Thursday, January 31, 2013

Boats will be targets

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- If you see a lot of boats in Choctawhatchee Bay in northwest Florida in early February, they may be targets for jet fighters. Starting on Feb. 5, the 96th Operations Group will be using about 30 boats as visual targets for F-15s and F-16s, but no weapons will be used. Similar operations will be conducted the week of Feb. 11-15. Operations the week of Feb. 11 will also be conducted in the Gulf of Mexico, south of Destin. Testing will occur between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day. (Source: 96th Test Wing, 01/28/13)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

100th F-35 on production line

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Assembly of the 100th Lockheed Martin F-35 is under way at the F-35 production facility in Fort Worth. Technicians are in the final phase of building the wings that will be installed on the 100th aircraft, AF-41. The conventional takeoff and landing variant, is one of 88 F-35s in various stages of completion at Fort Worth and Marietta, Ga., and supplier locations worldwide. The jet will be delivered to the U.S. Air Force at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. (Source: Lockheed Martin, 01/30/13) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the F-35 training center for all branches of the military and allied nations.

Donovan eyed for Pensacola airport

PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Mayor Ashton Hayward has nominated the director of the Okaloosa County Airports System to head Pensacola International Airport. Hayward will ask the City Council to confirm Gregory Donovan at its Feb. 11 meeting. Donovan, who was the assistant director of the Pensacola airport for seven years prior to taking his current position in Okaloosa County, has submitted his resignation and his last day on the job will be March 1. (Sources: Pensacola News Journal, 01/29/13, Northwest Florida Daily News, 01/30/13)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The drone retrievers

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- When there are tall waves, mean currents and high winds, the last thing anyone wants to do is jump into open water. But for the commercial divers aboard one of three 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron's Missile Retrievers, it's part of the job. The 82nd ATRS, a Tyndall tenant unit, is the only subscale aerial target provider in the Air Force, housing nearly 30 BQM-167A remote-controlled drones, which are water and land recoverable. The drones are a means to test and evaluate air-to-air weapons, the effectiveness of counter measures during sorties and the effectiveness of the weapons systems. The 82nd ATRS is a geographically separated unit of the 53rd Wing headquartered at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. (Source: 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs, 01/25/13) Related, Eglin seeks marine robots

Developer to build hangar

CRESTVIEW, Fla. -- A Pensacola developer plans to build a huge hangar at Bob Sikes Airport in hopes of attracting an aerospace company. Dan Gilmore, owner of RONDAN Investments, will lease land from the county to build a 137,000-square-foot hangar on John Givens Road. He said he is certain an aerospace company will lease the hangar, and he's talking to multiple aerospace companies about it. Mike Stenson, deputy airport director, said he gets calls all the time from large aerospace companies interested in a presence at Bob Sikes, and the number one question is if they have available hangar space. Right now the answer is no. Stenson said the planned hangar would be large enough to hold three C-130s. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 01/28/13) The general aviation airport, with an 8,005-foot runway, is 1,020 acres and adjacent to the 360-acre Okaloosa-Crestview Industrial Airpark.

F-35B to fly again soon

A fuel line issue that grounded F-35Bs has been isolated and the jets will resume flights soon, according to Defense News. The investigation determined the fueldraulic line, which uses fuel rather than hydraulic fluid to move the actuator for the exhaust system, was improperly crimped. The short-takeoff and landing variant of the F-35 was grounded after a Jan. 16 test flight at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The conventional and carrier variants were not affected. (Source: Defense News, 01/28/13) Eglin is home of the F-35 training center.

AF Reserve to begin changes

Air Force Reserve Command officials are moving forward with force structure changes authorized by the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2013. Among other things, the legislation authorizes new Air Force Reserve intelligence squadrons at four installations, including Hurlburt Field in Northwest Florida, slated to get the 28th Intelligence Squadron. Also in this region, Barksdale Air Force Base, La., will inactivate the 917th Fighter Group and retire 24 A-10C Thunderbolt IIs and transfer three A-10Cs to Whiteman AFB, Mo. (Source: AFNS, 01/25/13)

Monday, January 28, 2013

ST Aerospace decision close

PENSACOLA, Fla. – A decision on Singapore-based ST Aerospace's proposed expansion is nearing. A Pensacola News Journal columnist wrote that should Pensacola land the expansion it would mean hundreds of aerospace jobs at a planned aerospace industrial park at Pensacola International Airport. Mayor Ashton Hayward told the board that the Florida Department of Transportation offered $14 million for property acquisition at the airport land the company, which provides maintenance services. Hayward said he spoke with a top ST executive recently at the company's Mobile, Ala., headquarters and was told word should come through in the next week or two. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 01/24/13) Previous

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Female aviators help museum

PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Four female aviators visited Naval Air Station Pensacola to help the National Naval Aviation Museum gather material for an exhibit honoring the contributions women have made to naval aviation since World War I. The four, who flew in aboard an E-2C Hawkeye patrol plane, provided video interviews for the exhibit. The crew is part of the Carrier Airborne Early Warning System of the USS Carl Vinson. Women have been flying in combat positions in the Navy since the 1990s. The exhibit will open later this year. (Sources: Pensacola News Journal, story, 01/25/12)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Mobile and Airbus deal cited

The Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce's work landing the $600 million Airbus A320 assembly facility at Brookley Aeroplex is one of four honorable mentions in Business Facilities' 2012 Economic Development Deal of the Year competition. It said the deal "cements Alabama's status as an up-and-coming aerospace manufacturing giant," said Business Facilities Editor in Chief Jack Rogers. The plant is expected to eventually employ 1,000 people. (Source: Mobile Press Register, 01/24/13)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

1st AF getting new commander

Air Force Maj. Gen. William H. Etter was nominated for appointment to lieutenant general and for assignment as commander, First Air Force (Air Force North) and commander, Continental United States North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. Etter is currently serving as assistant to the chairman, joint chiefs of staff for National Guard matters, Joint Staff, Pentagon, Washington, D.C. (Source: DoD, 01/24/13)

Officers tapped for promotions

Three Air Force officers at Hurlburt Field, Fla., were among 60 officers nominated for promotions today. Col. James C. Slife, commander of the 1st Special Operations Wing, Air Force Special Operations Command, was nominated for appointment to brigadier general. Brig. Gen. Marshall B. Webb, director, plans, programs, requirements and assessments, headquarters Air Force Special Operations Command, was nominated for appointment to major general. Brig. Gen. Timothy J. Leahy, commander of the 23rd Air Force, director of operations Air Force Special Operations Command, was nominated for appointment to major general. (Source: DoD, 01/24/13)

Contract: CSC, $28.5M

CSC Applied Technologies LLC, Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $28,470,903 contract modification for Keesler Air Force Base Operatons Support Services. The location of performance is Keesler AFB, Miss. Work is expected to be completed by Jan. 31, 2014. The contracting activity is 81 CONS/LGCM, Keesler Air Force Base. (Source: DoD, 01/24/13)

Airport questions flight rates

PANAMA CITY, Fla. -- Declines in passenger traffic at Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport have prompted officials to conduct price evaluations to see if rates are competitive. December was the fourth straight month of passenger decreases, with nearly a 13 percent decline over the previous year. November also saw a double-digit decline, with traffic down 11 percent from November 2011. The decreases have led to discussions with pricing groups from the airport's major air carriers, Delta and Southwest, to make sure prices are comparable to those at airports in Tallahassee, Okaloosa County and Pensacola. (Source: Panama City News Herald, 01/23/13)

Spirit expands service

NEW ORLEANS -- Spirit Airlines begins its nonstop daily service Thursday between New Orleans Louis Armstrong International Airport and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Spirit said in July it would begin the service with hopes of expanding to twice-daily flights in June. Based in Miramar, Fla., with a fleet of 35 Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft, Spirit operates flights to 49 destinations in the United States, Caribbean, Bahamas and Latin America. (Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 01/23/13)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

AF testing airborne router

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Tests were completed this month on a flying wireless router with near instantaneous communications. The biggest difference between the router in homes and the new flying router is the Air Force's version is attached to a 30mm Gatling gun. The flying router is a new software upgrade called Net-T or network tactical for the LITENING and Sniper advanced targeting pods for all legacy fighters and the B-1. Developmental tests began in October. The 40th Flight Test Squadron tested the software's capability to allow groups of ground forces to communicate with each other via Remotely Operated Video Enhanced Receiver-5, a small arm-mounted touchscreen device the size of an iPad-mini. The Net-T pod capability allows units with ROVER-5s to communicate directly with each other using the aircraft to route signals, so long as the troops are in line-of-sight with the aircraft. The 40th FLTS will send the study to Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, by mid-February. The software upgrade will return to Eglin to begin the operational testing with the 53rd Wing. The flying router could be transmitting data in operational aircraft by 2014. (Source: Team Eglin Public Affairs, 01/18/13)

Lab gets accreditation

Technician analyzes patient's chromosomes.
Air Force photo
KEESER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- Keesler's Air Force Medical Genetics Laboratory has received accreditation from the College of American Pathologists. The CAP officially notified the genetics laboratory staff of the accreditation in December following an on-site inspection conducted in November. Keesler operates the only genetics center -- combined comprehensive genetics clinic and laboratory -- in the Department of Defense. The Keesler genetics laboratory, an element of the 81st Medical Operations Squadron, is one of more than 7,000 CAP-accredited facilities worldwide. (Source: 81st Medical Group Public Affairs, 01/23/13)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

SDB fit check completed

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The U.S. Air Force and Raytheon successfully completed a fit check of the GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb II on the F-35. During the test, four SDB II shapes were loaded into an F-35 weapon bay alongside an Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile. Sweeps of the inboard and outboard bay doors verified there was adequate clearance between the two weapons. SDB II is designed to be carried by a host of 4th- and 5th-generation aircraft. SDB II can hit targets from a range of greater than 40 nautical miles. (Source: Raytheon, 01/22/13)

Monday, January 21, 2013

F-35B grounded for now

A failure in a fuel line that caused an aborted takeoff last week has resulted in the grounding of the Marine Corps F-35B. Flights are suspended pending completion of an engineering investigation. The aborted takeoff was at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., home of the F-35 training center. The grounding does not affect the Air Force and Navy variants. (Sources: multiple, including Reuters, Defense News, 01/18/13, Havelock News, WEAR-TV, 01/21/13)

AJ26 has successful test

Aerojet, a GenCorp company, said its AJ26 engine successfully completed a hot fire test Friday evening at NASA's Stennis Space Center. Orbital Sciences Corp., Aerojet and NASA monitored the full-duration test in support of the Antares rocket program. It was the eleventh AJ26 engine to be tested at Stennis. Following review of the test data, the AJ26 will be configured for flight and shipped to NASA's Wallops Flight Facility for integration with Orbital's Antares rocket and will provide boost for the first stage of the Antares rocket. (Source: Globe Newswire, 01/18/13)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

MUOS-2 stored awaiting launch

SUNNYVALE, Calif. -- Lockheed Martin has completed system testing on the second satellite in the U.S. Navy’s Mobile User Objective System, MUOS-2. The satellite has been placed in storage to await its scheduled launch in July 2013. The MUOS constellation will provide communications for mobile warfighters, including simultaneous voice, video and data services. The first MUOS satellite and the associated ground system are currently providing legacy on orbit capability. The five-satellite, global constellation is expected to achieve full operational capability in 2015. (Source: Lockheed Martin, 01/16/13) Gulf Coast note: Work on the core propulsion system for the MUOS, an A2100 satellite-based spacecraft, is done at Stennis Space Center, Miss. Previous

Boeing edges Airbus

Boeing has taken over the number one spot from Airbus after a decade of trailing its European rival. Boeing ended 2012 with 1,203 net orders, while Airbus reported 833 net orders. Still, Airbus delivered record numbers of airliners last year, 588 aircraft to 89 customers, 17 of those customers new. Boeing delivered 601 planes. (Sources: multiple, including MarketWatch, euronews, Airbus, 01/17/13) Gulf Coast note: Airbus will break ground on its A320 assembly line in Mobile, Ala., in April.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Eglin seeks marine robots

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Air Force test experts are looking for companies able to provide unmanned underwater vehicles and sensor payloads to help recover air-delivered test weapons and provide other support to the Air Force 96th Test Wing and its ocean test range near Eglin. The Air Force Test Center issued a sources-sought notice for the Small Unmanned Marine Vehicle Systems Services program to find companies able to provide small unmanned vehicle and support personnel, equipment, tools, and materials. Systems should be self-contained and portable for remote operations; deployable from the coastline or from a 40-foot work boat; have a range of 420 nautical miles; and be capable of 24/7 operations. (Source: Military and Aerospace Electronics, 01/16/13) Notice

Old parts equal huge savings

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- The Air Force saved more than $14 million when it retrieved a supply of weapons parts that were given to allies years ago under the Marshall Plan. The modified 40 mm M2 A1 gun parts can be used in AC-130 gunship, and the Air Force Special Operations Command now has enough barrels to last the remainder of the gun's lifecycle on the AC-130. The Greek army retired the weapons in 2005 and they were sitting in a warehouse. The Air Force reclaimed 139 barrels, five breech rings and other miscellaneous parts. In mid-December 2012, the 40-foot shipping container arrived at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. (Source: AFNS, 01/15/13)

BAE to manage obsolete parts

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. -- The U.S. Air Force has awarded BAE Systems a $25 million contract to help manage obsolete parts for aircraft, weapon systems, and a range of electronics and equipment. This new contract includes a one-year base plus a one-year option. The work will be managed at the BAE Systems facility in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. Additional work will be performed at Hill Air Force Base, Utah; Tinker Air Force Base, Okla.; and Robins Air Force Base, Ga. (Source: Business Wire, 01/16/13)

Top Guns in Pensacola

PENSACOLA, Fla. -- The Navy's Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor Program, popularly known as "Top Gun," started arriving Sunday to practice mock air-to-air dogfights. The detachment, with 15 F/A-18 and F-16 aircraft and 140 military and civilian personnel, will be operating out of Naval Air Station Pensacola through Jan. 24. They usually operate out of Fallon, Nev., but the Navy said Fallon's winter weather is often unsupportive of air-to-air training. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 01/15/13)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

SBIRS delivered to Cape

The U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin have delivered the second Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO-2) Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) spacecraft to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., where it will be prepared for a March liftoff aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V. Featuring a mix of satellites in geosynchronous orbit, the SBIRS program provides improved missile warning capabilities. The contracts include four HEO payloads, four GEO satellites, and ground assets to receive, process, and disseminate the infrared mission data. The team has also begun initial work on the fifth and sixth GEO satellites. Two HEO payloads and GEO-1 have already launched into orbit. (Source: Lockheed Martin, 01/15/13) Gulf Coast note: Lockheed Martin at Stennis Space Center, Miss., works on the satellite's propulsion subsystem, crucial for maneuvering the satellite in orbit. Previous

A320 orders placed

BOC Aviation, the Singapore-based aircraft leasing subsidiary of Bank of China, has placed a new firm order, signed in December 2012, for the purchase of 50 A320 Family aircraft including 25 NEOs. The order comprises A320 and A321 variants of both engine options. BOC Aviation will make its engine selection later. (Source: Airbus, 01/15/13) Also, Citilink, a subsidiary of Garuda Indonesia, placed a firm order for 25 A320neo aircraft. The contract, signed in December 2012, follows an order placed in 2011 by Garuda Indonesia for 15 A320ceo and 10 A320neo aircraft for operation by Citilink. (Source: Airbus, 01/14/13) Gulf Coast note: Airbus plans to assemble A320 jets in Mobile, Ala.

Kingsley gets NATO post

Brig. Gen. Michael J. Kingsley, who has been selected for the rank of major general, vice commander, Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, Fla., to director, North Atlantic Treaty Organization-Afghanistan Transformation Task Force, Headquarters, International Security Assistance Force, Kabul, Afghanistan. (Source: DoD, 01/15/13)

Merchant heading to Pentagon

Brig. Gen. Scott W. Jansson will replace Maj. Gen. Kenneth D. Merchant as program executive officer for weapons, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Air Force Materiel Command, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Merchant will become director, global reach programs, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Pentagon, Washington, D.C. Jansson is currently commander, DLA Aviation, Defense Logistics Agency, Richmond, Va. The announcements were made today by the Air Force chief of staff. (Source: DoD, 01/15/13; Eglin release, 01/29/13)

Suit to be filed against Vision

Okaloosa County plans to file a lawsuit this week against Vision Airlines to recoup more than $146,000 in unpaid fees. The Okaloosa County Commission voted last month to sue Vision Airlines if the discount carrier did not pay its debt, or at least develop a new payment schedule, before the end of the year. Most of the amount, more than $117,000, is unpaid passenger facility charges. Vision Airlines starting serving Northwest Florida Regional in December 2010. It's no longer serving the airport. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 01/14/13) Previous

Flight festival return eyed

FAIRHOPE, Ala. -- The president of the Fairhope council is pushing an effort for the return of a Festival of Flight, which has not been held for five years. Funding remains an uncertainty, as well as the date. One of the reasons for a possible return of the event at the H.L. "Sonny" Callahan Airport is Airbus' decision to build an A320 assembly line in Mobile. The feeling is a return of the festival and perhaps a trade show and job fair will help attract more aerospace business to the airport. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 01/14/13)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

USM eyes marine algae as fuel

Researchers at the University of Southern Mississippi Department of Marine Science are studying turning marine micro-algae into fuel as part of a global push aimed at finding reliable alternative fuel sources. Under the direction of Dr. Donald Redalje, the school’s Marine Sciencce lab at Stennis Space Center, Miss., is studying algae grown from Mississippi coastal waters. While biofuel blends have already found their way to naval war ships and test flights on commercial airliners, Redalje and his team are looking for ways to streamline the process. "All the oil we are pumping out of the ground, what was it? Most people think dinosaurs. No. It was all marine micro algae," said Redalje, who's trying to recreate the process that until now has taken millions of years. "We know this works, the trick is how do we produce enough of it, cheaply enough to be a marketable product?" (Source: PR Web, 01/09/13)

Friday, January 11, 2013

F-35 trainer taking Nevada post

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- A member of the 33rd Fighter Wing will be heading to Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., to represent the Air National Guard at the Air Force Warfare Center. Lt. Col. Randal Efferson, 33rd Operations Group deputy commander, is one of the senior leaders at the wing who helped set up the F-35 integrated training center at Eglin. He also led the Operational Utility Evaluation team through his squadron's F-35 pilot training program, which resulted in an Air Force Education and Training Command "ready to train" decision December 2012. (Source: Florida National Guard Public Affairs, 01/10/13)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

F-22 move to be in 2014

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- As a result of a recent Air Force decision, the aircraft and personnel for an operational F-22 Raptor squadron are now scheduled to transfer to Tyndall in the spring of 2014. The transfer of the fighter squadron from Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., to Northwest Florida involves 620 active duty and 230 Air Force Reserve manpower authorizations. Twenty-one F-22s and seven T-38 Talons will move from Holloman to Tyndall. Until the arrival, Tyndall will continue training pilots on the F-22 while preparing for the expanded mission. (Source: 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs, 01/09/13)

PWR gets contractor award

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. -- NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center presented its Contractor Excellence Award to Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne Thursday for its commitment to teamwork, safety, customer service, and technical and managerial excellence at the center. PWR, based in Canoga Park, Calif., and with an engine assembly facility at SSC, developed the space shuttle main engine, which powered 135 shuttle missions from 1981 to 2011, and is developing the J-2X engine that will help power NASA's Space Launch System. The company also develops engines for military rockets and missiles. The Contractor Excellence Award was established in 2008 to recognize contractors, subcontractors or providers for outstanding performance during a three-year period. (Source: NASA/SSC, 01/10/13)

Texas picked for TACP school

Training for airmen who direct combat airstrikes will move from Florida to Texas. Air Force officials announced Joint Base San Antonio - Lackland, Texas, as the preferred alternative to host the Terminal Air Control Party (TACP) School. It was chosen over Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. The environmental impact analysis process must be complete before the decision is final. There's been an increase in demand for TACPs to support Army units, and the current school at Hurlburt Field, Fla., can't produce enough. Air Force TACPs act as the battlefield liaison between ground forces and aircraft overhead. They direct close-air support firepower toward enemy targets on the ground. (Source: AFNS, 01/09/13) The 19-week training at Hurlburt produces 270 graduates a year, but the Air Force wants to increase that number by 100. (Source: San Antonio Press, 01/10/13) Previous

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Contract: Applied Systems, $11.7M

Applied Systems Engineering Inc., Niceville, Fla., is being awarded an $11,655,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract, firm-fixed-price delivery orders for the procurement of Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) Advanced Tactical Navigator (ATACNAV) units and Anti-Spoofing Module Advanced Tactical Navigator High Accuracy units in support of the Battle Management Systems Program. The Advanced Tactical Navigator units will be utilized to retrieve position, velocity, and altitude of particular Battle Management Systems platforms. Work will be performed in Niceville, Fla., and is expected to be complete by January 2018. The Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division, Dahlgren, Va., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 01/09/13)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Northrop builds own Triton

Triton. Northrop Grumman photo 
SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Northrop Grumman is building a company-owned unmanned aircraft as a development and demonstration platform for at-sea surveillance under the U.S. Navy's MQ-4C Triton program. Triton, based on a Global Hawk airframe, provides a detailed picture of surface vessels to identify threats across vast areas of ocean and littoral areas. With its ability to fly missions up to 24 hours, Triton complements many manned surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft. The aircraft will be outfitted with the same intelligence-gathering sensors and communications suite as the Navy's Triton program. (Source: Northrop Grumman, 01/08/13) Gulf Coast note: The Triton central fuselage is built in Moss Point, Miss.

Fire Scout radar chosen

SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Northrop Grumman chose Telephonics Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Griffon Corp., Long Island, N.Y., to provide a multimode maritime radar system for the Navy's MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter. A $33 million contract was awarded to provide the development, production, integration and testing of nine radar systems. The new Telephonics RDR-1700B+ radar will give the MQ-8B Fire Scout wide-area search and long-range imaging capability to complement the capabilities of its current electro-optical infrared payload. The Navy put the company under contract to assess and select a radar system that would best match the MQ-8B Fire Scout's maritime operational requirements. (Source: Northrop Grumman, 01/08/13) Gulf Coast note: Fire Scouts are built in part in Moss Point, Miss.

Monday, January 7, 2013

UAV payload market to grow

The global unmanned aerial vehicle payload market, valued at about $43.7 billion at the end of 2012, will increase to $68.6 billion by 2022, according to an estimate in a report by Strategic Defense Alliance. Market demand is anticipated to be driven by increased UAV procurement by several countries and continuous requirement formulations in areas such as persistent surveillance, suppression/destruction of enemy air defense, communications relays and combat search and rescue. Another factor expected to drive the market is the increasing incorporation of UAVs in civilian applications. (Source: Space War, 01/07/13)

Core delivered to SSC

Lockheed Martin delivered the core structure for the first in a series of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's next-generation geostationary weather satellites to the company's Mississippi Space and Technology Center on NASA's Stennis Space Center, where it will undergo propulsion system integration. The rigid external structure of the first Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite–R Series (GOES-R), which will enclose the satellite's propulsion system and support the payloads, was designed by Lockheed Martin Space Systems and manufactured by ATK Aerospace Group’s Space and Components Division. For the next 11 months, the team will integrate GOES-R's fuel tanks, lines, thermal controls and other systems within the core structure. GOES-R is based on the company's A2100 satellite series. (Source: Lockheed Martin, 01/07/13)

Two Global Hawks delivered

Global Hawk. Northrop Grumman photo
SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Northrop Grumman completed early delivery of two Global Hawk unmanned aircraft to the U.S. Air Force ahead of schedule. In 2012, three new Global Hawks were delivered to the Air Force and five previously delivered aircraft completed installation of additional sensors that will allow them to gather multiple types of intelligence data during a single mission. A total of 37 Global Hawks have been delivered to the Air Force. Global Hawk has logged more than 80,000 flight hours and has been used over battlefields in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. (Source: Northrop Grumman, 01/07/13) Gulf Coast note: Global Hawks are built in part in Moss Point, Miss.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Space bill passed

The House approved a Senate amendment to a bill sponsored by Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee Chairman Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., which requires commercial launch companies to purchase insurance for any reasonable risk of damage to third parties. As amended by the Senate, it also extends a waiver to allow American astronauts to continue to fly aboard Russian spacecraft to access the International Space Station through 2020. The bill also conveys a Sense of Congress regarding future U.S. human spaceflight capabilities, stressing the need to ensure continued development of both NASA's Space Launch System and Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, along with the pursuit of commercial crew services to the ISS. (Source: Space Travel, 01/04/13) Gulf Coast note: Michoud Assembly Facility, New Orleans, and Stennis Space Center, Miss., are both involved in the SLS program. SSC also tests rocket engines for commercial launch companies.

Contract: EADS, $26.3M

EADS North America Inc., Herndon, Va., was awarded a $26,298,512 firm-fixed-price contract. The award will provide for the modification of an existing contract to procure contractor logistics support for Mission Equipment Packages for the Light Utility Helicopter program. Work will be performed in Columbus, Miss., with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2016. The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 01/03/13)

Contract: Thales Raytheon, $18.5M

Thales Raytheon Systems Co., Fullerton, Calif., was awarded an $18,549,840 firm-fixed-price contract. The award will provide for the modification of an existing contract to procure Sentinel radars and spares in support of Foreign Military Sales. Work will be performed in Fullerton, Calif., and Forest, Miss., with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2013. The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 01/03/13)

Northrop to pass on Paris show

WASHINGTON -- Northrop Grumman said it will not participate in the 2013 international air show in Paris, but could beef up its presence at air shows in Australia and the Middle East. The move is part of its overall drive to reduce costs as the U.S. defense industry tightens its belt. Northrop also bypassed the Farnborough air show outside London in 2012. (Source: Reuters, 01/02/13) Gulf Coast note: Northrop Grumman builds portions of the Global Hawk and its variants as well as the Fire Scout UAVs in Moss Point, Miss.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Alcoa gets Airbus award

TORRANCE, Calif. -- Alcoa Fastening Systems has received Airbus' Supply Chain and Quality Improvement Program Best Performer Bronze award for 2012. AFS was selected out of some 250 suppliers for exceptional quality and delivery performances. AFS supplies fasteners to Airbus for all of its major programs including the A320, A330, A340, A350, A380 and the A400M. (Source: Business Wire, 01/02/13) Gulf Coast note: There will be a ground breaking this year for an Airbus assembly line in Mobile, Ala., that will build A320 aircraft.