Thursday, April 30, 2015

TAI gets new Airbus contract

Airbus awarded Turkish Aerospace Industries a new contract to supply its A320 aircraft with fuselage panels. Turkish Aerospace Industries has been the sole supplier for the Section 18 fuselage panels for the A320 since 2014. The new contract gives the Turkish company responsibility to manufacture another section of the Airbus A320 called Section 19. (Source: Anadolu Agency, 04/29/15) Gulf Coast note: An A320 final assembly line will open in Mobile, Ala., this year.

Contract: Systima, $12.5M

Systima Technologies Inc., Kirkland, Wash., has been awarded a $12,500,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for stand-off precision guided munitions (SOPGM) precision strike capability. Contractor will provide support of the munition system carriage and release with products for employing SOPGMs and precision strike packages; installation, test, and operation of SOPGMs and precision strike capability on government specified platforms, assets (including aircraft) to support test of and training with SOPGMs and precision strike capability. Work will be performed at Kirkland and is expected to be complete by May 3, 2020. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity (FA8656-15-D-0033). (Source: DoD, 04/30/15)

Contract: UTC, $157M

United Technologies Corp., Pratt and Whitney Military Engines, East Hartford, Conn., is being awarded a $156,955,110 fixed-price-incentive-firm target advance acquisition contract to procure long lead-time components, parts, materials and effort in support of 90 low-rate initial production Lot X F-135 propulsions systems for the F-35. These systems include (44) F-135-PW-100 for the Air Force; (9) F-135-PW-600 for the Marine Corps; and (2) F-135-PW-100 for the Navy. In addition, this contract provides for the procurement of (30) F-135-PW-100 and (5) F135-PW-600 systems for international partners and Foreign Military Sales customers. Work will be performed in East Hartford (67 percent); Indianapolis, Ind. (26.5 percent); and Bristol, United Kingdom (6.5 percent); and is expected to be completed in September 2017. Fiscal 2015 aircraft procurement, (Air Force and Navy) funds, as well as international partner and Foreign Military Sales funds in the amount of $156,955,110 are being obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract combines purchases for the Air Force (41 percent); the Navy (20 percent); international partners (28 percent); and foreign military sales (11 percent). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N00019-15-C-0004). (Contract: DoD, 04/30/15) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center and F-35 reprogramming lab.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Contract: Lockheed, $14.7M

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, has been awarded a $14,652,084 modification (P00602) to previously awarded contract FA8611-08-C-2897 for F-22 Sustainment contract for Reliability and Maintainability Maturation Program (RAMMP) annual support. Contractor will provide RAMMP retrofit efforts for execution of Air Cycle Machine Redesign and Mighty Tough Boot. Work will be performed at Fort Worth and is expected to be complete by April 30, 2018. Fiscal year 2014 aircraft procurement funds in the amount of $14,587,420 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Hill Air Force Base Utah, is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 04/29/15) Gulf Coast note: F-22 pilots are trained at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., which also has an operational F-22 squadron.

Contract: Northrop, $31.7M

Northrop Grumman Undersea Systems, Annapolis, Md., is being awarded a $31,653,045 firm-fixed-priced, cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity requirements contract for depot level repair, maintenance, and modifications of the AN/AQS-24 Mine Detecting System to support the Navy for the currently deployed Airborne Mine Countermeasures legacy systems. This follow-on contract includes the technical support, analysis, repair, modification, interface equipment, and engineering support and all depot repairs and incorporation of engineering change proposals, including the updates of all integrated logistics support documentation to support the conversions and sustainment. The AN/AQS-24 is currently fielded for use by the Navy to conduct quick response, high-speed airborne mine countermeasures. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $84,520,065. Work will be performed in Annapolis and is expected to be completed by April 2016. Naval Surface Warfare Center - Panama City Division, Panama City, Fla., is the contracting activity (N61331-15-D-0011). (Source: DoD, 04/28/15)

Contract: Lockheed, $142.7M

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Ft. Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $142,683,533 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee contract (N00019-02-C-3002) to continue development of the Joint Strike Fighter Autonomics Logistics Information System Standard Operating Unit Version 2 capability development effort. This modification includes the incorporation of sub-squadron reporting, dynamic routing, and decentralized maintenance capabilities. Work will be performed in Orlando, Fla. (80 percent); and Fort Worth, Texas (20 percent), and is expected to be completed in July 2017. Fiscal 2015 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force) funds in the amount of $18,576,713 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 04/28/15) Related previous. Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center and F-35 reprogramming lab.

F-35s to shift runways

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The Air Force said Tuesday that work on a runway will cause the temporary shift of F-35 operations to another runway, which may lead to a slight increase in noise over Valparaiso for a few months. Most F-35 flight operations use Runway 12/30, but starting on Friday that runway will be closed for upgrades. The F-35 traffic will shift to Runway 01/19, the main north/south runway. The Air Force also said that starting in May, Eglin will become a temporary host to 15 F-35Cs that are part of the Navy's backup aircraft inventory. The 15 planes will relocate to Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif., when required construction there is completed in about three years. (Source: GCAC, 04/28/15)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Audit slams F-35 engine

A federal report has slammed the reliability of Pratt and Whitney's F-35 engine as being "very poor," less than half of where it should be according to the Government Accountability Office. Federal auditors warned lawmakers that the engine "has a long way to go to meet program goals" and that "more technical problems are likely." Company executives said they were surprised by the strong language. Pratt and Whitney's head of military engines Bennett Croswell said the data is accurate but "fails to tell the rest of the story." He said the company has updated its latest production engines to fix prior reliability issues, and those engines are meeting current government reliability marks. According to company numbers that account for additional hours that engines are running on the ground, the conventional variant performs at 147 percent of required reliability levels and the short-takeoff and vertical landing variant performs at 119 percent of required levels. The company is producing the F135 engines in Middletown, Conn., and West Palm Beach, Fla. The military plans to spend $391.1 billion for a fleet of 2,443 planes from prime contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. (Sources: Hartford Courant, Bloomberg, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, 04/27/15) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Regiment gets new leader

FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Army Aviation's 1st Battalion, 58th Aviation Regiment (Airfield Operations) has a new commanding officer. Lt. Col. James Ashburn assumed command April 15 during a change of command ceremony. Ashburn returns to Fort Rucker from an assignment with the joint plans office, and executive officer, for the U.S. Central Command headquarters in south Florida. He attended the Officer Basic Course and Initial Entry Rotary Wing Training at Fort Rucker after graduating from the U.S. Military Academy. (Source: Army Flier, 04/23/15)

Saturday, April 25, 2015

F-35's ALIS draws fire

Subpar performance of the F-35 logistics information system has drawn the attention of lawmakers, who got an earful from F-35 maintenance crews during a recent visit to Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The autonomic logistics information system, or ALIS, is hooked up to each F-35 to monitor every component of the aircraft and to alert operators of any breakdowns. The complaints heard by members of Congress include user-unfriendliness, slow response to queries and high frequency of false alarms. Military aviation experts said some of these issues are temporary and should be expected in new programs, but other shortcomings might take years to fix. Program Executive Officer Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan traveled to Eglin this week to personally investigate the issues raised by the committee. (Source: National Defense Magazine, 04/24/15)

Friday, April 24, 2015

Florida No. 1 on aerospace list

Florida is ranked No. 1 when it comes to aerospace manufacturing attractiveness, according to the latest study by PricewaterhouseCoopers. The 2015 Aerospace Manufacturing Attractiveness Rankings has the United States ranked No. 1 of 142 countries, and within the United States Florida tops the list. The analysis looks at how countries and states in the U.S. compare in terms of their attractiveness as locations for commercial aircraft manufacturing. Florida also topped the list in the previous ranking. The 2015 report ranked states on tax rates, industry size, operating cost and education. The study used a weighted average of variables such as costs, workforce and number of aerospace companies in each state. Florida is home to more than 2,000 aerospace and aviation companies that employ more than 82,000 with an annual payroll impact of more than $5 billion. Alabama was ranked No. 22, Mississippi No. 30 and Louisiana No. 36. (Source: GCAC, 04/24/15) Study

Airbus picks metrology service

Airbus awarded ATT Metrology Services Inc. the metrology contract for its $600 million A320 final assembly line it's building in Mobile, Ala. The company, of Issaquah, Wash., provides precision measurement and alignment services. It will build out an existing structure to house a 5,000-square-foot laboratory that should be operational when the aircraft manufacturer begins production. The company's clients in the aerospace sector include Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Bombardier, Bell Helicopters and others. The Mobile Aeroplex facility represents a capital investment of between $200,000 and $300,000, said Joan Ihlenfeldt, ATT's chief operating officer. It will have four to eight employees, depending on the level of Airbus production. (Source:, 04/23/15)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Fuel transferred to X-47B

The X-47B successfully conducted the first ever Autonomous Aerial Refueling (AAR) of an unmanned aircraft April 22, completing the final test objective under the Navy's Unmanned Combat Air System demonstration program. While flying off the coast of Maryland and Virginia, the X-47B connected to a K-707 tanker aircraft and received over 4,000 pounds of fuel using the Navy's probe-and-drogue method. Earlier in the month, the X-47B successfully hooked up to the tanker with no fuel transferred. (Source: NNS, 04/22/15) Previous

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Contract: Lockheed, $14M

Lockheed Martin, Fort Worth, Texas, has been awarded a $14,050,549 cost plus, firm-fixed-price modification (P00580) to previously awarded contract FA8611-08-C-2897 for F-22 sustainment. Contractor will provide trainer hardware modifications, training system development, and distributed mission operations federation and integration. Work will be performed at Langley Air Force Base, Va.; Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska; Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.; Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii; Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas; and St. Louis, Mo., and is expected to be complete by Dec. 31, 2017. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, is the contracting activity (FA8611-08-C-2897). (Source: DoD, 04/21/15)

Key radar tests begin on Triton

The Navy has launched flight tests on the Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton of one of the first active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars with 360-degree coverage developed exclusively for the maritime patrol mission. The multifunction active sensor (MFAS) completed first flight onboard the unmanned MQ-4C on April 18 following risk reduction phase testing on a Gulfstream GII. "We're very confident the radar is going to work," said Sean Burke, the Navy MQ-4C program manager. Burke cited the 42 test flights on the GII as the source of the Navy’s confidence. The tests on the MQ-4C are critical to a Navy decision at the end of this year on whether to launch low-rate initial production of a Triton fleet, expected to number 70 aircraft. The unmanned Triton, the Navy's variant of a Global Hawk, is designed to augment the Navy's manned fleet of P-8A maritime patrol aircraft in broad area maritime surveillance missions. (Source: Flightglobal, 04/21/15) Gulf Coast note: Triton fuselage work is done by Northrop Grumman in Moss Point, Miss.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Contract: HX5, $24.2M

HX5, Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., has been awarded a $24,162,581 cost reimbursable contract for advisory and assistance services (A&AS). Contractor will provide A&AS for the Munitions Division and the Range Systems Branch to support of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center. Work will be performed at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, and is expected to be complete by May 30, 2020. Two 8(a) owned small businesses were solicited within Pool 6 of the General Services Administration One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services contract. Fiscal 2015 ammunition, other procurement, operations and maintenance and research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $2,886,912 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8622-15-F-8111). (Source: DoD, 04/20/15)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Railgun to be tested at Eglin

The Naval Sea Systems Command will conduct the first at-sea test of its Electromagnetic Railgun (EMRG) in the summer of 2016 at Eglin Air Force Base's maritime test range. The BAE Systems designed test gun will be mounted on the USNS Trenton (JHSV-5), built by Austal USA in Mobile, Ala., for the tests. Navy officials said last week at a U.S. Navy League Sea-Air-Space symposium that the Florida over-the-horizon test will place a static floating target at a range of 25 to 50 nautical miles from the test ship and fire five GPS guided hypervelocity projectiles (HVP) at the target as the final part of 20 planned firings for the rail gun at the Eglin range. The rail gun uses high powered electromagnetic pulses instead of chemical propellants to fire projectiles that can move at seven times the speed of sound. The kinetic energy can accelerate a 45-pound projectile from zero to 5,000 mph in less than a second. (Sources: multiple, including USNI, Janes, Seapower Magazine, 04/14/15)

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Mobile chosen C212 support center

MOBILE, Ala. -- Airbus Defense and Space selected Airbus DS Military Aircraft Inc. at Mobile Regional Airport as the new worldwide support center for the C212 aircraft series. The C212 transport aircraft was designed to operate in austere environments for extended periods of time, without the need for ground support equipment. It is able to carry up to 25 people or a 6,200 pound payload. With a large customer base both in military and civil operations, North and South America are collectively home to the largest C212 fleet in the world. Celebrating its 10th anniversary in Mobile, Airbus DS Military Aircraft continues to increase its service and support capabilities in repair and overhaul of various Airbus aircraft and components. Airbus DS Military Aircraft Inc. offers complete maintenance, repair and overhaul services, extensive material services, professional engineering, and technical support for transport aircraft. The 50-worker Mobile operation provides operators of the C212 and CN235 tactical transports with the capabilities of a certified FAA and European Aviation Safety Agency repair station. Last year, the company opened a new 7,500-square-foot component repair facility, expanding on its 30,000-square-foot maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) delivery center. (Source: Marketwired, 04/17/15) Airbus is also building an A320 assembly line at Mobile Aeroplex, where it also has an engineering center.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Contract: Applied Research, $11.7M

Applied Research Associates Inc., Albuquerque, N.M., has been awarded an $11,728,919 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for airfield operating surfaces and airfield damage repair technology development. Work will be performed at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., and is expected to be complete by April 14, 2020. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition with two offers received. Fiscal 2015 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $1,350,000 are being obligated at the time of award. The 772nd Enterprise Sourcing Squadron, Tyndall Air Force Base, is the contracting activity (FA8051-15-C-0002). (Source: DoD, 04/17/15)

SSC-born company hits big time

A technology company founded in South Mississippi to help coordinate resources and teams after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 now is the exclusive partner to provide technical support for all Google Geo Products, including Google Maps Engine, Google Maps API and Google Earth Enterprise. Navigas, started at Stennis Space Center, was co-founded by Ben Hubbard and David Moore, both Mississippi State graduates. The company is now headquartered in San Francisco, with a home office in Jackson, Miss. "In a very short period of time, Navagis grew from a small Mississippi tech startup to a global corporation chosen by Google, the most-recognized company in geospatial technology," said Craig Harvey, president of the Enterprise for Innovative Geospatial Solutions (EIGS), a cluster of geospatial industries, universities and state and federal agencies along the northern Gulf Coast. "Navagis exemplifies the goals of the EIGS cluster that was started by the state of Mississippi and NASA 16 years ago to grow a geospatial industry which includes thought leaders and front-runner companies," Harvey said. (Source: Sun Herald, 04/16/15)

NASA awards software contract

NASA has awarded a contract to The MathWorks Inc., of Natick, Mass., to provide new software licenses, maintenance and product training for mathematical computing software to be used by NASA engineers and scientists. The MathWorks contract is an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract with provisions for firm-fixed delivery/task orders, which consists of a one-year base period and four one-year options. The period of performance will begin May 1 with a potential end date of April 30, 2020, and total value of $30 million. The contract will be administered by the Enterprise License Management Team at the NASA Shared Services Center (NSSC) located at Stennis Space Center, Miss. The NSSC handles select business activities for all NASA centers. (Source: NASA/NSSC, 04/17/15)

Union withdraws petition

There will be no union vote at the Boeing plant in North Charleston, S.C., next week afterall. Boeing was notified today that the International Association of Machinists (IAM) has withdrawn its petition to unionize the company's North Charleston facilities. As a result, no election will be held on April 22, and the union will not be able to file for a new election for at least six months. (Sources: Boeing, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, 04/17/15) Previous

X-47B has first aerial refuel test

An X-47B unmanned aerial vehicle had a first-ever aerial refueling test off the coast of Maryland this week. The Daily Mail and others reported the drone's refueling probe plugged into the hose of a KC-707. The X-47B, built by Northrop Grumman, used optical sensors and a camera to monitor its approach to the tanker. No fuel as transferred. (Source: Daily Mail, War is Boring, 04/16/15) Gulf Coast note: Two other Northrop Grumman drones, the Global Hawk and Fire Scout, are built in part in Moss Point, Miss.; naval aviators are trained in part in Northwest Florida. X-47B aerial refuel demo axed; Mag lauds X-47B innovators; Drone catapults from carrier

Thursday, April 16, 2015

NASA selects research projects

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. -- NASA has selected 149 research and technology proposals from American small businesses and research institutions that will enable NASA's future missions into the solar system and beyond while benefiting America's technology-driven economy. The selected proposals now will enter into negotiations for contract awards as part of Phase II of the agency's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. The selected aerospace technology and innovation projects have a total value of some $118.1 million, supporting 117 U.S. firms and research institutions in 26 states. Five selected proposals involve technology being administered by the Office of the Chief Technologist at NASA's Stennis Space Center in South Mississippi. (Source: NASA/Stennis Space Center, 04/16/15)

Contract: Geocent, $10M

Geocent LLC, Metairie, La., is being awarded a $10,131,795 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee multiple award contract for software and systems engineering, development and support services to assist in the delivery and maintenance of business applications, systems, and enabling technologies. This is one of three contracts awarded: each awardee will have the opportunity to compete for task orders during the ordering period. This three-year contract includes one two-year option period which, if exercised, would bring the potential value of this contract to $17,377,458. Work will be performed in San Diego, Calif. (90 percent); and Metairie (10 percent), and work is expected to be completed April 15, 2018. No contract funds will be obligated at the time of award. Funding will be obligated via task orders as they are issued. Task orders will be obligated using research, development, test and evaluation; operations and management (Navy, Navy Reserve, and Air Force); other procurement (Navy); procurement (Defense agency); and working capital fund (Navy) funds. This contract was competitively procured via 100 percent Small Business Set-Aside solicitation via publication on the Federal Business Opportunities website and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command e-Commerce Central website, with five proposals received and three selected for award. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific San Diego is the contracting activity (N66001-15-D-0142). (Source: DoD, 04/16/15)

Contract: Raytheon, $9.9M

Raytheon Co., Tucson, Ariz., has been awarded a $9,938,568 modification (P00007) to previously awarded contract FA8675-15-C-0022 for Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) production lots 28 and 29. This modification provides for the purchase of an additional 24 Captive Air Training Missile AIM-120D guidance section spares. Work will be performed at Tucson and is expected to be complete by March 31, 2017. Fiscal 2013 Air Force missile procurement funds in the amount of $8,282,140 and fiscal 2015 Navy weapons procurement funds in the amount of $1,656,428 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 04/16/15)

IHMC exec joins Doolittle Institute

PENSACOLA, Fla. -- John "Row" Rogacki, associate director at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC), has been named deputy director of the Doolitte Institute of Fort Walton Beach. The Doolittle Institute is a not-for-profit established to support the Air Force Research Laboratory and facilitate transfer of technology to and from the private sector. Rogacki, former head of the University of Florida Research and Education Facility outside Eglin Air Force Base, has been with IHMC since 2010 and will continue working with IHMC. "The arrangement between IHMC and the Doolittle Institute allows us to form a mutually beneficial relationship for collaborations in research programs related to science, technology, engineering, math, and medicine," Rogacki said. "It really builds upon the strengths of both organizations." (Source: IHMC, 04/16/15) Background, newsletter, story

Silver Airways adds service

PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward announced today that Silver Airways will begin daily service between Pensacola International Airport (PNS) and Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) starting on June 16. With the addition of the New Orleans service, PNS will offer non-stop service to 13 destinations. New Orleans becomes the fourth destination served by Silver from Pensacola International, which also flies non-stop from Pensacola to Orlando, Tampa, and Jacksonville, with connecting service to Fort Lauderdale. (Source: City of Pensacola, 04/16/15)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

DI a top veteran employer

DynCorp International (DI), of McLean, Va., has been recognized as a top veteran employer by Military Times for the fourth year in a row. "Many of our hires are former military personnel, almost 70 percent in 2014,” said Jim Geisler, DynCorp International chief executive officer. "Veterans are critical to our success. They bring skills, dedication, and values that give our company a competitive advantage." Companies from across the U.S. were invited to complete a survey about their efforts to recruit employees connected to the military, their company policies related to veterans, reservists and their families and the organization's culture. (Source: Business Wire, 04/14/15) Gulf Coast note: DynCorp International has employees who maintain Navy training aircraft in the Pensacola, Fla., metro area.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

C-130Js to stay at Keesler

The Air Force has abandoned plans to transfer C-130Js from Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., and deactivate the 815th Tactical Airlift Squadron. That’s according to a release from Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss. Palazzo said that since he first learned of the plan three years ago to move the 10 C-130Js, he has worked with Sens. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., and Roger Wicker, R-Miss., to ensure that would not happen. He said in the release that "today the Air Force made the right decision" to keep the C-130Js at Keesler. (Source: U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo, 04/14/15) Previous

Air Methods cited by FAA

The Federal Aviation Administration has proposed a $1.54 million civil penalty against Air Methods Corp. of Englewood, Colo., for allegedly operating Eurocopter EC-130 helicopters on dozens of flights around Pensacola, Fla., when they were not in compliance with FAA regulations. The FAA alleges Air Methods operated two helicopters on 70 passenger-carrying flights for compensation or hire, over water and beyond power-off gliding distance from shore, when they lacked required helicopter flotation devices and flotation gear for each occupant. The agency alleges the company operated another helicopter on 13 such flights when it lacked required flotation gear for each occupant. All 83 flights by the emergency medical transport company occurred around Pensacola. Air Methods has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA's civil penalty letter to respond. (Source: FAA, 04/14/15) Air Methods acquired the four bases of Baptist LifeFlight, owned by Baptist Health Care of Pensacola, in June 2014.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Larger Fire Scout a great fit

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The larger version of the MQ-8 Fire Scout unmanned helicopter has completed 297 test sorties and is scheduled to begin initial operational testing and evaluation in 2016, the Navy program manager said. The Northrop Grumman MQ-8C Fire Scout is larger and faster and can fly longer than the MQ-8B and will reduce the burden of manned aircraft, Capt. Jeff Dodge told a briefing at the Navy League's Sea-Air-Space Exposition. "For us it's a great fit," Dodge told Seapower after the briefing, “we were looking for greater range and endurance” than the MQ-8B, based on Schweizer 333 manned helicopter. The MQ-8C uses the Bell 407 airframe. The Navy has 23 MQ-8Bs and 19 MQ-8Cs. "We plan to put five more [MQ-8Cs] on contract this year," Dodge said, with long-term production plans of two air vehicles per year between fiscal 2016 and 2023 for a total of 40 MQ-8Cs. (Source: Seapower, 04/13/15) Gulf Coast note: Finishing work on both variants of the Fire Scout is done in Moss Point, Miss.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Navy's Whiting Field buffer grows

MILTON, Fla. -- With more than 1,300 acres acquired around Naval Air Station Whiting Field since 2001, Santa Rosa County has no plans to slow down its quest for land to protect operations at the base. The county on Thursday approved adding about 330 acres of conservation easements adjacent to the base. It includes a $650,000, 249-acre parcel and a $200,000, 80-acre parcel, funded through Florida Defense Infrastructure Grants. Another 2,000 acres are also being sought pending talks with landowners. Whiting Field, where naval aviators recieve training, has a $1.1. billion annual economic impact. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 04/10/15)

Unmanned system degree offered

PANAMA CITY, Fla. – Gulf Coast State College plans to offer a two-year degree in unmanned vehicle systems. The Gulf Coast Unmanned Vehicle Systems Program launches this summer with student enrollment planned for the 2015-2016 school year and full implementation expected for next year’s spring season. The two-year degree would be credited toward a four-year degree at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Embry-Riddle, headquartered in Daytona Beach, offers classes at Tyndall Air Force Base. (Source: Panama City News Herald, 04/09/15)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Contract: Lockheed, $150.6M

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $150,609,953 fixed-price-incentive contract to provide an integrated reprogramming capability to build, test, modify, and field F-35 mission data files for Australia and the United Kingdom. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas and is expected to be completed in December 2018. International partner funds in the amount of $150,609,953 are being obligated on this award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This modification combines purchases for the Governments of Australia (55 percent) and United Kingdom (45 percent). This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(1). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting authority (N00019-15-C-0105). (Source: DoD, 04/09/15) Gulf Coast note: Groundbreaking for the Australia, Canada, United Kingdom Reprogramming Lab (ACURL) at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., will be this summer. Details

Pensacola gets Jacksonville service

PENSACOLA, Fla. – Silver Airways Thursday launched new service between Pensacola International Airport and Jacksonville International Airport. The non-stop flights will operate Monday through Friday. With the addition of the Jacksonville service, Pensacola International Airport now offers non-stop service to 12 international hubs. (Source: City of Pensacola, 04/09/15)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Tyndall hosts weekend air show

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – After a four-year absence, the Gulf Coast Salute Air Show will be held Saturday and Sunday at Tyndall Air Force Base. The last show was in 2011, and was dropped because of budget issues. There will be air performances by the Air Force Thunderbirds and F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team, as well as the Army Golden Knights jump team. There will also be static displays. The show is free. (Source: Panama City News Herald, 04/07/15)

Flights to Love Field now daily

PANAMA CITY, Fla. -- Southwest Airlines, which in early March started offering Saturday service between Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport and Dallas Love Field, is now offering daily flights. The more frequent schedule began Wednesday. The airport is in West Bay, northwest of Panama City. (Source: Panama City News Herald, 04/07/15)

Team to attend MRO event

Northwest Florida will be represented at the upcoming MRO Americas 2015 event taking place this year at the Miami Beach Convention Center April 14-16. The aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) conference attracts airlines, manufacturers and service providers involved in a range of MRO activities. Florida's Great Northwest is coordinating a regional marketing effort that includes Pensacola International Airport, Okaloosa County Airports and Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, along with the Pensacola Chamber's Community Economic Development Association, Santa Rosa County Economic Development, the Economic Development Council of Okaloosa County, Bay County Economic Development and PowerSouth. There will be close to 1,000 exhibitors at the three-day event. (Source: Florida's Great Northwest, 04/08/15)

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Giving SpaceX Mars plans a boost

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. -- NASA's Stennis Space Center in South Mississippi is playing a key role for a highly successful, innovative commercial space company, testing parts of the powerful engine that will one day boost the company's massive Mars Colonial Transporter. (Source: GCRL article, GCRL Newsletter, 04/07/15)

The mentor of Coast Guard aviation

MOBILE, Ala. -- The U.S. Coast Guard Aviation Training Center at Mobile Regional Airport wears many hats, and a full-motion simulator developed for the Airbus-built HC-144 Ocean Sentry has attracted a good deal of international attention. (Source: GCRL article, GCRL Newsletter, 04/07/15)

Keeping 'em flying still big business

PENSACOLA, Fla. -- It’s a far cry from the days when the Naval Aviation Depot at Naval Air Station Pensacola had thousands of workers, but aircraft maintenance continues to be a multimillion-dollar business in the Pensacola metropolitan area, providing work for some 800 workers. (Source: GCRL article, GCRL Newsletter, 04/07/15)

Putting the fight in the F-35

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Eglin Air Force Base’s $300 million reprogramming lab provides the F-35 Lightning II with mission data to give it combat smarts, and now two more multimillion-dollar labs will be built at the base in Northwest Florida to customize data for F-35 partner nations. (Source: GCRL article, GCRL Newsletter, 04/07/15)

Contract: Crew MW, $9.2M

Crew MW LLC, Goldsboro, N.C., has been awarded a $9,200,000 indefinitedelivery/indefinite-quantity contract for Simplified Acquisition of Base Engineering Requirements (SABER). Contractor will provide all plant, labor, materials and equipment, and perform all operations in connection with SABER. Work will be performed at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and is expected to be complete by April 6, 2016. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition with 10 offers received. Fiscal year 2015 research, development, test and evaluation and operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $6,005 are being obligated for task order 0001 at the time of award. Air Force Test Center, Eglin Air Force Base, is the contracting activity (FA2823-15-D-4005). (Source: DoD, 04/07/15)

Friday, April 3, 2015

Contract: Airbus D&S, $9.4M

Airbus Defense & Space Inc., Herndon, Va., was awarded a $9,360,135 firm-fixed-price foreign military sales contract (Thailand) for UH-72A helicopter support, hardware, and services for the Royal Thai Army. Work will be performed in Thailand with an estimated completion date of March 31, 2017. One bid was solicited with one received. Fiscal 2015 other procurement funds in the amount of $9,360,135 are being obligated at the time of the award. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-15-C-0027). (Source: DoD, 04/03/15) Gulf Coast note: The helicopters are built in Columbus, Miss.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Okaloosa County park certified

CRESTVIEW, Fla. -- The Okaloosa Industrial Air Park has become the first certified park in Okaloosa County through Gulf Power's Florida First Sites program. Florida First Sites was created in 2013 to help communities prepare locations to attract new industries and new jobs to the region. Fourteen sites were initially submitted from public and private landowners. Of those 14 sites, six have been certified and four are still working toward their certification. The Okaloosa County certified park is 134.7 acres owned by the Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners. It's adjacent to Bob Sikes Airport, which has an 8,005-foot runway. Previously certified sites include two each in Santa Rosa and Bay counties and one in Jackson County. Four remaining sites working toward certification include two in Jackson County and one each in Santa Rosa and Walton counties. (Sources: Okaloosa County, Gulf Power, 04/02/15)

Airbus orders firmed up

ANA Holdings of Japan has firmed up an order for seven more A321 aircraft, following the previous announcement in January this year. This firm order brings ANA's total order for the A320 family to 37 aircraft (26 A321neo, four A321ceo with sharklet, and seven A320neo). (Source: Airbus, 04/02/15) In addition, CIT Group Inc. has placed a firm order for five more A321ceo aircraft, in effect doubling its most recent commitment for five A321 ceo aircraft signed at the 2014 Farnbourough International Airshow and firmed up in November 2014. This latest agreement brings CIT’s total order for the A320 Family to 205 aircraft, comprising 155 CEO and 50 NEO aircraft. (Source: BusinessWireAirbus, 04/02/15) Gulf Coast note: Airbus is building an A320 family assembly line in Mobile, Ala., that will open this year.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Contract: Ampex Data, $10M

Ampex Data Systems Corp., Redwood City, Calif., has been awarded a $9,991,101 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for sustainment of the current Airborne Data Recorder fleet. Contractor will provide spare parts, technical support, repair services, and upgrade support to the existing Airborne Data Recorder fleet. Work will be performed at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and is expected to be complete by March 31, 2020. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Fiscal year 2015 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $119,241 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Test Center, Eglin, is the contracting activity (FA2487-15-D-0090). (Source: DoD, 04/01/15)