Friday, February 26, 2010

Brookley gets new aerospace tenant

MOBILE, Ala. - Regent Aerospace of Valencia, Calif., will open a facility at Brookley Industrial Complex adjacent to ST Aerospace Mobile. The company plans a two-phase entry into the Mobile market, first with 90 people at the former DHL building to perform aircraft interior refurbishing work, then later with the purchase, lease or construction of a larger facility to double the workforce. Regent has seven facilities in the United States and one each in China and France. The company performs aircraft refurbishments for airlines and manufactures aircraft parts and survival equipment. (Source: Mobile Airport Authority, Mobile Press-Register, 02/26/10)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Contract: Northrop Grumman, $49M

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Annapolis, Md., is being awarded a $49,099,073 cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for services and materials for depot level repair and maintenance of airborne mine countermeasures systems. Systems include: AN/AQS-14A sonar detecting set; AN/AQS-24 mine hunting system; AN/ALQ-141 acoustic minehunting/minesweeping system; CP-2614/T common post mission analysis; and USM-668 intermediate level test equipment and swivel slip-ring assembly. Work will be performed in Panama City, Fla., and is expected to be completed by February 2015. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division, Panama City, is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 02/25/10)

Delta to add flights in PC

Delta Air Lines will add two additional flights per day with larger aircraft when the new Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport near Panama City, Fla., opens in late May. The airport executive director said the new jets will be 140-seat MD-88s. Delta currently uses Atlantic Southeast Airlines and its regional Bombardier Canadair jets in the 50- and 70-seat range. The new airport has a 10,000-foot runway. (Source: Panama City News Herald, 02/24/10)

Suit may be near settlement

The city of Valparaiso, Fla., and the Air Force may be close to settling a lawsuit filed almost a year ago, according to the Northwest Florida Daily News. Nearby Eglin Air Force Base is slated to become home of the Joint Strike Fighter training center, but Valparaiso has been concerned about noise from the F-35. The city sued the Air Force in March 2009 over use of a runway near the city without consideration of other options. But the Valparaiso city attorney, without providing details, indicated a settlement may be near. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 02/25/10)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Stennis discusses AJ26 testing

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - Stennis Director Gene Goldman today confirmed the center will test Aerojet AJ26 rocket engines for Orbital Sciences Corp. as part of a NASA partnership with the companies. Stennis operators have been modifying their E-1 Test Stand since last April for the AJ26 engines. Work has included construction of a 27-foot-deep flame deflector trench. The AJ26 Aerojet engines will power Orbital's Taurus II space launch vehicle for missions to supply the International Space Station. (Source: NASA, 02/24/10) See previous story.

Lawmakers briefed on tanker rules

WASHINGTON - Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn and other top officials briefed lawmakers today about the final terms for a $35 billion aerial tanker competition. Among the first were Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin and Sen. John McCain. Rep. Norm Dicks said the changes in the RFP are "rather minimal," and said the Air Force reduced requirements for the contract from 373 to 372. Sen. Jeff Session of Alabama said he was "disappointed," and Rep. Mike Rogers, also from Alabama, said, "I don't think it looks promising." (Source: Reuters, Bloomberg, AP via New York Times, 02/24/10) Gulf Coast note: Boeing and the Northrop Grumman/EADS team both want to build the tankers. Northrop/EADS would assemble them in Mobile, Ala. Northrop has threatened to pull out of the competition if the RFP, which it says favors the smaller Boeing tanker, is not changed.

Stennis awards contract

NASA's Stennis Space Center has awarded a contract to ASRC Research and Technology Solutions LLC, a small business in Greenbelt, Md., to provide information and technical services at the center. The two-year contract, which includes three one-year options, is valued at $54.5 million. The company will supply a broad range of information, technical, technology and applied science services. (Sources: Article Ant, UPI, 02/24/10)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tanker terms to be released Wednesday

WASHINGTON – Lawmakers were told today that the Air Force will release final terms for the $35 billion tanker competition on Wednesday. Air Force Secretary Michael Donley, Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn, and Pentagon acquisition chief Ashton Carter will brief lawmakers then hold a news conference at the Pentagon. Boeing and the Northrop Grumman/EADS team both want to build the tankers. (Source: Reuters, 02/23/10) Gulf Coast note: Northrop Grumman and partner EADS want to assemble tankers in Mobile, Ala.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Gates expects two tanker bids

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Monday that he expects two parties to bid on the Air Force tanker project, according to Reuters. The final tanker requirements will be released as soon as Tuesday, but no later than the end of the month. The Northrop Grumman/EADS team, which sees the draft request for proposals as favoring the smaller Boeing plane, has threatened not to bid. Meanwhile, Gov. Chris Gregoire of Washington state and the governors of eight other states that stand to gain with a Boeing win were in Washington D.C., Monday pulling for a Boeing win. They announced the formation of "U.S. Tanker 2010" at the National Press Club. While that was going on, a new effort was launched to push for awarding the contract to both Boeing and Northrop. It's called, which claims 100,000 U.S. jobs would be created by building two different tankers. (Sources: Reuters, Everett Herald, Seattle Times, 02/22/10). Gulf Coast note: The tankers would be assembled in Washington state with a Boeing win and Mobile, Ala., with a Northrop/EADS win.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Airport traffic declines

MOBILE, Ala. - Passenger traffic at Mobile Regional Airport in 2009 almost broke even compared to 2008. Nearby neighbors did not fare as well, with Mississippi's Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport and Florida's Pensacola Gulf Coast Regional Airport both suffering declines steeper than the national average. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 02/21/10)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

F-35 operational date re-evaluated

The Air Force is re-evaluating when the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will be ready for service. That's what Air Combat Command chief Gen. William Fraser told reporters Friday at an Air Force Association-sponsored conference in Orlando, Fla. Fraser said the program restructuring announced Feb. 1 will extend the plane's system design and development phase until 2015, two years after the Air Force had planned to begin operating the aircraft. (Source: Defense News, 02/19/10) Meanwhile, a Lockheed Martin vice president said at the symposium that the U.S. Air Force officially becomes the first F-35 customer later this year when the first of the stealth fighters is delivered to Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Steve O'Bryan, Lockheed Martin vice president of F-35 Business Development and Customer Engagement, said the first two production F-35s are in final assembly at Lockheed's plant in Fort Worth, Texas. The Air Force plans to operate 1,763 F-35As. (Source: PRNewswire, 02/19/10)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Contract: Hansel Phelps, $37.6M

Hensel Phelps Construction, Orlando, Fla., was awarded a $37,583,000 firm-fixed-price contract for Special Forces complex Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. This project will require construction of the primary facilities. Work is to be performed at Eglin Air Force Base, with an estimated completion date of Jan. 8, 2011. U.S. Corps of Engineers, Mobile Regional Contracting Center, Mobile, Ala., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 02/19/10)

ST Engineering profits down

Singapore Technologies Engineering said profit fell 6 percent for the year as the firm's aerospace division struggled with the worldwide recession. Profit fell to $314.5 million while revenue grew 4 percent for the year to $3.93 billion. The company is the parent of ST Aerospace Mobile, which employs 1,300 at Mobile's Brookley Field Industrial Complex in Alabama, and VT Halter Marine, which employs 1,100-plus at shipyards in Pascagoula, Moss Point and Escatawpa, Miss. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 02/19/10)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

New tanker battleground

A Northrop Grumman team was in North Carolina Wednesday to enlist the state as an ally in the battle to build Air Force tankers. Boeing and Northrop both want to win a $40 billion contract to build tankers. Northrop won the contract two years ago, but Boeing successfully had it overturned. Northrop has said it won't submit a bid if the current draft for proposal, which it says favors the smaller Boeing plane, isn't changed. The Northrop team told state officials a Northrop/EADS win would mean 1,500 jobs in the state. Rep. Pryor Gibson said that if Northrop's numbers are true, he'll write to the Pentagon and White House in support. (Source: Raleigh News Observer, 02/18/10) Meanwhile, the Air Force is bracing for a possible sole-source bid from Boeing. Lt. Gen. Mark Shackelford, military deputy in charge of acquisition for the Air Force, said the Pentagon is following a policy of "don't change anything that potentially favors one competitor over another." The Pentagon expects to release the final terms for the competition between Feb. 23 and the end of the month. (Source: Reuters, 02/18/10) Gulf Coast note: The Northrop and EADS plans to assemble the planes in Mobile, Ala., if they win the contract.

Global Hawk sets flight mark

The RQ-4 Global Hawk surpassed 30,000 combat flying hours and 1,500 combat sorties Feb. 10 during deployment in Southwest Asia. The Global Hawks are assigned to the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing from Beale Air Force Base, Calif., and provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance collection capability to support joint combatant forces. The 380th AEW Global Hawks reached their 1,500th combat sortie on Feb. 10. The RQ-4 arrived to its deployed location in October 2001 as a test platform. (Source: AFNS, 02/18/10) Gulf Coast note: Global Hawks are built in part at the Northrop Grumman Unmanned Systems Center in Moss Point, Miss.

Third test F-35B now at Patuxent River

A third F-35B Joint Strike Fighter has arrived at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., to begin testing. The short takeoff/vertical landing joins two other F-35B aircraft at the naval base. The jet, known as BF-3, took off from Fort Worth, Texas Wednesday and arrived at NAS Patuxent River three hours and 10 minutes later. The plane will be used to evaluate vehicle systems and will also focus on weapons testing. It will carry and release most of the weapons the F-35B will use in combat. (Source: Lockheed Martin, 02/17/10) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., will be the Joint Strike Fighter training center.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

SBIRS hits milestone

SUNNYVALE, Calif. - Lockheed Martin said it's achieved a key integrated test milestone on the second Space-Based Infrared System geosynchronous orbit satellite. SBIRS is designed to provide early warning of missile launches and support other missions. The GEO-2 satellite completed its first phase of Baseline Integrated System Test, which establishes a performance baseline for the remainder of the test program. The spacecraft is planned for launch aboard an Atlas V in 2012. (Source: Lockheed Martin, 02/16/10) Gulf Coast note: Lockheed Martin Mississippi Space and Technology Center at Stennis Space Center, Miss., builds subsystems for the SBIRS.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Fire Scout shows resupply capability

Northrop Grumman demonstrated that its MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter can resupply troops deployed on a combat mission. The company conducted the autonomous proof-of-principle resupply capability during the Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment at Fort Benning, Ga. The Fire Scout had two ruggedized containers attached to external pylons. Fire Scout flew autonomously from take-off to the cargo drop to landing. The Fire Scout also used its electro-optical/infrared optical payload during the mission to practice reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition techniques. (Source: Northrop Grumman, 02/15/10) Gulf Coast note: Fire Scouts are built in part in Moss Point, Miss.; the Army recently dropped plans to buy Fire Scouts, though the Navy still has an active program.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Airborne laser downs missile

Boeing and Northrop Grumman may be locked in battle over the Air Force tanker project, but they were both cheering a test where a Boeing 747 equipped with a Northrop Grumman laser gun shot down a missile over the Pacific late Thursday night. It was a milestone in the development of the nation's missile defense system. (Sources: Multiple, including Los Angeles Times, Reuters, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, 02/12/10) Gulf Coast note: Both companies have operations along the Gulf Coast region.

Global Hawk continues Haiti work

An RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned reconnaissance aircraft has flown six missions and provided more than 3,600 images of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and other areas damaged by the Jan. 12 earthquake and aftershocks. The day after the quake, an Air Force Block 10 Global Hawk was diverted by the 12th Reconnaissance Squadron at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., from its trip en-route to support wartime operations in Afghanistan to assist in relief efforts. Since then it's been operating out of Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md. (Source: Northrop Grumman, 02/12/10) Gulf Coast note: Global Hawks are built in part in Moss Point, Miss.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

AGT one of two NASA award winners

NASA presented its highest honor for quality and performance, the George M. Low Award, to two companies during NASA's seventh annual Project Management Challenge in Galveston, Texas. The winners were United Space Alliance of Houston and Applied Geo Technologies of Choctaw, Miss. Tribally owned AGT provides scientific, laboratory and geographic analysis services, maintains measurement standards and calibrates and repairs instrumentation at NASA's Stennis Space Center, Miss. AGT received the award in the small business service category. United Space Alliance provides a variety of services at Kennedy Space Center, Marshall Space Flight Center and Johnson Space Center. (Source: PRNewswire, 02/10/10)

Certification test of RS-68A begins

Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne has completed the initial step in certifying the RS-68A rocket engine by successfully hot-fire testing the first certification engine. The RS-68A is an upgrade of the RS-68, a liquid-hydrogen/liquid-oxygen booster engine that will provide increased thrust and improved fuel efficiency for the Delta IV family of launch vehicles. During the hot-fire test at Stennis Space Center, Miss., the first RS-68A certification engine successfully burned for 190 seconds, with operating time split between 102 percent and 55 percent power levels. Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne will hot-fire test the first RS-68A certification engine a minimum of 12 times through February and follow that with a similar series of hot-fire tests on its second certification engine in March and April. (Source: Pratt and Whitney, 02/10/10)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Work continues on air show

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - Work is continuing on Eglin's 2010 Open House and Air Show. The event, scheduled for April 10 and 11, is the first since 2007. This year's theme is "75 Years of Eglin Pride." The Air Force Thunderbirds, a precision flying team, and the Army's Black Daggers, a parachute demonstration team, are already confirmed performers for both days. The show will also include static displays. (Source: Eglin Air Force Base, 02/10/10)

AeroMexico to reduce flights

NEW ORLEANS, La. - The first international airline to offer direct service to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina is reducing service to the city next month. AeroMexico has offered nonstop flights to Mexico City that continued on to San Pedro Sula, Honduras, from New Orleans since July. The flights operated six times a week. According to AeroMexico's Web site, flights will be available in March only on Mondays and Fridays. (Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 02/10/10)

Dutch training in Hancock

HANCOCK COUNTY, Miss. – Pilots from the Netherlands have been doing some training at Stennis International Airport this week. They are training to become part of the Dutch F-16 flight demonstration team. The pilots are training in Hancock County in part because of the less-crowded air space. (Source: WLOX-TV, 02/09/10)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Shelby lifts many nominee holds

Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., lifted many of his holds on President Obama's nominations to administration posts. The move may temper a threat by Democratic leaders in the Senate that the administration would make recess appointments during next week's Presidents' Day break. Last week Shelby placed a hold on nominees over concerns about an Air Force tanker project that could benefit Mobile and funding for a counterterrorism center that would benefit Huntsville. Shelby still has holds on nominees directly related to the tanker project. (Source: New York Times, 02/08/10)

Rep. John Murtha dies

Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., died Monday at 77. Murtha, chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on defense, was elected to Congress in 1974 and was among the most hawkish of Democrats. He was one of the first to advocate buying Air Force tankers from both the Northrop Grumman/EADS team and Boeing. Murtha had been suffering from complications from gallbladder surgery. (Source: Multiple, including New York Times, USA Today, 02/08/10) Gulf Coast note: Northrop and EADS plan to build the tankers in Mobile, Ala., if they end up bidding on and winning all or a portion of the $40 billion contract.

France wants chance to compete

PARIS - French Defense Minister Hervé Morin said he told U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates that he hoped EADS and Northrop Grumman would get a fair chance to compete for the U.S. Air Force refueling tanker. He said at a joint news conference he reminded Gates "that when one is a country that stands up for the market economy, it can't be a one-way street." Northrop Grumman says the draft request for proposals favors the smaller Boeing offering and has threatened to withdraw from the competition if the RFP is not modified. The final RFP is expected this month. (Source: Defense News, 02/08/10) Gulf Coast note: Northrop and EADS hope to assemble the tankers in Mobile, Ala.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Tanker, center cause Shelby's hold

In the latest twist of the Air Force tanker competition, Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., placed a hold on dozens of President Obama's nominees. A spokesman said Shelby's concerned about the tanker request for proposal and funding for a counterterrorism center. On the tanker issue, Boeing is competing against the Northrop Grumman/EADS team, which wants to assemble the tankers in Mobile, Ala. Northrop sees the draft RFP as tilted towards the smaller Boeing plane and won't bid if the RFP isn't changed. On the center, Shelby is concerned the president's proposed 2011 budget rescinds funds to build the FBI Terrorist Explosives Devices Analytical Center in Huntsville. Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, called the hold an example of a broken Washington. (Sources: Multiple, including New York Times, Mobile Press-Register, TPM, 02/05/10)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hurlburt group wins award

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. - The Air Force has awarded the 720th Special Tactics Group with the Gallant Unit Citation for heroism in combat. The award was given for the unit's work during Operation MEDUSA, which lasted through all of 2006 and 2007 in Afghanistan. The 720th was the only Air Force unit to receive a Gallant Unit Citation during that period. Combat controllers act as air traffic controllers for fighter jets. A tactical control party helps them aim air strikes at enemy targets. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 02/04/10)

Northrop Grumman 4Q report

Northrop Grumman Corp. reported Thursday it posted a fourth-quarter net earnings of $413 million, and 2009 net earnings of $1.7 billion. Last year the company reported a fourth quarter net loss of $2.5 billion and net loss for the year of $1.3 billion. (Source: Northrop Grumman, 02/04/10) Gulf Coast note: Los Angeles-based Northrop Grumman has multiple operations in the Gulf Coast region.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

First F-35 production engine delivered

Pratt and Whitney delivered the first F135 production engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The engine has accrued more than 13,000 hours in testing during the development program. (Source: Pratt and Whitney, 02/02/10) In another F-35 development, Wyle air crew personnel became the first aviators to aerially refuel the F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing variant of the F-35 using a probe-and-drogue refueling system during a recent mission at Lockheed Martin’s Ft. Worth, Texas, manufacturing facility. (Source: PRNewswire, 02/03/10) Gulf Coast note: The F-35 training center will be at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

Contract: NW Florida Contractors, $8M

NorthWest Florida Contractors Inc., Fort Walton Beach, Fla., was awarded an $8,096,083 contract to provide all plant, materials, labor, equipment, and all operations in connection with the construction of various reinforced concrete targets on specified test areas as shown on contract drawings, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. 96 CONS/PKA, Eglin Air Force Base is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 02/03/10)

Services to get F-35 on time

Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Tuesday said the services will receive F-35 Joint Strike Fighters on time but in smaller numbers. Gates, who testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the Pentagon's fiscal 2011 budget request, said fewer F-35s will be produced during the initial years of production than originally anticipated. The first training squadron of JSFs will still arrive at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., in 2011. The Marine Corps will start receiving its version of the F-35 in 2012, the Air Force in 2013 and the Navy in 2014. (Source: The Hill, 02/02/10)

Work to continue on A-3

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - Work will continue on the A-3 rocket test stand regardless of President Obama's budget plans to kill the Constellation program and the Ares I rocket. Stennis Director Gene Goldman told the Sun Herald Tuesday that construction could take another year and a half on the $300 million project. Goldman said $157 million has been spent already, with about $43 million more contracted. Goldman also doesn't expect the president's plan to create a loss of civil service employees, but he won't know the status on contract labor for several months. Stennis has more than 400 civil servants and more than 1,800 contractors. (Source: Sun Herald, 02/02/10)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tanker refuels NATO AWACS

An Airbus A330 tanker transport marked a new milestone with the aerial refueling of a French Air Force E-3F AWACS radar aircraft. The plane transferred more than 65,000 pounds of fuel during two missions. The latest refueling missions were part of the flight test and military certification program for the Royal Australian Air Force’s A330. Australia has ordered five aircraft, the first of which will be delivered later this year. The military A330 is the basis of Northrop Grumman's KC-45 tanker offered for the U.S. Air Force. (Source: EADS North America, 02/02/10) Gulf Coast note: Northrop and EADS North America plan to assemble Air Force tankers in Mobile, Ala., if they win all or a part of the Pentagon contract.

NASA awards $50M

NASA awarded $50 million in stimulus money to five teams in support of the transportation of crew to and from low Earth orbit. The award came the same day the president's budget was submitted to Congress. It provided no money for the Constellation Program, which aimed to return astronauts to the moon, and instead favors investing in a commercial space taxi to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station. In awarding the money, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said the agency is "pleased to be able to quickly move forward to advance this exciting plan for NASA." The money is the result of open competition for funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Sierra Nevada Corp. of Louisville, Colo., was awarded $20 million and Boeing in Houston was awarded $18 million. United Launch Alliance of Centennial, Colo., Blue Origin of Kent, Wash., and Paragon Space Development Corp., Tucson, Ariz., will get $6.7 million, $3.7 million and $1.4 million, respectively. (Source: NASA, 02/01/10) Gulf Coast note: Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans and Stennis Space Center, Miss., are both involved in the Constellation Program.

Marketing group backs dual tanker buy

The Aerospace Alliance, a marketing partnership of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Northwest Florida, said Monday that it now supports buying aerial tankers from both Boeing and the Northrop Grumman/EADS team. In a story on the group's Web site, it said buying from both competitors would mean 36 tankers a year rather than 12 and create up to 100,000 jobs nationwide. When the group formed in October 2009, it said its priority was to support Northrop/EADS' effort to win the competition to replace the Air Force's tanker fleet. Northrop/EADS wants to assemble the planes in Mobile, Ala. But in December Northrop threatened to drop out of the bidding on grounds the draft request for proposal favors the smaller Boeing plane. The Pentagon has said it does not want to buy planes from both manufacturers, and it will only make minor RFP modifications. (Source: Tcp, 02/01/10)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Budget: $12B for five years for tanker

The Pentagon expects to award a contract for the new refueling tanker this summer and allocated $12 billion to pay for the program over the next five fiscal years. Maj. Gen. Alfred Flowers, the Air Force's budget official, said the final request for bids will be issued this month. There is no guarantee Congress won't interject itself into the decision. Boeing and the Northrop Grumman/EADS team, which wants to assemble the tankers in Mobile, Ala., are locked in an intense lobbying battle over the $35 billion contract. (Source: The Hill, 02/01/10)

Gates replacing JSF chief

WASHINGTON – Defense Secretary Robert Gates is replacing the general in charge of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program and withholding $614 million in award fees from contractor Lockheed Martin. The F-35 program manager, Air Force Maj. Gen. David Heinz, will be replaced by a yet-to-be-announced higher-ranking general. The Pentagon plans to buy more than 2,400 F-35s over the next 25 years for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. Gates disclosed the changes as he released the Pentagon’s proposed $708.3 billion spending package for fiscal 2011. (Source: New York Times, 02/01/10) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., will be the home of the JSF training center.

Battle brews over NASA budget

U.S. astronauts won't return to the moon as planned if Congress passes President Obama's proposed $19 billion NASA budget. But the commitment to the International Space Station will extend to 2020, and $6 billion will be invested in a plan to have commercial companies get more involved in space flight. The budget will now be sliced and diced by Congress. Some predict a major battle. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., says the budget "begins the death march for the future of U.S. human space flight." The Constellation Program, which sought to send astronauts to the moon by 2020, also envisioned establishing a moon colony. But the White House Budget Office says it's behind schedule, over budget and overall less important than other space investments. (Sources: Multiple, including CNN, Space Daily, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Washington Post, 02/01/10) Gulf Coast note: Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans and Stennis Space Center, Miss., are both involved in the Constellation Program.

UAV market to hit $80B in 10 years

WASHINGTON - While the rate of growth may decline somewhat, unmanned aerial vehicles continue to be the most dynamic growth sector of the world aerospace industry, report Teal analysts in their latest integrated market analysis. Teal Group's 2010 market study estimates that UAV spending will more than double over the next decade from current worldwide UAV expenditures of $4.9 billion annually to $11.5 billion, totaling just over $80 billion in the next ten years. (Source: PRNewswire, 02/01/10) Gulf Coast note: Global Hawk and Fire Scout unmanned systems are built in part in Moss Point, Miss.