Wednesday, April 27, 2011

SBIRS encapsulated in fairing

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. - The first Lockheed Martin-built Space Based Infrared System geosynchronous spacecraft was encapsulated into its payload fairing April 20 in preparation for an early May liftoff aboard an Atlas V rocket. SBIRS GEO-1 will enhance the nation's missile warning capabilities and improve other critical mission areas. The GEO-1 satellite includes sophisticated scanning and staring sensors that will deliver enhanced infrared sensitivity and a reduction in area revisit times over the current constellation. (Source: Lockheed Martin, 04/26/11) Gulf Coast note: SBIRS is an A2100 satellite-based spacecraft. Work on the A2100 core's propulsion system, which positions the spacecraft in orbit, is done at Stennis Space Center, Miss. (Source: Alliance Insight, pp 4-5, July 2009)

RS-68A completes design certification

CANOGA PARK, Calif. - Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne successfully completed the design certification review for the upgraded RS-68A engine configuration, demonstrating the hydrogen-fueled engine has met all requirements to power heavy-lift vehicles into space. The first three flight engines, 30003, 30004 and 30005, have completed acceptance testing. Engine 30003 has already been integrated onto a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy launch vehicle in Decatur, Ala. Integration activities for engine 30004 have been initiated, and the third engine, 30005, has successfully completed its processing at Stennis Space Center, Miss., and is awaiting shipment to Decatur in May. The three engines are scheduled to boost a future Delta IV Heavy launch vehicle into orbit carrying a government payload. (Source: PRnewswire, 04/26/11)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Contract: L-3 Vertex, $10M

L-3 Communications Vertex Aerospace LLC, Madison, Miss., is being awarded a $10,000,000 firm-fixed-price task order under General Services Administration Federal Supply Schedule contract for T/AV-8B aircraft maintenance and logistics support for Marine Attack Training Squadron 203 at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C. This task order includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this order to $10,009,858. Work will be performed at MCAS Cherry Point, N.C., and is expected to be completed by April 2016. The Cherry Point Satellite Contracting Office at MCAS Cherry Point, N.C., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 04/22/11)

Fire Scouts to fly Afghan missions

Navy Fire Scouts have been shipped to the Central Command to support Army and coalition forces in Afghanistan, the Navy said. The unmanned helicopter system, under development by the Naval Air Systems Command to operate from ships, will be land-based in CENTCOM for about a year. Fixed-wing drones have performed missions in the region and elsewhere ranging from surveillance to air strikes. Fire Scout is a small helicopter able to stay aloft more than eight hours, fly up to about 17,000 feet and travel about 115 knots. The system deployed to Central Command includes three MQ-8B aircraft, two ground control station and other hardware. Personnel from Northrop Grumman will operate the system. (Source: Navy Times, 04/21/11, NAVAIR, 04/20/11) Gulf Coast note: Fire Scouts are made in part in Moss Point, Miss.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Vision adding more flights

Vision Airlines plans to offer direct flights to five new locations from Northwest Florida Regional Airport at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Vision has announced plans to add flights the week of June 1 to and from Las Vegas, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., St. Louis, Memphis, Tenn., and Lafayette, La. In addition to the new destinations, Vision Airlines will expand its service to and from Atlanta from four trips a week to daily. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 04/20/11)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

NASA picks projects for development

NASA has selected 27 small business proposals that address critical research and technology needs for agency programs and projects for final contract negotiations. The proposals have a combined value of about $16.2 million. The selected proposals were submitted by 27 high-tech firms in 18 states, partnering with 24 research institutions in 19 states. Negotiated individual awards, each with a value of up to $600,000, will be for research projects for two years. Three of the proposals involve technologies being developed for the Office of the Chief Technologist at NASA's Stennis Space Center, Miss. (Source: NASA, 04/20/11)

Sale of piston engine business completed

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - Teledyne Technologies Inc. said Tuesday that it's completed the divestiture of its piston engine businesses, Teledyne Continental Motors Inc. and Teledyne Mattituck Services Inc., in a stock sale to Technify Motor (USA) Inc., a subsidiary of China's AVIC International Holding Corp. The purchase price is $186 million, prior to customary working capital adjustments. Headquartered in Mobile, Ala., Continental Motors makes piston engines, as well as spare parts and components, used in small propeller-driven general aviation aircraft, and employs about 400 workers. Continental Motors also maintains service centers in Fairhope, Ala., and Mattituck, N.Y. (Source: Business Wire, 04/19/11)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Contracts: L-3, $51.8M, $32.3M

L-3 Communications Aerospace LLC, Madison, Miss., was awarded two related contracts. One was a $51,847,145 labor-hour contract to provide for the mechanical support, quality control inspection and other services to aircraft production at Corpus Christi Army Depot, Texas. The other is a $32,303,071 labor-hour contract to provide for services including stock clerks, supply technicians, computer operators, clerks, site manager, production supervisor, to directly support aircraft production at the Corpus Christi Army Depot. Both have an estimated completion dates of April 28, 2014. The Corpus Christi Army Depot, Corpus Christi, Texas, is the contracting activity for both. (Source: DoD, 04/19/11)

Discovery crew to visit SSC

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - Crew members of space shuttle Discovery's final mission, STS-133, will visit NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center Wednesday to thank employees for their part in a safe mission. Commander Steve Lindsey led the 13-day mission to the International Space Station. Other crew members were Pilot Eric Boe and Mission Specialists Nicole Scott, Alvin Drew, Steve Bowen and Michael Barratt. Discovery completed its final flight on March 9. During the mission, the crew delivered and installed the Permanent Multipurpose Module and the Express Logistics Carrier 4 to the space station, and also delivered critical spare components. Discovery is the first craft of the three-shuttle fleet to be retired. During its 27 years in service, it flew 39 missions and logged more than 148 million miles in space. (Source: NASA, 04/18/11)

First F-35 full mission simulator arrives

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - The first F-35 full mission simulator system has been delivered by Lockheed Martin to Eglin Air Force Base's 33rd Fighter Wing. Preparation and assembly is underway at the base's F-35 Integrated Training Center for training to begin this fall. The Joint Strike Fighter simulator includes a high-fidelity 360-degree visual display system and a reconfigurable cockpit that simulates all three aircraft variants for U.S. and international partner services. The system is the highest fidelity trainer in the F-35 pilot-training-device suite, replicating all F-35 sensors and weapons deployment. In all F-35 simulators, actual aircraft software is used to give pilots the most realistic experience and allow software upgrades in step with the F-35 development. Small group training events with pilot and maintenance instructors are currently being held at the ITC using maintenance, desktop and mission trainers. (Source: PRNewswire, 04/18/11)

Lockheed Gulf Coast tech hub announced

JACKSON, Miss. - Lockheed Martin announced Tuesday plans to open a new Mission Support Center in the Greater Jackson, Miss. area in September 2011. It will create up to 350 jobs and provide diverse technology services for federal customers. The center establishes Lockheed Martin's Gulf Coast Technology Hub and increases the corporation's presence in the state. Lockheed Martin has existing operations in Biloxi, Stennis Space Center and Vicksburg. The new facility will work with Lockheed Martin's East Coast and West Coast Technology Hubs in Rockville, Md. and Altadena, Calif. to offer enhanced technology capabilities such as cloud computing, business continuity and disaster recovery services. "The state of Mississippi offers the right workforce and facility to create a world-class operation that will deliver enhanced technology services and best value to customers," said Linda Gooden, Executive Vice President, Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions. (Source: PRNewswire, 04/19/11)

Lockheed expanding in FWB

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. - Lockheed Martin is preparing to expand its operations at Eglin Air Force Base to prepare for the incoming F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and needs more workers. Lockheed Martin is teaming up with JobsPlus One-Stop Career Center for a series of job fairs later this week. The company needs 91 full-time workers in a number of technical positions. The job fair is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday and Friday at JobsPlus' Fort Walton Beach location. (Source: Destin Log, 04/18/11) Eglin Air Force Base will be the home of the JSF training center for all branches of service.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Airport OKd for UAS flights

COLUMBUS, Miss. - The Federal Aviation Administration has issued a Certificate of Authorization (COA) to Mississippi State University for Stark Aerospace to fly the Heron Unmanned Aerial System from Golden Triangle Regional Airport. The COA allows limited unmanned flights in the national air space, in this case inside the traffic control area of Golden Triangle Regional Airport. The Heron medium altitude long endurance UAS is produced by Stark Aerospace. The aircraft provides reconnaissance and can fly at 30,000 feet. It’s in use in 27 countries. (Source: Stark Aerospace, 04/13/11) Gulf Coast note: Trent Lott International Airport in Moss Point, Miss., and Stennis Space Center, Miss., also have COAs.

Goodrich to add workers

FOLEY, Ala. – Goodrich Corp. will hire about 20 people at its Foley operation as it prepares to make more aircraft parts for Airbus and Boeing Co. The new employees would help make thrust reversers and exhaust systems that cover aircraft engines in a unit called a nacelle. Goodrich, based in Charlotte, N.C., has 730 employees in Foley. Airbus and Boeing plan to ramp up production of the A320 and 737, respectively, in the coming year, meaning they will need more nacelles. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 04/16/11)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Pall Corp. wins $14M order

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. - Pall Corp., which makes filtration, separation and purification systems, was awarded an Army contract to supply its Centrisep engine advanced protection system for 59 Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopters. Centrisep is designed to protect CH-47 helicopter engines from particle erosion by continuously separating dust and sand from inlet air. This order is valued at about $14 million. Shipments will begin in December 2011 and be completed by November 2012. (Source: Business Wire, 04/14/11) Gulf Coast note: Pall has an operation in Pensacola, Fla.

Topping out done on A-3 stand

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - The new A-3 Test Stand being built at NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center reached a milestone Wednesday with the placement of the test cell dome atop the stand. It's known as the "topping out." NASA broke ground in 2007 for the new stand, which is being built to provide simulated high-altitude testing for next-generation rocket engines that will carry humans into deep space. The stand will use a series of chemical steam generators to create a vacuum that allows operators to test full-scale engines at simulated altitudes up to 100,000 feet. The A-3 stand, scheduled for activation in 2013, is the first large test structure to be built at Stennis since the facility was established to test the Saturn V rocket stages that helped carry Apollo astronauts to the moon. (Source: NASA, 04/13/11)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Aviation Days scheduled

GULF SHORES, Ala. - The first of what officials hope to become an annual Aviation Days festival starts Friday at the Jack Edwards National Airport in Gulf Shores. The two-day event offers children and adults the chance to take the controls of an aircraft in flight, ride in a 1928 biplane, observe 35 different planes, including a "Hurricane Hunter" from Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. Admission is free, and the hours are noon to 4:30 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 04/14/11)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cochran: Bolden gives SSC assurances

Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., said NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Jr., offered additional assurances that his agency intends to complete construction of test stands at Stennis Space Center, Miss. Cochran, vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, questioned Bolden during a Senate subcommittee hearing late Monday afternoon to review the FY2012 budget request for NASA. Cochran sought Bolden's views on the future of NASA's test stands and its development of 130-ton heavy lift vehicle in light of the funding uncertainties for the remainder of FY2011, as well as FY2012. "The 2012 budget that I have put forth will support the continued development of our testing capability at Stennis. We intend to complete the construction of the A-3 test stand. I think, as you are probably very well aware, Stennis has become rejuvenated and reinvigorated," said Bolden, citing recent rocket tests and the increased testing capabilities that will be offered with a completed A-3 test stand. (Source: Sen. Thad Cochran, 04/12/11)

Fire Scout sets single-day endurance record

The Northrop Grumman-built MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter marked a new single-day flight record of 18 hours. Navy operators achieved the record using a single aircraft in a series of endurance flights Feb. 25 from the USS Halyburton. Fire Scout is providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data to support anti-piracy missions while deployed on the ship for the Navy's 5th Fleet. Last April, Fire Scout concluded a military utility assessment on board the USS McInerney, a frigate similar to the Halyburton. Fire Scout has flown twice as much in the first two months on the Halyburton than the entire McInerney deployment. The system also completed initial flight tests on board the littoral combat ship USS Freedom in November. (Source: Globe Newswire, 04/12/11) Gulf Coast note: Fire Scouts are built in part in Moss Point, Miss.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

C-21 training leaving Keesler

The 458th Airlift Squadron at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., will become the Air Force's sole C-21 formal training unit within the next four months. The squadron will regain the C-21 training mission from the 45th Airlift Squadron at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. The 45th AS will dissolve as a unit under Air Education and Training Command and will once again fall under Air Mobility Command's 375th Operations Group. The C-21 training mission had belonged to Scott Air Force Base up until the early 1990s. (Source: AFNS, 04/07/11)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Flight academy given challenge

PENSACOLA, Fla.- The National Flight Academy received a $3 million challenge grant from Hilton Hotels founder Conrad N. Hilton’s foundation. It will be paid when the academy, now under construction at Naval Air Station Pensacola, meets its current $15 million fundraising goal. The academy is set to open in 2012 and will be a naval aviation-themed educational camp for students in grades 7-12. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 04/06/11)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Contract: Boeing, $28.3M

Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded a $28,297,174 cost-plus-incentive-fee contract modification for eight massive ordnance penetrator assets, 16 separation nuts, eight MOP loading adapters, and an aft closure redesign. Work will be performed at St. Louis, Mo. The ACC/EDBK/EDBJ, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 04/07/11)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Contract: Lockheed Martin, $162.7M

Lockheed Martin Corp., of Orlando, Fla., is being awarded a $162,742,115 firm fixed price contract modification for a Lot 9 production contract for approximately 95 baselines and 30 extended range missiles to support the Air Force, which also includes warranty and systems engineering. Work will be performed at Orlando, Fla. The contracting activity is AAC/EBJK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. (Source: DoD, 04/04/11)

Contract: Kaman Precision, $19.8M

Kaman Precision Products of Orlando, Fla., is being awarded a $19,818,294 firm fixed price contract modification which will provide the Air Force with an additional quantity of 6,000 of the Joint Programmable Fuze systems to meet munitions requirements. The JPF is a fuze system used with precision weapons systems such as the Joint Direct Attack Munition, and equipped with variable delay systems that may be programmed manually or from the cockpit through its in-flight reprogrammability feature. Work will be performed at Orlando, Fla. The contracting activity is AAC/EBDK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. (Source: DoD, 04/04/11)

Contract: Raytheon, $172.6M

Raytheon Co., Tucson, Ariz., was awarded a $172,571,968 firm-fixed-price contract that will provide for the procurement of a block of M982 Excalibur unitary 155mm precision engagement projectile. Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz.; McAlester, Okla.; Farmington, N.M.; Niceville, Fla.; Healdsburg, Calif.; Anniston, Ala.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Anaheim, Calif.; Williamsport, Penn.; Joplin, Mo.; Lowell, Mass.; Karlskoga, Sweden; and the United Kingdom; with an estimated completion date of Jan. 31, 2013. The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Picatinny, N.J., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 04/04/11)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Goodrich to buy Italian company

Goodrich Corp. plans to buy Italian aerospace control system maker Microtecnica for $462 million. Microtecnica, which employs 700 people in Italy and the United Kingdom, makes flight control actuation systems for helicopters, regional and business aircraft and missiles, as well as thermal and environmental control systems. The sale is scheduled to close before the end of June. Goodrich, based in Charlotte, N.C., employs more than 700 people in Foley, Ala. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, Goodrich, 04/01/11)