Saturday, February 28, 2009

Extra flight to Charlotte to resume

GULFPORT, Miss. - Early-morning flights between Gulfport and Charlotte, N.C., on US Airways will resume Tuesday. Fuel prices and a slow economy led the airline to suspend the third daily flight in October. But over the past few weeks the flights are operating at near capacity so the extra flight is returning. (Source: The Sun Herald, 02/28/09)

Northrop, EADS eye hiring Haas

MOBILE, Ala. - Northrop Grumman and EADS North America have been asked by Mobile officials to hire Bay Haas, the retired airport authority executive director, to coordinate local support for the effort to win the contract to assemble aerial refueling tankers in Mobile. According to the Mobile Press-Register, the request was made in a Feb. 18 letter. A spokesman said Northrop Grumman is giving the suggestions "active consideration." (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 02/28/09) Northrop and EADS will be competing again this year against Boeing for the $40 billion Air Force contract.

Friday, February 27, 2009

NASA picks spacesuit developer

WASHINGTON, D.C. - NASA has awarded an interim letter contract to Oceaneering International Inc. of Houston, Texas, to begin work on the design, development and production of a new spacesuit system for the Constellation Program. The system will protect astronauts during voyages to the International Space Station and exploration of the moon's surface. (Source: PRNewswire, 02/27/09) Gulf Coast note: The Gulf Coast has space-related operations at Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans and Stennis Space Center, Miss.

Contract: Northrop, $5.8M

The Air Force is modifying a contract with Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Integrated Systems Air Combat Systems, San Diego, Calif., for $5,857,128. This action will provide engineering, manufacturing and development infrastructure activates in support of the Global Hawk Program. 303 AESG/SYK, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 02/27/09) Gulf Coast note: Global Hawk fuselage work is done in part in Moss Point, Miss.

Boeing submits Altair proposal

HOUSTON, Texas - Boeing through its Space Exploration division submitted a proposal to NASA for Altair lunar lander design support. NASA is expected to award multiple contracts this spring. The lunar lander, part of NASA's Constellation Program, will launch aboard the Ares V heavy-lift rocket and provide astronauts with life support and a base for exploration missions. Altair will also return the crew to the Orion spacecraft that will transport the astronauts back to Earth. (Source: Boeing, 02/27/09) Gulf Coast note: Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans and Stennis Space Center in Mississippi are both involved in the Constellation Program

Extra Ares I flight tests eyed

NASA managers are pulling together options for spending some $400 million in extra funds that have become available for human exploration under the economic stimulus package, and have not ruled out an extra flight-test to hasten development of the Ares I crew launch vehicle. Also on the table is advancing development work on Ares I and the Orion crew exploration vehicle. (Source: Aviation Week, 02/27/09) Gulf Coast note: Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans and Stennis Space Center in Mississippi are both involved in the Constellation Program

Tanker still top priority

ORLANDO, Fla. - Aerial tankers remain the Air Force's top priority and the competition could be completed within a year, according to Air Force Secretary Michael Donley. The tankers are needed to replace KC-135s. Donley, speaking at a military conference sponsored by the Air Force Association, said Defense Secretary Robert Gates expects to issue a new request for bids this spring. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 02/27/09) Gen. Duncan McNabb, commander of the U.S. Transportation Command, told a joint hearing of the seapower and air and land forces subcommittees of the House Armed Services Committee that the tanker is his No. 1 modernization priority, according to the Los Angeles Business Journal. Boeing is competing against Northrop Grumman/EADS, which wants to construct an assembly plant in Mobile, Ala., to build the planes.

County to buy more industrial land

MILTON, Fla. - The Santa Rosa County Commission voted to use $3.1 million in electric franchise fees to buy 90 acres in not far from Interstate 10 to use for industrial development. Pullum Park will join the nearby Santa Rosa County Industrial Park and the planned Whiting Aviation Park as county-owned property available for industrial development. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 02/27/09)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Contract: Textron, $9.5M

The Air Force is modifying a contract with Textron Systems Corp., of Wilmington, Mass., for $9,527,490. This action will provide 30 additional Sensor Fuzed Weapons, Full Rate Production Lot 12. 683rd ARSS/SYKA, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity (Source: DoD, 02/26/09)

$533.7B defense budget proposed

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Defense Department would get a baseline budget of $533.7 billion in fiscal year 2010, up from $513.3 billion appropriated by Congress in 2009, under the president's budget. It's part of the $3.55 trillion budget the White House released Thursday. (Sources: Wall Street Journal, Aviation Week, Washington Post, 02/26/09) Gulf Coast note: The DoD budget is crucial to this region, which is home to military bases as well as large and small defense contractors

Scolese: NASA funding responsible

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Acting NASA Administrator Christopher J. Scolese said the $18.7 billion for NASA in the 2010 fiscal year budget is "fiscally responsible and reflects the administration's desire for a robust and innovative agency." Scolese said the budget ensures NASA maintains global leadership in Earth and space research and "funds a robust program of human and robotic space exploration." When combined with the $1 billion provided for NASA in the Recovery Act, the funding is more than $2.4 billion above the 2008 level. (Source: NASA, 02/26/09) Gulf Coast note: The region is heavily involved in the space program through Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans and Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.

Second F-35B marks first flight

FORT WORTH, Texas - Lockheed Martin's second short takeoff/vertical landing F-35B Lightning II accomplished its first flight on Wednesday. The aircraft, known as BF-2, joins a conventional takeoff and landing F-35A and another F-35B that already have logged a combined total of 84 flights. (Source: PRNewswire, 02/25/09) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., will become home to the Joint Strike Fighter training center

Teledyne to buy back shares

Teledyne Technologies, of Thousand Oaks, Calif., said it will repurchase up to 1.5 million shares of stock, or 4.2 percent of the shares that were outstanding as of Dec. 28. The company said it would use cash on hand and money borrowed through an existing credit agreement. Teledyne operates Continental Motors division at Brookley Field Industrial Complex in Mobile, Ala. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 02/26/09)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Keesler command change slated

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. - Brig. Gen. Greg Touhill turns over command of the 81st Training Wing to Col. Ian Dickinson in a ceremony April 6. Dickinson, who reports to Keesler by March 31, is Joint Staff deputy chief information officer at the Pentagon. Touhill's new assignment is Chief, Office of Military Cooperation, U.S. Central Command, Kuwait. (Source: Keesler Air Force Base, 02/25/09)

Airbus placing bet on freighters

Airbus is preparing to birth a new generation of freighter aircraft just as the industry is seeing declines in demand. But the company is looking beyond the immediate crisis and making a long-term bet on creating freighters that could compete with rival Boeing, which has long dominated the freighter market. (Source: Aviation Week, 02/22/09) Gulf Coast note: EADS, parent of Airbus, said last year that it would produce a cargo version of its A330 airliner in Mobile if it won the Air Force tanker contract. A new competition for the contract will begin this year.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Shuttle fuel tank in Florida

NEW ORLEANS, La. - An external fuel tank made for NASA by Lockheed Martin at the Michoud Assembly Facility is expected to arrive at Kennedy Space Center Saturday. The tank, which is 15 stories tall and almost 28 feet in diameter, traveled by covered barge. (Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 02/20/09)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Contract awarded for engine testing

WASHINGTON - NASA signed a five-year, $45 million contract Thursday with American Tank and Vessel Inc. of Mobile, Ala., for installation of a test cell diffuser and associated systems in the A-3 test stand at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. The stand will test the J-2X engine that will power the upper stage of the Ares I crew exploration vehicle and the Earth departure stage of the Ares V cargo launch vehicle. Construction began on the A-3 stand in summer 2007, with the first test scheduled for 2012. The structure is the first large test stand to be built since the south Mississippi site was established in the 1960s. (Source: NASA, 02/19/09)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Boeing bids on Ares V

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Boeing's Space Exploration division submitted proposals for the Ares V Phase 1 Design Support Contracts. The proposals are for design support of the Ares V cargo launch vehicle's payload shroud; the Earth-departure stage; the liquid-fueled central booster element core state; and avionics and software. The two-stage, vertically stacked Ares V will be NASA's primary rocket for delivery of large hardware to space. The Ares V Phase 1 contracts will be managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. (Source: Boeing, 02/18/09) Gulf Coast note: Boeing has an operation in New Orleans at Michoud Assembly Facility

City sues over F-35s

VALPARAISO, Fla. - The City of Valparaiso voted to sue the Air Force over the F-35 Record of Decision. Two commissioners, both of whom opposed a previous Freedom of Information Act suit against the Air Force, were absent. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 02/18/09) The Air Force earlier this month signed a record of decision that allows construction to begin for the Joint Strike Fighter training center. To address noise concerns, the Air Force is limiting use of one runway.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Keesler commander gets new assignment

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. - Brig. Gen. Greg Touhill, 81st Training Wing commander, has been selected for a new assignment as Chief, Office of Military Cooperation, U.S. Central Command, Kuwait. Touhill came to Keesler in October 2007. Announcement of his replacement is expected soon. (Source: Keesler Air Force Base, 02/17/09)

LCROSS heads to Florida

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. - NASA's Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite is enroute from Northrop Grumman's facility in Redondo Beach, Calif., to Florida's Kennedy Space Center in preparation for a spring launch. The satellite's mission is to search for water ice on the moon in a permanently shadowed crater near one of the lunar poles. LCROSS is a companion mission to NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. At Kennedy the two spacecraft will be integrated with an Atlas V launch vehicle and tested for final flight worthiness. LCROSS and LRO are the first missions in NASA's plan to return humans to the moon and begin establishing a lunar outpost by 2020. (Source: NASA, 02/17/09) Gulf Coast note: Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans and Stennis Space Center in Mississippi are involved in the Constellation Program, the return of astronauts to the moon and beyond

Contract: Raytheon, $21.7M

The Air Force is modifying a cost plus fixed fee with performance incentive contract with Raytheon Co., of Tucson, Ariz., for $21,695,993. This contract is for the Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile Processor Replacement Program, Phase II. 695 ARSS, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity (Source: DoD, 02/17/09)

Study: UAV spending to double

WASHINGTON - Unmanned aerial vehicles remain the most dynamic growth sector of the aerospace industry. That's according to Teal analysts in their latest analysis. Teal Group's 2009 market study estimates UAV spending will almost double over the next decade. Current worldwide UAV expenditures is $4.4 billion annually. That's expected to go to $8.7 billion within a decade, totaling over $62 billion in the next 10 years. (Source: PRNewswire, 02/17/09) Gulf Coast note: Fire Scout and Global Hawk UAVs are built in part at the Unmanned Systems Center in Moss Point, Miss.

Two towers readied

PENSACOLA, Fla. - A new radar approach control facility at Pensacola Gulf Coast Regional Airport is nearing completion. The $21 million Terminal Radar Approach Control facility is replacing the current 31-year-old building. At Whiting Field Naval Air Station in Milton, construction wrapped up on a new $4 million control tower replacing one built in 1972. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 02/17/09)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Murtha visits Boeing plants

SEATTLE, Wash. - U.S. Rep. John Murtha toured the 767 final assembly at the Boeing factory in Everett as part of a fact-finding mission for replacing the Air Force's fleet of KC-135 tankers. Murtha, D-Pa. and chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, was invited by Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash. Murtha also toured the 737 and P-8A Poseidon aircraft facilities in Renton. (Source: Boeing, 02/16/09) Gulf Coast note: Last month Murtha visited Mobile, Ala., to see the site where the Northrop Grumman/EADS team hopes to build the plane. Both teams are competing to build the tanker. During that visit Murtha said he favored splitting the contract between the two teams.

Northrop gets piece of drone refuel program

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. - Northrop Grumman's relative navigation system was selected by the Air Force for the Automated Aerial Refueling program follow-on contract. Relative navigation, the ability to measure the relative motions of two vehicles, is key to the aerial refueling of unmanned vehicles. The Air Force Research Laboratory demonstrated the ability of the AAR system during flight tests in November 2007. It's designed to work with the existing tanker fleet. (Source: Globe Newswire, 02/16/09) Gulf Coast note: Unmanned aerial systems are built in part in Moss Point Miss.; Northrop Grumman and partner EADS hope to build aerial tankers in Mobile, Ala.

Friday, February 13, 2009

AF plans realignment of centers

The Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center will move about 70 personnel in the next 18 months to support its cyber operations. Personnel from Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., will be moved to Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center Detachments at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., and Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. (Source: Federal Computer World, 02/12/09)

Speaker predicts EADS plant

PENSACOLA, Fla. - Will the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. build an aircraft plant in the region even if it loses the tanker competition? Yes, according to Donald Epley, director of the Mitchell College of Business Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of South Alabama. He said EADS, parent of Airbus, is being killed by the exchange rate and thinks it will bring about 1,000 jobs to the region, tanker or no tanker. He made the comment Thursday at the annual Real Estate Trends Report and Forecast Conference in Pensacola at New World Landing. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 02/13/09) Northrop/EADS won the competition last year against Boeing to build the next generation of Air Force tanker and planned to build them in Mobile, Ala. But the decision was overturned after a Boeing protest. A new competition is expected this year.

Little progress in airport buyout idea

NEW ORLEANS, La. – A board created by the Legislature to evaluate a possible state takeover of city-owned Louis Armstrong International Airport is unlikely to be ready to offer a recommendation by this year’s legislative session, in part because the state has given it few resources. The Southeast Regional Airport Authority wants to hire a consultant but until a few days ago it had no idea where the money might come from. (Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 02/12/09)

Teledyne recalls pistons

MOBILE, Ala. - Teledyne Continental Motors will recall 9,600 cylinders from piston aircraft engines because the company found a metal-casting problem that can cause the cylinder heads to crack. The company expects the recall to cost as much $18 million as cylinders are replaced over the next year. The company will also destroy some unused cylinders. Teledyne Continental employs more than 300 in Mobile. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 02/13/09)

First BAMS Global Hawk operational

SOUTHWEST ASIA - The first operational Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Global Hawk is now in Southwest Asia with the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing. In a concept of operations called remote-split operations, the Navy Global Hawks' arrival marks the culmination of more than five months of joint effort to stand up a maritime surveillance presence in the region to work with the Air Force Global Hawk program. Prior to arrival here, the Navy Global Hawk has been in service for non-wartime missions during its test and development phase, including spying on Hurricane Ike. (Source: AFNS, 02/12/09) Gulf Coast note: Fuselage work on the Global Hawk is done at the Northrop Grumman Unmanned Systems Center in Moss Point, Miss.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

N.O. airport traffic up

NEW ORLEANS, La. - Passenger traffic at Louis Armstrong International Airport grew moderately in 2008 but still has not reached levels seen before Hurricane Katrina.
Airport officials reported Wednesday that 7.9 million people passed through the Kenner airport in 2008, up 5.5 percent from 2007. (Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 02/12/09)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hurlburt hosts exercise

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. - Air Force Special Operations Command is hosting a field exercise through Feb. 13 designed to train forces in combat scenarios. Emerald Warrior is taking place at Hurlburt Field and nearby Eglin Air Force Base, and focuses on training Air Force, Army and allied units in missions resulting from lessons learned in operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Training includes troop insertions using a CV-22 Osprey, air-ground support operations using A-10 Thunderbolt IIs and AC-130 gunships, and convoy active-defense scenarios. (Source: Air Force Link, 02/11/09)

Stennis unit gets new complex

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - A team that works closely with Navy SEALs will be moving into a new $9.7 million complex at Stennis Space Center Friday. Special Boat Team 22, which specializes in riverine missions, has grown in the last four years. There are 400 sailors assigned to SBT 22, which has a training school for foreign sailors and operates 30 riverine craft. (Source: Navy Times, 02/10/09)

Lunar spacecraft bound for Florida

GREENBELT, Md. - NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter was loaded on a truck Wednesday for a two-day trip to Florida's Kennedy Space Center. Launch is targeted for April 24. The spacecraft recently completed a series of tests and was subjected to temperatures it will experience as it orbits the moon. LRO will spend at least one year in a low polar orbit on its primary exploration mission, with the possibility of three more years to collect additional detailed scientific information about the moon and its environment. (Source: NASA, 02/11/09) Gulf Coast note: Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans and Stennis Space Center in Mississippi are involved in the Constellation Program, the return of astronauts to the moon and beyond

Eglin pilot chosen F-35 instructor

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - A pilot from Eglin Air Force Base is among those chosen for the initial cadre of F-35 instructors. Maj. Lee Kloos, with nearly 2,000 flying hours, said he's excited he'll be able to stay at Eglin, where he's worked with the Joint Strike Fighter Site Activation Task Force program. Three more cadre members are scheduled to join the major this summer. Eglin will be the location of the Joint Strike Fighter training center. (Source: Eglin Air Force Base, 02/10/09)

F-35C restored funds pass Congress

Four defense oversight committees in Congress approved the Navy’s reprogramming request in fiscal 2009 for funds to secure purchases of the first Joint Strike Fighter for carrier operations, according to defense officials and congressional staff. The reprogramming for $40 million will pay for long lead parts for three Lockheed Martin F-35Cs. (Source: Aviation Week, 02/11/09) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., will be the joint training site for the F-35 program

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Eglin to search for old munition

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - Eglin officials and contractors are preparing to conduct visual surface surveys on private property in Santa Rosa County to ensure former weapon test ranges are clear of old munitions. Eglin sent right of entry requests to 13 private property owners in an area that was formerly part of now defunct Range 30, where aerial gunnery testing was conducted in the 1940s-50s. (Source: Eglin Air Force Base, 02/09/09)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Three indicted in contract cases

Three Okaloosa County, Fla., men were indicted on federal charges for violations committed while working at or contracting with the Air Force Research Laboratory on Eglin Air Force Base. The indictment claims one of the three, while employed as a senior engineer at the federal lab, steered programs to Schaller Engineering, or SEI, in which he had a financial interest. The three are also accused of trying to cover up the financial interests. (Source: WEAR-TV, Northwest Florida Daily News, 02/07/09)

Friday, February 6, 2009

NOAA satellite launched

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - A United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket successfully boosted a NOAA satellite into orbit Friday. The satellite will be used to track fast-breaking storms and monitor climate changes. A Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RS-27A engine powered the rocket, and three Alliant Techsystems GEM-40 solid propulsion strap-on boosters ignited with the first-stage main engine. (Source: Pratt & Whitney, ATK, 02/06/09) Gulf Coast note: Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne has a facility at Stennis Space Center, Miss.; ATK has an operation in Shalimar, Fla.

F-35 Eglin bed down a done deal

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - The Air Force, which in November delayed the record of decision establishing a Joint Strike Fighter school at Eglin because of noise concerns, finally sealed the deal. The Air Force on Friday said steps will be taken to mitigate noise, in part through limiting use of one runway. The F-35 is twice as loud as an F-15, prompting residents of nearby Valparaiso to express concern. The Air Force used the delay to explore options to mitigate noise. The record of decision means construction can now get under way in preparation for 59 F-35s that will arrive beginning March 2010. Nine construction projects worth about $170 million are in the bidding process and construction is expected to begin before October. All branches of the military will use the Eglin training center. A decision on additional planes for the base will be made in 2010. (Sources: Tcp, 02/06/09; Northwest Florida Daily News, Pensacola News Journal, Eglin Air Force Base)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Army orders five more Lakotas

COLUMBUS, Miss. - The Army awarded EADS North America a contract for five additional UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopters, bringing the total on contract to 128. The Army expects to acquire a total of 345 Lakotas, built at the American Eurocopter facility in Columbus, Miss., through 2016. More than 50 UH-72As have been delivered by EADS North America, and some 8,000 flight hours have been logged to date. Lakotas are in operation at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa.; Fort Eustis, Va.; Fort Polk, La.; Fort Irwin, Calif.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Morrisville, N.C.; Pineville, La.; Tupelo, Miss.; and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. (Source: EADS North America, 02/05/09) Gulf Coast note: EADS also has an Airbus engineering center and EADS CASA operation in Mobile, Ala.

NFOs get more realistic radar

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Boeing received a $28.3 million contract for two Virtual Mission Training System retrofit kits that will integrate realistic radar training into the Navy T-45 Training System. The VMTS is designed for the training of flight officers who operate weapons and electronic warfare systems. The work involves T-45C aircraft and ground-station systems assigned to Training Air Wing 6, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla. Boeing is currently under contract for 221 T-45 Goshawk trainer aircraft. The two-seater forms the heart of the fully integrated T-45 training system, used at NAS Kingsville, Texas, NAS Meridian, Miss., and NAS Pensacola. (Source: Boeing, 02/05/09)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Contract: AeroVironment, $39M

AeroVironment, Simi Valley, Calif., was awarded a $39,003,452 contract for logistics support for the Raven RQ-11B Unmanned Aircraft System. Work is to be performed in Simi Valley, with an estimated completion date of Jan. 31, 2010. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 02/03/09) Gulf Coast note: AeroVironment has an operation in Navarre, Fla.

Goodrich 4Q report

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Goodrich announced a 31 percent increase in net income per diluted share and a two percent increase in sales in the fourth quarter of 2008. Full year 2008 sales were $7.1 billion, an increase of 10 percent over full year 2007. Full year 2008 income per diluted share from continuing operations was $5.33 and net income per diluted share of $5.39, an increase of 37 percent and 43 percent, respectively, compared to 2007. (Source: Goodrich, 02/04/09) Gulf Coast note: Goodrich has a service center in Foley, Ala.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

NSF, Navy data added to Google Earth

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - The Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command and the National Science Foundation have entered agreements with Google to provide data for the popular program. According to NSF, a feature called "Oceans in Google Earth" enables users to dive beneath the surface of the sea and explore oceans. It includes videos, photos, diagrams and texts that illustrate glacial, geological and ocean processes influencing the behavior of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet in Antarctica. The Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command entered a cooperative research agreement to share with Google Earth unclassified information about oceans. The CRADA allows Google to use unclassified bathymetric data sets and sea surface temperatures from the Naval Oceanographic Office as well as meteorological data from Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center, both subordinate commands of NMOC. (Sources: NSF, NNS, 02/02/09)

Engine cleared for STOVL testing

Pratt & Whitney’s F135 engine has been cleared for flight esting in the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter. Approval follows a review of design changes made to eliminate vibration that caused turbine blade failures in ground tests. The first redesigned engine was delivered to Lockheed Martin last week for installation in aircraft BF-1, the first short takeoff and vertical landing F-35B. Testing is expected to begin at Fort Worth, Texas, this month. The first vertical landing at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., is expected in June or July. (Source: Aviation Week, 02/03/09) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., will be the F-35 pilot training center

Northrop 4Q report

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Northrop Grumman, hurt by a $3.06 billion charge connected to past acquisitions says it posted a fourth-quarter loss of $2.54 billion, or $7.76 per share, in the latest quarter. It earned $457 million, or $1.32 per share, in the same period last year. Excluding the charge, Northrop says it earned $524 million, or $1.57 per share. (Source: Northrop Grumman, 02/03/09) Gulf Coast note: Northrop Grumman has multiple operations in the Gulf Coast, including an unmanned systems center in Moss Point, Miss.

ATK to expand in Mississippi

IUKA, Miss. - Alliant Techsystems will expand its northeast Mississippi plant to make composite structures for commercial aircraft, Gov. Haley Barbour said Monday. The Minneapolis-based company will keep the 176 jobs it already has in Iuka. Barbour said the plant will have 800 jobs by 2017 with an average salary of about $53,000. (Source: Jackson Clarion-Ledger, 02/02/09) Gulf Coast note: ATK also has a weapons-related operation in Shalimar, Fla.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Contract: DRS, $13.9M

DRS C3 Systems Inc., Fort Walton Beach, Fla., was awarded a $13,915,132 contract for new work modification for 1,520 Driver’s Vision Enhancer TWV A-Kits for the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Program and 224 DVE CV A-Kits and 756 cable assemblies. Work is being performed at Fort Walton Beach, Fla., with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2009. CECOM Acquisition Center, Fort Monmouth, N.J., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 02/02/09)

Contract: Concurrent, $11.5M

Concurrent Technology Corp., Johnstown, Pa., is being awarded an $11,468,212 contract to provide technical and engineering services for continued Carriage, Stream, Tow, and Recovery System (CSTRS) development, test, and analysis. This procurement supports development of the CSTRS to incorporate Airborne Mine Countermeasures capabilities and will be utilized on the MH-60S helicopter. Work will be performed in Johnstown, Pa., (88 percent) and Panama City, Fla., (12 percent), and is expected to completed by Feb. 2012. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City, is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 02/02/09)

Boeing gets F2AST contract

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. - Boeing won its first contract award under the Air Force Future Flexible Acquisition and Sustainment Tool (F2AST) program. The award is a $19.1 million Air Force Special Operations Command contract for AC-130U Gunship operational flight and simulation software maintenance; field service support; configuration, data and obsolescence management; and intermediate-level repairs. The government is expected to negotiate three annual options during the first quarter of this year. An option may be exercised every 12 months. (Source: Boeing, 02/02/09) Gulf Coast note: Work will be performed by Boeing SOF at Hurlburt Field, Fla., home of the U.S. Air Force Special Forces Command.