft. The agreement involves 74 A320neo, 16 A320ceo and 10 A321ceo jetliners. Including this commitment, CALC's total order with Airbus is 140 A320 family aircraft. (Source: Airbus, 11/06/14) Gulf Coast note: Airbus is building an A320 family final assembly line in Mobile, Ala. The first jetliner that will roll out in 2016 will be an A321 for JetBlue.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Body, wreckage recovered

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – Wreckage of an F-16 fighter that crashed in the Gulf of Mexico Thursday morning and the remains of the pilot have been recovered, Air Force officials said. The jet fighter was on a routine training mission when Tyndall lost contact with the pilot. The search area was at a location some 57 miles south of Panama City, Fla. The plane, a single-seat F-16C, was assigned to the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Squadron. The name of the pilot is being withheld pending notification of relatives. Tyndall, home of the 325th Fighter Wing, trains F-22 pilots and has an operational F-22 squadron. The base provides air dominance training and, along with nearby Eglin Air Force Base, performs weapons evaluation missions. (Sources: multiple, including Panama City News Herald, 11/06/14)

F-16 believed down over Gulf

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – An F-16 fighter is believed to have crashed in the Gulf of Mexico today. A news release from Tyndall said the jet was on a routine training mission Thursday morning when contact was lost. The Coast Guard is leading the search and said crews first responded to a location some 57 miles south of Panama City, Fla. Tyndall is home of the 325th Fighter Wing and its mission is air dominance training and operations. The base's aircraft inventory include F-22 fifth-generation fighters. (Sources: multiple, 11/06/14)

Contract: Airbus D&S, $71.4M

Airbus Defense and Space, Inc., Herndon, Va., was awarded a $71,358,549 modification (P00857) to firm-fixed-price contract W58RGZ-06-C-0194 to acquire UH72A Lakota helicopters with ARC 231 radios. Fiscal 2015 other procurement (Army) funds in the amount of $71,713,665 were obligated at the time of the award. The cumulative total for the contract, with this modification, is $2,734,932,786. Estimated completion date is June 30, 2016. Work will be performed in Columbus, Miss. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal (Aviation), Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 11/06/14)

Eglin scientist best in AF

Dr. Don Grundel
A scientist from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Dr. Don Grundel, was named the Air Force’s 2013 Senior Civilian Scientist and Engineer of the Year. Under his leadership, the Systems Integration and Interface branch of the Armament Directorate was responsible for many achievements, ranging from major cost-saving initiatives to enhancing the way warfighters operate in the field. Among the achievements cited was improving survivability of the BLU-109 bunker-busting bomb by 80 percent at a cost of $50 per weapons. Also cited was qualification of the first medium-caliber ammunition, a 25mm non-energetic tungsten penetrating round, for the F-35 gun. Grundel was recognized at an Oct. 23 ceremony. (Source: Eglin Public Affairs, 11/06/14)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Orbital: Antares ditching AJ26?

Orbital Sciences Corp. has decided it will likely discontinue using the Aerojet Rocketdyne AJ26 engine to power future Antares space launch vehicles. The company said today that preliminary review of the date from last week's explosion of an Antares rocket after liftoff from Wallops Island, Va., indicates a probable turbopump-related failure in one of the two AJ26 engine. Orbital said it still plans to fulfill its contract commitments to NASA to resupply the International Space Station through one or two non-Antares launches of the company's Cygnus cargo spacecraft to the ISS in 2015-2016. Orbital Sciences said it plans an early introduction of a previously selected Antares engine upgrade in 2016. (Source: Orbital Sciences via Business Wire, 11/05/14) Gulf Coast note: Aerojet tests the AJ26 engine at Stennis Space Center, Miss. Previous

Airbus seeks procurement pros

MOBILE, Ala. -- Airbus is seeking procurement professionals for its A320 final assembly line being built at Mobile Aeroplex. The positions will be responsible for the acquisition of goods and services and maintaining vendor relationships. The position requires a bachelor's degree in business, engineering or related field or the equivalent combination of education and experience. For a complete list of Airbus jobs in Mobile, visit the Alabama Industrial Development Training website. (Source: al.com, 11/04/14)

Rolls-Royce shedding jobs

Rolls-Royce will be shedding 2,600 jobs over the next 18 months, part of an intensified program to improve operational efficiency and reduce costs. The company said in a news release Tuesday that the cuts will come principally in the aerospace division, and that the majority of the reductions will be achieved in 2015. (Source: Rolls-Royce, 11/04/14) A company spokesman said through an email that he could not specify where cuts would occur, but said a union has said it expects two-thirds of the cuts to be in the U.K. The company has 55,200 workers worldwide, and 8,500 in the United States. Rolls-Royce has an engine test facility at Stennis Space Center, Miss.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Partners can customize F-35 data

U.S. allies buying F-35 fighters will be able to customize the mission data packages loaded onto their aircraft, marking a solution to a long-standing bone of contention among partners developing the F-35. The Pentagon has a policy of never sharing the source codes for any U.S. weapons system. But partners want to be able to modify data packages to meet their needs. Data packages hold terrain and threat information for particular regions, along with data on friendly forces, all providing a pilot with battlespace awareness. Air Force Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, the F-35 program manager, said last week that a compromise has been reached through labs where partners will be able to do their own software work. The U.S. Navy will operate a mission data lab at Naval Air Station Point Mugu, Calif. Right now the Air Force's Air Combat Command reprogramming lab at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., creates all of the F-35 mission data packages. Building additional reprogramming labs will help alleviate pressure on the Eglin lab. Partner nations will also be building facilities in the U.S. to reprogram their F-35s. (Source: USNI, 11/04/14)

Booz Allen to support 96th TW

The Air Force selected Booz Allen Hamilton Engineering Services LLC to provide technical support to the 96th Test Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Under the terms of the $53 million contract, Booz Allen will provide the 96th TW with command, control, communications, computers, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities, and other technical, engineering and research management support. The 96th Test Wing is the test and evaluation center for Air Force delivered weapons; navigation and guidance systems; command and control systems, and Air Force Special Operations Command systems. The wing provides expert evaluation and validation of the performance of systems throughout the design, development, acquisition, and sustainment process to ensure the warfighter has technologically superior, reliable, maintainable, sustainable and safe systems. (Source: Business Wire, 11/04/14)

Monday, November 3, 2014

F-35 makes carrier arrested landing

SAN DIEGO -- The Navy made history Nov. 3 as an F-35C conducted its first arrested landing aboard an aircraft carrier off the coast of San Diego. Navy test pilot Cmdr. Tony Wilson landed F-35C test aircraft CF-03 at 12:18 p.m. aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68) flight deck. The arrested landing is part of initial at-sea Developmental Testing I (DT-I) for the F-35C, which commenced Nov. 3 and is expected to last two weeks. (Source: NNS, 11/03/14) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center.

Contract: Lockheed, $50M

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $49,999,799 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee contract (N00019-02-C-3002) for operational and engineering support required to integrate the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter operations with the Queen Elizabeth Class carrier for the government of the United Kingdom. Work will be performed in Samlesbury, U.K. (64 percent); Fort Worth, Texas (26 percent); and Orlando, Fla. (10 percent), and is expected to be completed in December 2017. International partner funds in the amount of $10,832,900 are being obligated on this award, none 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, 11/03/14)

Contract: Raytheon, $85.5M

Raytheon Co. Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz., has been awarded a not-to-exceed $85,500,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for Griffin missiles and support. Contractor will provide procurement of Griffin A and B Block II/III missiles and test/support equipment under firm-fixed-price contract line item number along with engineering support under a cost-plus-fixed-fee CLIN. Work will be performed at Tucson and is expected to be completed by Oct. 30, 2017. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity (FA8656-15-D-0241). (Source: DoD, 11/03/14)

Contract: L-3, $22.4M

L3 Communications Corp., Systems Field Support, Madison, Miss., has been awarded an estimated $22,354,202 firm-fixed-price and cost-reimbursement modification (P00028) to previously awarded contract FA8106-11-D-0002 to exercise the option for C-12 contractor logistics support. Work will be performed at Accra, Ghana; Andrews Air Force Base, Md.; Ankara, Turkey; Bangkok, Thailand; Bogota, Columbia; Brasilia, Brazil; Budapest, Hungary; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Cairo, Egypt; Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.; Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska; Gaborone, Botswana; Holloman Air Force Base, N.M.; Islamabad, Pakistan; Manila, Philippines; Nairobi, Kenya; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; San Angelo, Texas; Tegucigalpa, Honduras; Yokota Air Base, Japan, and is expected to be completed by Oct. 31, 2015. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 11/03/14)

Contract: Lockheed, $7.3M

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, has been awarded a $7,313,618 modification (P00573) to previously awarded contract FA8611-08-C-2897 for F-22 sustainment training systems hardware retrofits. Work will be performed at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.; Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii; and Langley Air Force Base, Va., and is expected to be completed by Nov. 3, 2015. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 11/03/14)

Contract: Multiple, $99.8M

Catalyst Professional Services Inc., Colorado Springs, Colo. (N62645-15-D-5014); Donald L. Mooney Enterprises LLC doing business as Nurses Etc. Staffing, San Antonio, Texas (N62645-15-D-5017); Loyal Source Government Services LLC, Orlando, Fla. (N62645-15-D-5015); Magnum Opus Technologies Inc., San Antonio, Texas (N62645-15-D-5016); and Potomac Healthcare Solutions LLC, Woodbridge, Va. (N62645-15-D-5018), are each being awarded a 42-month, firm-fixed-priced, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, multiple award task order contract for various medical services that include the labor categories of Allied Health, Technologist, Technician and Assistant services at Military Treatment Facilities in the Southeastern Region of the United States. The aggregate not-to-exceed amount for these multiple award contracts combined is $99,773,371. These five companies will have the opportunity to bid on each individual task order. Work will be performed at the Naval Hospital Jacksonville, Fla. (25 percent); Naval Health Clinic Corpus Christi, Texas (25 percent); Naval Hospital Pensacola, Fla. (25 percent); Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune, N.C. (10 percent); Naval Hospital Beaufort, S.C. (3 percent); Naval Hospital Cherry Point, N.C. (3 percent); Naval Health Clinic Charleston, S.C. (3 percent); Navy Medicine Operational Training Center Pensacola (3 percent); and associated branch clinics (3 percent). Work is expected to be completed July 31, 2018. The Naval Medical Logistics Command, Fort Detrick, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 11/03/14)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Blue Angels homecoming near

PENSACOLA, Fla. – The Blue Angels will end the show season with a homecoming at Sherman Field at Naval Air Station Pensacola Nov. 7 through Nov. 9. The air show draws an average of 50,000 people on Friday and 100,000 on Saturday, but this year a third day is being added on Sunday. Friday's show is at 4 p.m. and Saturday's and Sunday's will be at 9 a.m. The Blue Angels will perform at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 11/02/14)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

F-35 engine fix coming

The head of the F-35 program office said that by the end of December he expects to have decided on a permanent solution for a design issue that caused an F-35A engine to fail in June at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Engine-maker Pratt and Whitney has offered several potential fixes, some of which already are being tested, said Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher C. Bogdan. The engine failure and subsequent fire were the result of micro fractures in one of the three-stage fan sections that compress air before it enters the engine. These sections are lined with a polyimide material that is designed to rub against the fan blades to reduce pressure loss. In the case of AF-27, the third fan rubbed in excess of tolerance during maneuvers several weeks before the failure, causing the blades to heat to about 1,900 degrees -- 900 more than ever expected, Bogdan said. This led to micro fractures in the titanium part of the rotor, which grew over the next few weeks of flying before finally failing. (Source: AFNS, 10/31/14)