Thursday, October 30, 2008

Two Blue Angels removed from duty

PENSACOLA, Fla. - Two members of the Navy's Blue Angels, one a pilot, were removed from duty with the team for allegedly having an inappropriate relationship. The six-plane team will fly the rest of the season – three shows that end Nov. 15 – with five F-18s. Neither team member was identified. The Blue Angels flight demonstration team is based at Naval Air Station Pensacola. (Source: AP, Navy Times, 10/30/08)

Ares I test launch delayed

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - NASA's first Ares I test flight is being pushed back to July 12 because of the delay in a final Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission. But NASA is also looking at speeding up development of the new moon rocket and an Apollo-style crew capsule for the Constellation program. Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans and Mississippi’s Stennis Space Center are both involved in Constellation. (Source: Florida Today, 10/30/08)

Land near base to be preserved

MILTON, Fla. - Gov. Charlie Crist and the cabinet approved a venture with the Navy to eventually preserve more than 5,000 acres of undeveloped land around Whiting Field Naval Air Station. The vote was unanimous to begin the process by spending $1 million for an initial 208 acres near the base's northeastern and southern perimeters. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 10/30/08)

New Orleans airport ripe for more service

NEW ORLEANS, La. - Continued high demand and nearly full airplanes make New Orleans an ideal place to add air service, aviation consultant Mike Boyd said. But that doesn’t mean Louis Armstrong International Airport, which saw service slashed after Hurricane Katrina, will gain service anytime soon. (Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 10/30/08)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Test stand takes shape at Stennis

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – A new 300-foot rocket engine test stand is rising above the trees at NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center. Fabricated steel began arriving by truck Oct. 24 for construction of the A-3 test stand that will be used to test the J-2X engine for the next generation of rockets. Work began with groundbreaking ceremonies in August 2007. The J-2X will power both Ares I and Ares V. It will be required to start at high altitudes, and the new test stand is designed to test the it at simulated altitudes of up to 100,000 feet. (Source: NASA, 10/28/08)

Gunships improve situational awareness

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - Air Force Special Operations gunships will be getting a new tool to provide increased situational awareness. The 46th Test Squadron conducted a flight test of the Rockwell Collins Data Link Processor and software that demonstrated Link 16 messaging between an AC-130, a Hurlburt Field ground station, a system integration lab at Eglin and an F-16. AC-130 aircraft can exchange battlespace information with ground and airborne participants, allowing the AC-130 to take on a mission commander role. Rockwell Collins supplies the data and display processing systems to BAE Systems, which will integrate the Link 16 capabilities onto the platform. (Source: Rockwell Collins, 10/29/08)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Boeing-union pact would limit outsourcing

Boeing and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers reached a tentative agreement Monday night. IAM says the new contract limits the amount of work outside vendors can perform in the workplace. Some 27,000 union members are on strike in Washington, Oregon and Kansas. Boeing also has Gulf Coast operations in New Orleans, La., and Fort Walton Beach, Fla. (Source: Aviation Week, 10/28/08)

Peer review may reduce protests

Two Air Force programs delayed by protests will be among the first subjected to a new review system. The new process will require Army and Navy officials to conduct peer reviews of the Air Force programs before, during and after contract decisions. The Air Force will help review contracts for the other branches. The new process began Sept. 30 for all programs worth $1 billion or more. EADS and Northrop Grumman had planned to build a refueling tanker in Mobile, but a Boeing protest was upheld. The Pentagon later decided to table the project until the next administration. (Source: Bloomberg, 10/27/08)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ares test rocket on water journey

CLEVELAND, Ohio - Full-scale components of the Ares I-X test rocket manufactured at NASA's Glenn Research Center was loaded on the Delta Mariner Oct. 22 for a nearly two-week trip down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to Port Canaveral, Fla. At Kennedy Space Center the components of the upper stage simulator of the Ares I-X test rocket will be integrated with other parts of the Ares I-X vehicle for launch in 2009. Ares I-X will be the first flight test vehicle of NASA's next generation launch vehicle system. Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans in the future will manufacture and assemble the upper stage of Ares I, as well as the core of Ares V and large structures for the Orion crew capsule. Stennis Space Center will test propulsion systems. (Source: PRNewswire 10/15/08)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Study: F-35 twice as loud as F-15

At military housing areas and base schools on Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., noise from F-35 operations will be twice as loud as F-15 flights, reaching 83 decibels. Off base, F-35 noise will reach up to 90 decibels in neighborhoods under an Eglin flight path. That's according to an environmental impact study prompted by plans to set up the joint F-35 pilot and maintenance training school at Eglin. The city of Valparaiso has expressed concern over the noise, and filed suit for more information. The report released this month shows the number of people exposed frequently to sound levels of 75 decibels or more would rise from 142 people to 2,174. (Source: Air Force Times, 10/26/08)

Friday, October 24, 2008

AF works on cyberspace roadmap

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. - The Air Force Cyber Command (Provisional) team at Barksdale and Air Force Space Command are determining how the two groups will jointly shape the cyberspace mission. The Air Force chief of staff announced Oct. 8 that there will be no new major command formed for cyberspace operations, and it will instead be a numbered Air Force under Space Command. Barksdale and locations along the Gulf Coast were among those competing for the new headquarters. (Source: Air Force News Service, 10/24/08)

City refiles suit to get F-35 noise info

VALPARAISO, Fla. – The city of Valparaiso decided to re-file a suit against the Air Force. The city first filed suit last month seeking information about the F-35 and the noise a training center will bring to Eglin Air Force Base. The city and Eglin continued to talk and the suit wasn't served. The new lawsuit says the Air Force should provide the information free or at a reduced cost rather than the more than $1 million the military said it will cost. (Source: WEAR-TV3, 10/24/08)

Teledyne 3Q report

Profits and sales at Teledyne Technologies continued to rise in the third quarter. The Thousand Oaks, Calif., based company reported profits of $30.9 million, up 14 percent from 2007’s third quarter. The news was not as good for the company’s Mobile subsidiary, Teledyne Continental Motors. The operation laid off 20 workers from its second shift earlier this month because of slumping demand for airplane engines and parts, leaving it with about 500 workers. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 10/24/08)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Raytheon 3Q report

Raytheon said third-quarter profit rose 12 percent on higher international sales of border-security equipment and Patriot air-defense systems. The company said 2008 profit will be higher than it previously forecast and that earnings next year may exceed estimates. Profit from continuing operations beat the estimates, rising to $427 million, or $1.01 a share, from $380 million, or 86 cents, a year earlier, Waltham, Massachusetts-based Raytheon said in a statement. (Source: Bloomberg, 10/23/08)

Goodrich 3Q report

Goodrich reported third quarter 2008 net income of $168 million, or $1.33 per diluted share, on sales of $1,772 million. In the third quarter 2007, the company reported net income of $127 million, or $0.99 per diluted share, on sales of $1,602 million. Third quarter 2008 sales increased 11 percent and net income per diluted share increased 34 percent compared with the third quarter 2007. Income from continuing operations during the third quarter 2008 was $168 million, a 20 percent increase over income from continuing operations of $140 million in the third quarter 2007. (Source: PRNewswire, 10/23/08)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

General Dyamics 3Q report

FALLS CHURCH, Va. - General Dynamics reported 2008 third-quarter earnings from continuing operations of $634 million, or $1.59 per share on a fully diluted basis,compared to 2007 third-quarter earnings from continuing operations of $544 million, or $1.34 per share fully diluted. Revenues rose to $7.1 billion in the quarter, a 4.5 percent increase over third-quarter 2007 revenues of $6.8 billion. Net earnings, which were equal to earnings from continuing operations, increased 16 percent over the year-ago period. (Source: PRNewswire, 10/22/08)

Lockheed Martin 3Q report

Lockheed Martin reported third quarter 2008 net earnings of $782 million, $1.92 per diluted share, compared to $766 million, $1.80 per diluted share, in 2007. Net sales were $10.6 billion, a 5 percent decrease from third quarter 2007 sales of $11.1 billion. Cash from operations for the third quarter of 2008 was $1.0 billion, compared to $935 million in 2007. (Source: Lockheed Martin, 10/22/08)

Northrop Grumman 3Q report

WASHINGTON - Northrop Grumman said higher sales of surveillance systems helped boost its third-quarter profit 4.7 percent and spurred the defense contractor to raise its 2008 earnings forecast. The company reported net income of $512 million, or $1.51 per share, in the quarter ending Sept. 30, up from $489 million, or $1.41 per share, a year earlier. (Source: AP, 10/22/08)

Boeing 3Q report

CHICAGO – The Boeing Company’s third-quarter net income declined 38 percent, to $695 million, while earnings per share declined 33 percent to $0.96 per share, both reflecting an ongoing machinists' strike and supplier production challenges. Those items reduced third-quarter commercial airplane deliveries by about 35 units and net earnings by an estimated $0.60 per share. Revenues for the quarter declined 7 percent, to $15.3 billion. (Source: PRNewswire, 10/22/08)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Virginia-class sub launches Tomahawk

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - A Virginia class submarine fired a Raytheon Tomahawk Block IV missile from the Gulf of Mexico to engage a simulated target. The flight completes the integration of the Tomahawk cruise missile onto the Navy's newest fast-attack submarine. Tomahawk Block IV is a surface- and submarine-launched precision strike stand-off weapon. It is designed for long-range precision strike missions. (Source: PRNewswire, 10/21/08)

Goodrich Foley gets airline contract

FOLEY, Ala. - Goodrich Corp. won a four-year contract with US Airways to repair thrust reversers at its Foley facility. Goodrich started the work for the Phoenix-based airline in June. The contract covers thrust reversers for an engine found on Airbus A320. Over the past 12 months Goodrich has repaired about 500 thrust reversers. Goodrich employs about 800 people in Foley. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 10/21/08)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Contract: Rush-Peak Three, $9.2M

Rush-Peak Three, Titusville, Fla., was awarded a $9.24 million firm fixed fee price contract for construction of a multi-story parking garage at the headquarters of U.S. Special Operations Command compound at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., with completion Feb. 27, 2010. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District, Mobile, Ala., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 10/20/08)

Contract: Raytheon, $12.9M

The Air Force is modifying a cost plus fixed fee contract with Raytheon Missile Systems of Tucson, Ariz., for $12.94 million to provide 436 propulsion sections to be installed into AIM-120B Air Vehicles. This effort supports foreign military sales to Turkey, Denmark, and Finland. 695ARSS, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 10/20/08)

Mississippi forges ties to Japan NASA

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. - A delegation of Mississippi’s space industry traveled to Tokyo to meet with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency following the delegation's participation in the 2008 Japan International Aerospace Exhibition in Yokohama. Craig Harvey, COO of NVision Solutions Inc., John Henry Jackson of the Mississippi Development Authority and Mark Lanoue, CEO of Emerging Technologies LLC, discussed Mississippi's role in global space technology markets with JAXA officials. Mississippi is home to Stennis Space Center and has interests in propulsion systems and geospatial technologies. (Source: NVision Solutions, 10/20/08)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Mini robots focus of FWB workshop

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. - Navigation systems for miniature autonomous systems will be the topic of a workshop Monday through Wednesday at the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort. "Challenges for Miniature Autonomous Systems" is sponsored by Eglin Air Force Base's Air Force Research Lab/Munitions Directorate. Trends show future autonomous systems will be less than 20 pounds, air-launched from small UAVs and used in greater numbers than current systems. Technical challenges include navigation, sensors and payloads. The workshop is for the DoD technical and user community, academia and industry. (Source: The Institute of Navigation)

Friday, October 17, 2008

AC-27 gunship buy OKd for Special Ops

FORT WALTON BEACH, FL. - InsideDefense says the Air Force Special Operations Command received a nod from the Pentagon to buy 16 L-3 Communications-Alenia AC-27 gunships. The plane, based on the Italian Alenia C-27 transport, is small than the Special Ops AC-130 and would supplement that aircraft. In addition to either a 30-millimeter or 40-millimeter gun, the AC-27 will fire stand-off, precision-guided munitions like the Viper Strike bomb. AF Special Ops is headquartered at Hurlburt Field, Fla. (Source: InsideDefense, 10/17/08)

JSF impact statement released

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - The final Environmental Impact Statement about the new missions at Eglin Air Force Base is now available. The study is part of the process for moving the Joint Strike Fighter and the 7th Special Forces Group to Eglin. The release marks the start of a 30-day public review. The document is available at the Eglin Web site and area public libraries. There have been some complaints about the noise the F-35 will bring to communities surrounding Eglin. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 10/17/08)

Interest in Gulfport airport keen

GULFPORT, Miss. - Aviation-related businesses have shown keen interest in an area near Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport. Airport Authority Commissioner Frank Genzer noted the interest during Thursday's quarterly meeting of the Sun Herald Business Roundtable. Much of the interest has been about a road that will lead to a new air-cargo facility and general aviation. He did not name names. (Source: The Sun Herald, 10/17/08)

IHMC's Ford named NASA advisory council chair

PENSACOLA, Fla. - Ken Ford, director of the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, was named chairman of the NASA Advisory Council. He replaces Jack Schmitt, another scientist who walked on the moon in 1972. The council provides the space agency with advice on programs and various issues of importance. Ford was appointed to the NASA Advisory Council in 2007. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 10/17/08)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Contractor taking over Keesler support

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. - Keesler leaders and Computer Sciences Corp. officials are working together to ensure a smooth transition from government to contractor responsibility for Keesler Air Force Base support operations. CSC will begin picking up the workload Nov. 1 in a transition that will take 90 days. Roger Condit, CSC program manager at Keesler, said the recruiting efforts have resulted in more than 1,300 job applicants to date. More than 90 percent of the positions have been filled. (Source: Keesler Air Force Base, 10/16/08)

Work with NASA forum lures 150

NEW ORLEANS, La. - An economic development forum Wednesday attracted about 150 small business owners who want to learn more about doing business with NASA. Louisiana Aerospace Industry Day was sponsored by Boeing and Lockheed Martin, both major NASA contractors on the next-generation Constellation program. The group heard from representatives of about a dozen companies. Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans will build some of the spacecraft for Constellation and Stennis Space Center in Mississippi will test the propulsion systems. (Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 10/16/08)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tanker program gets new manager

ARLINGTON, Va. - EADS North America named Randy Hutcherson vice president and program manager for EADS North America Tankers, the business unit with primary subcontractor responsibility in support of the Northrop Grumman KC-45A tanker. EADS and Northrop Grumman had planned to assemble the KC-45A in Mobile, Ala., but the contract was terminated following a Boeing protest and punted to the next administration. Hutcherson previously was EADS North America vice president for rotorcraft programs. David D. Haines has been appointed to the rotorcraft post. (Source: EADS North America, 10/15/08)

Trent Lott named to EADS NA board

EADS North America announced the appointment of Trent Lott, former senator from Mississippi, to the company's board of directors. Lott is the former U.S. Senate Majority Leader who also served in the House of Representatives. EADS North America CEO Ralph Crosby said Lott will provide "invaluable expertise as our company expands its presence in the U.S. defense and homeland security sectors." EADS owns Eurocopter in Mississippi and still hopes to build aerial tankers in Mobile, Ala. (Source: EADS North America, 10/15/08)

Raytheon missile in Navy user program

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - Raytheon's AIM-120C7 advanced medium range air-to-air missile has entered the Navy's weapon system user program. Two Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet strike-fighters fired two Raytheon-built missiles, an AIM-120C7 and AIM-9X, the first time the two were launched by a fleet-assigned operational Super Hornet and the first time the Navy employed both missiles in the same mission. The firings were a joint effort with the Air Force's Weapon System Evaluation Program and showed the AIM-120C7 can operate in a joint environment. The missiles were fired by aircraft assigned to the Navy's VFA-143 squadron and were launched against a BQM-167A target drone during a mission with Air Force F-15Cs from Eglin Air Force Base's 60th Fighter Squadron. (Source: PR Newswire, 10/15/08)

Stennis-Michoud group formed

NEW ORLEANS, La. - Louisiana and Mississippi officials are meeting in New Orleans today to explore ways to leverage Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans and John C. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi as an economic development magnet. The group, which includes leaders of economic development organizations in both states, will discuss steps to make the aerospace corridor attractive to aerospace companies. Michoud and Stennis will be heavily involved in the Constellation program. Michoud will build portions of the spacecraft and Stennis will test propulsion systems. (Source: Tcp, 10/15/08) (Background: “Is giant leap in the making?” Alliance Insight, 01/2008)

Seven Hurlburt airmen awarded medals

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. - Seven airmen were honored Tuesday for actions in Afghanistan. Lt. Gen. Donald Wurster, commander of the Air Force Special Operations Command, awarded three Bronze Stars and seven Air Force Combat Action Medals to members of the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 10/14/08)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

PC research park moves forward

PANAMA CITY, Fla. - Plans to develop a research park on under-utilized land at Lynn Haven Fuel Depot are moving forward. Tyndall Development Partners LLC, owned and managed by Hunt ELP Ltd., of El Paso, Texas, was selected to negotiate the transfer. The Lynn Haven Fuel Depot property consists of three parcels totaling 184 acres. Forty acres will be transferred to Florida State University to use as a satellite campus; 50 acres is a railroad right-of-way that will likely be used to improve access to the site; and the remaining 94 acres will be developed by Tyndall Development Partners, LLC. (Source: Air Force Link, 10/14/08)

Austrian UAV lands on French ship

It was a milestone when a Northrop Grumman Fire Scout helicopter drone landed on a ship in January 2006. Now an Austrian Camcopter S-100 has done so. Last week French shipyard DCNS demonstrated a deck landing and take-off system, called the SADA, using an Austrian-built Schiebel VTOL. The Northrop Grumman Fire Scout is built in part in Moss Point, Miss. (Source: Aviation Week, 10/13/08)

Monday, October 13, 2008

No agreement in Boeing strike

SEATTLE - A second round of mediated talks between Boeing and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers adjourned without agreement. No new talks are set. Some 27,000 employees in Washington, Oregon and Kansas have been on strike since Sept. 6. Boeing also has operations in the Gulf Coast. (Source: PR Newswire, 10/13/08)

GD Niceville part of JAGM missile project

The Lockheed Martin team chosen for a $122 million technology development contract for the Joint Air-to-Ground Missile system includes General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems of Niceville, Fla., which will focus on the multi-purpose warhead. JAGM replaces the HELLFIRE II and Longbow HELLFIRE missiles on the Army's Apache attack helicopter, the Warrior unmanned aerial system, the Arapaho reconnaissance helicopter, the Marine Corps' Super Cobra attack helicopter and on the Navy's Seahawk. JAGM will also replace the Maverick missile on the F/A-18 Hornet and may be used on the F-35. (Source: Lockheed Martin, 10/08/08)

LM Stennis delivers key satellite system

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - The largest A2100 spacecraft core structure ever built by Lockheed Martin has been delivered to the company's Sunnyvale, Calif., facility. The core structure with an integrated propulsion subsystem is the first satellite in the Navy's Mobile User Objective System constellation. The design features third generation mobile technology for simultaneous voice and data services. It was developed and tested at Lockheed Martin's Mississippi Space and Technology Center, an advanced propulsion, thermal, and metrology facility at John C. Stennis Space Center. (Source: Lockheed Martin, 10/13/08)

Robots over South Mississippi

MOSS POINT, Miss. - It will be a significant milestone when it occurs. Early next year a Northrop Grumman-built Fire Scout will have its first production test flight over South Mississippi. (Source: Alliance Insight, October 2008)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Nodine claims split tanker buy in works

Mobile County Commissioner Stephen Nodine says that, according to his best sources on Capitol Hill, the Pentagon likely will authorize buying tankers from both Boeing and the Northrop Grumman/EADS team. That's according to an item in a Sunday column by Pensacola News Journal reporter Carlton Proctor. The Pentagon has said it's too costly, but lately there's been more talk from a lot of circles about a split buy. Boeing wants to build tankers in Washington State, Northrop/EADS wants to build them in Mobile, Ala. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 10/12/08)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Rerouted planes prompt noise complaints

MOBILE, Ala. - Repairs on the main runway at Brookley Field have changed flight patterns, prompting some Midtown Mobile residents to complain about the noise. The 75-day project should be finished by early December. The main runway was closed to install new lights and planes are using the secondary runway. Brookley has about 89,000 takeoffs and landings per year, or more than 200 a day. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 10/10/08)

FAA OKs Goodrich composite cowl

FOLEY, Ala. - Goodrich Corp. received FAA certification for a lightweight fan cowl for V2500-A5 engine nacelles. Goodrich's Aerostructures business unit, through its Alabama Service Center in Foley, Ala., will provide a one-piece cowl as part of its aftermarket support program. The cowl, developed with Bombardier Aerospace of Northern Ireland, uses Bombardier's resin transfer infusion process that replaces the traditional honeycomb interior. The International Aero Engines V2500-A5 is widely used on the Airbus A320 aircraft, including the A319 and A321. There are about 2,500 of the engines in service worldwide. (Source: Tcp, Goodrich release, 10/09/08)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Aerospace industry day set

NEW ORLEANS, La. - The Louisiana Technology Council is hosting a Louisiana Aerospace Industry Day Oct. 15 at the New Orleans Sheraton. Small business specialists from Huntsville's Marshall Space Flight Center and Mississippi's Stennis Space Center and Shared Services Center will give presentations on contracting opportunities. Sen. David Vitter is the scheduled speaker. Details. (Source: Tcp, 10/09/08)

NASA transition job losses updated

NASA released the latest estimates on the number of jobs that will be lost with the transition from the Space Shuttle program to Constellation. For Mississippi's Stennis Space Center, the figure is the same as the previous March estimate – 200. In FY 2008 Stennis had 400 in the space program. Back in March NASA estimated Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans would lose between 800 and 1,300 jobs in the transition. The latest estimate settles on the 800 figure. Michoud in FY 2008 had 1,900 workers. (Source: Tcp, 10/09/08)

Cyber command fades

BILOXI, Miss. - Air Force senior leaders met in Colorado Springs last week and decided to establish a nuclear major command rather than a separate Air Force cyber command. Biloxi and other cities around the country had put in pitches to be chosen as headquarters for the cyber command. Now it will be a numbered air force within space command. (Source: The Sun Herald, 10/09/08)

Michoud reduces job losses

NEW ORLEANS, La. - Three dozen workers were laid off Wednesday at the Michoud Assembly Facility in eastern New Orleans, fewer than the 200 expected in the first round of employment reductions as the space shuttle program winds down. Cuts in the Lockheed Martin workforce had been expected as the contract to build shuttle external fuel tanks end. All of the tanks needed to fly the shuttle before its 2010 retirement are already in production. (Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 10/09/08)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Florida airport expansion delayed

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - Financial market uncertainties led officials at Northwest Florida Regional Airport - the former Okaloosa County Airport - to delay an expansion of the ticketing area, concourse and baggage claim. The airport recently received a $250,000 grant from the Florida Department of Transportation for the first phase of work. They will likely decide later this year whether to move forward or to wait some more. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 10/08/08)

New Orleans airport eyes privatization

NEW ORLEANS, La. - Even as the state ponders a possible takeover of Louis Armstrong International Airport, airport officials are exploring the idea of turning it over to private management. Airport officials laid out the idea of privatizing Armstrong at a meeting of the council's Aviation Committee on the same day the Chicago approved turning Midway Airport to a private operator. (Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 10/08/08)

Contract: DRS-C3, $8.7M

DRS-C3 Systems Inc., Fort Walton Beach, Fla., was awarded an $8.69 million firm fixed price contract for 564 tube-launched optically-tracked wire guided missile launchers. Work will be performed in Fort Walton Beach, with estimated completion date of July 31, 2010. U.S. Army Aviation & Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 10/08/08)

Drone system delivered to Army

EADS North America delivered a jet-powered target drone system, DT35/DT45, to the Army for evaluation in the training of missile defense crews. The system delivered to McGregor Range, N.M., consists of subscale aerial targets, catapult launcher and ground control stations. The DT35/DT45 contract was awarded to Applied Geo Technologies Inc., a tribally-chartered aerospace corporation of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. Its corporate office is in Choctaw and it operates a unit at Stennis Space Center. EADS North America is a principal subcontractor and supplier to AGT. (Source: EADS North America, 10/07/08)

Eurocopter UH-72A hits milestone

COLUMBUS, Miss. - EADS North America marked an industrial milestone for the U.S. Army's UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopter program, delivering its first final assembly line aircraft from the production facility at Columbus, Miss. The Lakota is built by American Eurocopter, a business unit of EADS North America. (Source: EADS North America, 10/07/08)

FOIA request regarding F-35: $1.5M

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - The documents sought in a Freedom of Information Act request will take 51,428 hours to complete and cost the city of Valparaiso nearly $1.5 million. The Air Force denied a requests that the fee be waived. Valparaiso filed suit seeking records relating to BRAC, the Joint Land Use Study and draft Environmental Impact Statement. The city is concerned about the noise that a new F-35 joint training center will bring to Eglin Air Force Base. Valparaiso has not yet served the papers. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 10/07/08)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Gunship commander wins award

WASHINGTON - The aircraft commander of an AC-130H Spectre gunship won the Cheney Award for providing close-air support to troops in Afghanistan in May 2007. Capt. Chad Bubanas, 18th Flight Test Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla., and his crew were on routine patrol when they were radioed about a crashed CH-47. The gunship provided support when survivors came under hostile fire. The Cheney Award is named for 1st Lt. William Cheney, killed in an air collision in 1918. The award is presented each year to aviators who demonstrate an act of valor, extreme fortitude or self-sacrifice in a humanitarian venture. (Source: Air Force, 10/07/08)

Panhandle hurricane threat down

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - The Atlantic hurricane season runs through Nov. 30, but the Eglin Air Force Base Weather Squadron is confident the threat to the Panhandle has declined sharply. Upper level winds across the Gulf of Mexico now resemble those expected in late October or November with persistent wind shear. Richard Henning, meteorologist with the 46th Weather Squadron, said that "shuts the door about a month early on any more hurricane activity that might threaten the Panhandle." (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 10/06/08)

Schools likely to be impacted by F-35

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - A new report from the Environmental Protection Agency says children may have trouble learning in five Okaloosa County schools because of the noise when F-35s are stationed at Eglin Air Force Base. It also says some homes exposed to 75 decibels or higher should be bought from willing sellers. The report was obtained by Channel 3 News. (Source: WEAR TV3, 10/06/08)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Talks continue over tanker termination fee

EADS North America and KC-45 prime contractor Northrop Grumman are still in talks with the Air Force about termination of its tanker contract. Defense Department leadership killed the award after congressional auditors cited flaws in the process in the wake of a Boeing protest. After an initial attempt to speed through a new acquisition award this year, Pentagon leaders punted to the next administration. EADS/Northrop wanted to build the planes in Mobile, Ala., and Boeing wants to build them in Washington State. (Source: Aviation Week, 10/06/08)

Navy orders EADS helicopters

The Navy has ordered five UH-72 Light Utility Helicopter to be used for pilot training at the Naval Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, Md. The Navy joins the active Army and the Army National Guard in acquiring UH-72 Lakotas. The Navy's firm fixed-price order is valued at more than $24 million. Deliveries are scheduled from October 2009 through January 2010. The aircraft are produced in Columbus, Miss., under the management of American Eurocopter. (Source: EADS North America, 10/06/08)

NASA awards future vehicles contracts

WASHINGTON - NASA has awarded research contracts worth a total of $12.4 million to six industry teams to study advanced concepts for subsonic and supersonic commercial transport aircraft that could enter service in 25 to 30 years. The teams are led by Boeing, GE Aviation, Lockheed Martin, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Northrop Grumman. The separate 18-month study contracts are valued at some $2 million each. (Source: NASA, 10/06/08)

Student-designed lunar tools sought

WASHINGTON - A new NASA contest challenges college-level students to design tools or instrument packages that could be used on the next generation of human-driven moon rovers. Full-time students enrolled in universities, colleges, trade schools, community colleges and professional schools in the United States or its territories can compete as individuals or teams. Details. (Source: NASA)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Contract: Northrop Grumman, $23.2M

Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems of San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a contract modification for $23.2 million. This action will provide for Long Lead associated with 5 Global Hawks. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity. Portions of Global Hawk fuselages are built in Moss Point, Miss. (Source: DoD, 10/03/08)

Work begins on joint AF, Navy school

PENSACOLA, Fla. - Ground was broken Thursday at Naval Air Station Pensacola for the $45 million Air Force Navigator Training Hangar and Combat Systems Officer Instruction Facility. When finished next year, it will begin training about 400 Air Force and Navy students each year as navigators, weapons systems officers and electronic warfare officers. It replaces an Air Force school in San Antonio, Texas. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 10/03/08)

Valparaiso delays serving suit to AF

VALPARAISO, Fla. - The city of Valparaiso has not yet served to the Air Force a lawsuit filed Sept. 22. The City Commission met in executive session Thursday after some commissioners disagreed with the decision to file the Freedom of Information Act suit. The city is seeking additional information on the Joint Strike Fighter mission at Eglin Air Force Base. Residents are concerned about noise and other issues. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 10/02/08)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Avalex makes Inc. list

Aircraft display maker Avalex of Pensacola, Fla., made Inc. Magazine's 2008 list of 5,000 fastest growing private businesses in America. Avalex, which makes displays for military and surveillance aircraft, was in the 2,583rd spot with $9.2 million in reported 2007 earnings. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 10/02/08)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Contract: Rolls-Royce, $90M

Rolls-Royce Defense Services Inc., Indianapolis, Ind., was awarded a $90.4 million contract for intermediate and depot level maintenance and related support for T-45 F405-RR-401 Adour engines at Naval Air Station Kingsville, Texas, NAS Meridian, Miss., NAS Pensacola, Fla., and NAS Patuxent River, Md., to be completed in Sept. 2013. Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 10/01/08)

Contract: DTS Aviation, $14M

The Air Force is modifying a CLINS contract with DTS Aviation Services Inc., Fort Worth, Texas, for $14 million for aircraft backshop maintenance, munitions, and equipment support for the Air Armament Center and for Air Armament and Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence Systems Testing for 12 months. 96 CONS/MSCB, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 10/01/08)

Northrop CEO open to split tanker buy

The Pentagon has said buying aerial tankers from both Northrop Grumman/EADS and Boeing would be too expensive, but CEO Ron Sugar of Northrop is open to the idea. He told Reuters his company would be supportive of whatever the government wants. Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., has proposed buying from both companies. Northrop won the contract in February to assemble the tankers n Mobile, Ala., but the GAO sided with Boeing’s protest. Last month the Pentagon punted to the next administration. (Source: Reuters, 09/30/08)