Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Contract: UTC, $214.6M

United Technologies Corp., Pratt & Whitney, Military Engines, East Hartford, Conn., is being awarded a $214,597,057 modification to a previously awarded fixed-price-incentive-firm, cost-plus-incentive-fee contract (N00019-15-C-0004) for Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Lot 10 annualized sustainment in support of the F-35 for the U.S Navy, U.S Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, Non -U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) participants and foreign military sales customers. This effort includes support services for LRIP 10 propulsion systems as well as hardware and training course material and equipment. Work will be performed in East Hartford (76 percent); Oklahoma City, Okla. (18 percent); Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. (2 percent); Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. (1 percent); Hill Air Force Base, Utah (1 percent); Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. (1 percent); and Beaufort, S.C. (1 percent), and is expected to be completed in April 2019. This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Air Force (47 percent); U.S. Marine Corps (27 percent); the U.S. Navy (11 percent); international partners (12 percent); and foreign military sales customers (3 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales program. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 11/25/15)

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

History made by Blue Origin

VAN HORN, Texas -- Blue Origin today announced that its New Shepard space vehicle successfully flew to space, reaching its planned test altitude of 329,839 feet, then made a historic upright landing back at the launch site in West Texas. "Now safely tucked away at our launch site in West Texas is the rarest of beasts -- a used rocket," said Jeff Bezos, founder of Blue Origin. Like something from an old science fiction movie, the launch vehicle came in for a controlled landing just over four feet from the center of the pad. The spacecraft, powered by a single BE-3 liquid hydrogen, liquid oxygen engine, is named in honor of the first American in space, Alan Shepard. (Source: Blue Origin via Business Wire, 11/24/15) Gulf Coast note: Blue Origin has used Stennis Space Center, Miss., to test engine components.

Keesler officer promoted

Air Force Col. Daniel J. Heires has been nominated by the president for appointment to the rank of brigadier general, according to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter's office. Heires is currently serving as the mobilization assistant to the commander, 2nd Air Force, Air Education and Training Command, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. (Source: DoD, 11/23/15)

Contract: Lockheed, $13M

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $12,972,450 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee, fixed-price-incentive-firm contract (N00019-15-C-0114) to provide interim contractor support for F-35A aircraft located at Luke Air Force Base, Glendale, Ariz. Work will be performed in Glendale and is expected to be completed in November 2016. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 11/23/15) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center.

Contract awarded for engine

NASA picked Aerojet Rocketdyne of Sacramento, Calif., to restart production of the RS-25 engine for the agency's Space Launch System, the world's most powerful rocket. SLS will use four RS-25 engines to carry the agency's Orion spacecraft and launch explorers on deep space missions. The first four missions will be flown using 16 existing, upgraded engines that were used in the Space Shuttle program. Under the $1.16 billion contract, the heritage engines will be made more affordable and expendable, with fewer parts and welds and certified to a higher operational thrust level. The new engines will benefit from improvements in materials and manufacturing techniques, such as five-axis milling, 3D manufacturing and digital X-rays. The contract runs November 2015 and continues through Sept. 30, 2024. Engine testing will be done at NASA's Stennis Space Center, in South Mississippi. (Source: Space Daily, 11/24/15)

Monday, November 23, 2015

Leap-1A gets FAA-EASA OK

The CFM Leap-1A turbofan has gained joint certification from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency, clearing the engine to power the Airbus A320neo in revenue service in mid-2016. Airbus expects to gain certification of the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-powered A320neo by the end of this year. With the Leap-1A's simultaneous FAA and EASA approval, CFM stands as the only engine manufacturer to gain dual original certification from both agencies, it said. Typically, a lead agency issues type certification and the second agency validates it. The Leap-1A flew for the first time on the Airbus A320neo on May 19, 2015. A second aircraft was added to the test program in September and, to date, the two airplanes have logged a combined total of more than 140 flights and 360 hours of flight testing. CFM International is a joint venture of Snecma (Safran) of France and GE of the United States. (Source: AIN, 11/20/15) Gulf Coast note: Airbus is building the A320 series of jetliners in Mobile, Ala.

SpaceX gets nod

SpaceX received orders Friday from NASA to send astronauts to the International Space Station in the coming years, helping restore U.S. access to space, NASA said. The announcement was a formal step in a process that began earlier this year when Boeing was given the nod by NASA to send crew to the orbiting outpost by late 2017. Both Boeing and SpaceX have received billions in seed money from NASA to restore American access to the ISS, after the U.S. space shuttle program was retired in 2011. The announcement of $4.2 billion for Boeing and $2.6 billion for SpaceX was made in September 2014. (Source: Space Daily, 11/20/15) Gulf Coast note: SpaceX is using Stennis Space Center, Miss., for research into its next generation of rocket engines.

Drone sale to Japan OKd

The U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to Japan for RQ-4 Block 30 Global Hawk unmanned surveillance aircraft and associated equipment, parts and logistical support for an estimated cost of $1.2 billion. Japan has requested a possible sale of three aircraft. (Source: Australian Defense, 11/23/15) Gulf Coast note: Fuselage work on all variants of the Northrop Grumman Global Hawk is done in Moss Point, Miss.

Luxion named associate director

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Stephen Luxion, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, has been named associate director of the Alliance for System Safety of Unmanned Aerial Systems through Research Excellence center, according to a Mississippi State University news release. The ASSURE center is based at MSU, but involves numerous universities, government agencies and private firms. Drone testing in Mississippi is conducted at NASA's Stennis Space Center on the Gulf Coast, over farms in the Delta, and at the Raspet Flight Research Lab in Starkville. Luxion retired from the military in 2014. He established the Air Force's first armed drone squadron after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks; helped NATO establish its first “ aerospace center of excellence;” and taught aerospace studies and tested drones at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. (Source: Starkville Daily News, 11/20/15)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Contract: Raytheon, $18.1M

Raytheon Co. - Missile Systems Div., Tucson, Ariz., has been awarded an $18,082,165 modification (P00003) to previously awarded contract FA8675-15-C-0004 for contractor logistics support. Contractor will provide CLS High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile Targeting System depot repairs and sustainment activities. Work will be performed at Tucson and is expected to be complete by Nov. 30, 2016. Fiscal year 2016 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $10,157,324 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (FA8675-15-C-0004) (Source: DoD, 11/19/15)

NASA, Loyola partner

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. -- NASA’s Stennis Space Center and Loyola University in New Orleans have announced a partnership agreement to educate young entrepreneurs and tomorrow's industry leaders about the benefits of NASA research and development and the use of NASA intellectual property in commercial applications. Under a recently-signed Space Act Agreement, students in the Loyola College of Business will select a Stennis-developed technology and build a business plan for its commercial use. The effort is part of NASA’s Technology Transfer University (T2U) initiative, which seeks to engage business students to use NASA intellectual property and spur economic development and growth. The Loyola College of Business has embraced the initiative as part of its Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. (Source: NASA, 11/19/20)

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Northrop lease extended

MOSS POINT, Miss. -- Jackson County has reached an agreement with Northrop Grumman to extend the lease for the Moss Point Unmanned Systems Center for eight years. The plant at Trent Lott International Airport does finishing work on the Fire Scout unmanned helicopter and fuselage work on all variants of the Global Hawk unmanned surveillance aircraft. The plant's lease will extend to 2023, according to a press release from the office of Sen. Thad Cochran. The center opened in 2006 and employs 70 workers. (Source: Sun Herald, 11/18/15)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

New position opens at Airbus

MOBILE, Ala. -- Airbus Americas is seeking a manufacturing engineer-flightline for the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility at the Mobile Aeroplex. The engineer manages non-conformities/design deviation and late changes to support production. He or she answers technical questions, prepares new modifications for country-specific constraints and explains work orders and drawings, especially for aircraft cabin, electrical, mechanical or systems related items. Among other qualifications, successful candidates must have at least two years of experience as a technician or foreman with a focus on cabin, electrical, mechanical or systems installation with an aviation company and/or have a degree in aerospace, industrial or mechanical engineering. For more information, visit the AIDT website. (Source: Airbus, 11/17/15)

Contract: Raytheon, $25.7M

Raytheon Co., Tucson, Ariz., has been awarded a $25,713,978 firm-fixed-price contract modification (P00017) to previously awarded contract FA8675-15-C-0022 for the Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile production lots 28-30 contract. Contractor work will include special tooling and special test equipment in support of form, fit, function, refresh (F3R) transition to full-rate production, testing of F3R test software, fixtures and equipment modification. Work will be performed at Tucson and is expected to be complete by Aug. 31, 2018. This contract involves foreign military sales. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity (FA8675-15-C-0022 P00017). (Source: DoD, 11/17/15)

Crack in F-35C wing spar

Inspectors found a crack in one of the 13 wing “spars” of an F-35C Navy variant test aircraft, according to the F-35 Joint Program Office. The discovery will not impact current F-35 operations. The jet was undergoing cyclic loadings to the airframe in order to simulate operational flying durability, and to identify potential problems. During durability tests, aircraft are tested to 16,000 flight hours. The F-35C with the crack had more than 13,700 test hours, equivalent to 6,850 flight hours. One potential modification-fix may include adding about a half-pound to the weight of the aircraft. Any fixes will be incorporated to the remainder of the F-35 fleet. (Source: Defense News 11/16/15) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Airbus job opens

MOBILE, Ala. -- Airbus Americas is seeking a manager of health, safety and environment for the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile. The position is responsible for all aspects of health, safety and environmental impact in and around the plant and property. Among other qualifications, candidates must have extensive knowledge of federal, state, and local environmental, health and safety laws, experience with ISO 14001, a minimum of five years of experience in industrial and/or environmental, health and safety engineering, and at least five years of supervisory experience. For a full job description, visit the AIDT site. (Source: Airbus, 11/13/15)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Contract: BAE, $22.4M

BAE, Nashua, N.H., has been awarded a $22,391,886 C-type contract for AC/MC-130J radio frequency countermeasures. Contractor will improve AC-130J and MC-130J aircraft system survivability and the capability to detect, identify, locate, deny, degrade, disrupt and defeat threat systems in operational environments applicable to the AC- and MC-130J missions. Work will be performed at Nashua and is expected to be complete by Nov. 30, 2016. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition with four offers received. Fiscal 2015 research and development funds in the amount of $4,654,401 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., is the contracting activity on behalf of U.S. Special Operations Command. Options are also being awarded but not exercised at this time, and the award amount above does not account for these options (FA8540-16-C-0003). (Source: DoD, 11/13/15) Gulf Coast note: Hurlburt Field, Fla., is home of Air Force Special Operations command and its AC-130J and MC-130J aircraft.

Airbus seeks flight dispatcher

MOBILE, Ala. -- Airbus Americas is seeking a flight dispatcher for the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile. The flight dispatcher is responsible for the preparation and dispatch of production and delivery flights. This role is also responsible for the preparation of customer ferry flights and monitoring of these flights in progress. Candidates must have a U.S. Flight Dispatcher license and five or more years of experience as an aviation flight dispatcher. A minimum of two to three months training abroad is required. (Source: Airbus, 11/12/15) For a full job description, go to the AIDT site.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Contract: Boeing, $130.1M

The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., has been awarded a $130,125,899 modification (P00006) to previously awarded contract FA8681-10-D-0071 increase the contract ceiling for foreign military sales Small Diameter Bomb I (SDB I) production. This modification increases the contract's ceiling from $98,000,000 to $228,125,899 to meet current and future foreign military sales procurements under this contract. Work will be performed at St. Louis and is expected to be complete by April 15, 2019. This contract is 95 percent foreign military sales. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 11/10/15)

Monday, November 9, 2015

Contract: Lockheed, $112.8M

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $112,779,000 modification to a previously awarded advance acquisition contract (N00019-15-C-0003) for the procurement of additional long-lead time items necessary for the manufacture and delivery of low-rate initial production Lot 10 F-35A aircraft for the Air Force and Lot 11 F-35A aircraft for the government of the Netherlands. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (30 percent); El Segundo, Calif. (25 percent); Warton, United Kingdom (20 percent); Orlando, Fla. (10 percent); Nashua, N.H. (5 percent); Baltimore, Md. (5 percent); and Cameri, Italy (5 percent), and is expected to be completed in December 2019. This contract combines purchase for the Air Force (88 percent) and non-U.S. DoD participants (12 percent). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 11/09/15) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

AC-130J accident report released

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – An AC-130J conducting a flying qualities test over the Gulf of Mexico in April was "over G'd" and exceeded its design limit load, nullifying its airworthiness and rendering it a total loss. The value was placed at $115 million. Air Force Materiel Command released an Accident Investigation Board report for the mishap involving the Ghostrider that occurred on April 21 during a sortie 40 miles south of Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. There were no injuries and the aircraft returned to base. The incident occurred while the crew from the 413 Flight Test Squadron at Eglin was performing steady heading sideslips at an altitude of 15,000 feet. The aircraft exceeded the targeted angle of sideslip and momentarily inverted before being recovered after losing about 5,000 feet of altitude. The accident was caused by a bad decision on the pilot's part by applying "excessive rudder input during the test point followed by inadequate rudder input to initiate a timely recovery." The report also points out there were four contributing factors: instrumentation and warning system issues, spatial disorientation, confusion, and inadequate provision of procedural guidance or publications to the team. (Source: Air Force Materiel Command, 11/06/2015) Previous

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Aerospace an economy brightspot

MOSS POINT, Miss. -- The U.S. economy is nowhere near as bad off as many fear, Tulane University economics professor Peter Ricchiuti told more than 100 community leaders during the Jackson County Economic Development Foundation's investors meeting Thursday. "The economy is doing a lot better than you're hearing in the media," he said. "I see some very positive numbers. The stock market has tripled in the last six years." According to stock index performance for the year ending Sept. 30, the aerospace/defense index is up 3.2 percent, he said. That's especially good for Jackson County because of its existing businesses and potential to draw in more aerospace-related companies. "You are really in the sweet spot," he said. (Source: gulflive, 11/04/15) Moss Point is home of the Northrop Grumman Unmanned Systems Center, which builds portions of the unmanned Global Hawk and Fire Scout. It's also close to Mobile County, Ala., which is building Airbus jetliners.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Base getting solar project

FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Plans have been approved for construction of a 10-megawatt solar power project at Fort Rucker, one of two major solar projects approved for the state Tuesday by the Alabama Public Service Commission. The facility is known as a Photovoltaic Solar Array System, and supports the Defense Department's plan calling for 25 percent of energy used at Army facilities to come from renewable sources by 2025. The Army is expected to consume a minimum of 51 percent of the power through an existing area contract with Alabama Power, which will own and operate the facility. The series of networked solar arrays will be located on about 110 acres within a former trailer park near an electrical substation that will be used for connectivity. The Public Service Commission approved a similar project Tuesday for the Anniston Army Depot. (Source: Dothan Eagle, 11/04/15) Fort Rucker is home of the Army's aviation training center.

Funds OKd to lure airline

Okaloosa County Commissioners have unanimously backed a plan to spend $3 million over the next three years to bring a new airline to the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport in Northwest Florida. The money will come from the county bed tax reserves. Airport officials have shared no details about the airline being courted, citing concerns over confidentiality. What is known is the airline would bring new areas of service to the airport. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 11/04/15)

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Blue Angels slate command change

NAVAL AIR STATION PENSACOLA, Fla. -- The Navy's Blue Angels demonstration squadron will hold a change of command ceremony Nov. 8 at 2 p.m. at the National Naval Aviation Museum. Cmdr. Ryan Bernacchi will relieve Capt. Tom Frosch. Bernacchi joined the Blue Angels in November. Prior to selection as commander, he served as a Federal Executive Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Frosch joined the Blue Angels in November 2012 and led the team through more than 130 air shows and flyovers. His next assignment will remain in Pensacola at the Naval Education Training Command headquarters. (Source: Blue Angels, 11/04/15)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Contract: Lockheed, $5.3B

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded an undefinitized contractual action not-to-exceed $5,370,955,495 to the previously awarded low-rate initial production Lot IX F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter advance acquisition contract (N00019-14-C-0002). This modification provides for the procurement of 41 F-35A aircraft, including 26 F-35As for the Air Force; six F-35As for Norway; seven F-35As for Israel; two F-35As for Japan; 12 F-35Bs, including six for the Marine Corps and six for the British Royal Navy; and two F-35Cs for the Navy. Work will be performed in Fort Worth (30 percent); El Segundo, Calif. (25 percent); Warton, United Kingdom (20 percent); Orlando, Fla. (10 percent); Nashua, N.H. (5 percent); Nagoya, Japan (5 percent); and Baltimore, Md. (5 percent), and is expected to be completed in December 2017. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 11/03/15) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center.

Monday, November 2, 2015

County eyes more flexible lease

CRESTVIEW, Fla. -- Okaloosa County plans to ask Eglin Air Force Base for significantly more flexibility in its lease and operation of Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport. County commissioners are set to discuss the proposal at their meeting Tuesday. The 130-acre airport is at the base on land owned by the Air Force. Three months ago the county said it could no longer afford the annual lease payment. Under the new agreement, the county would pay Eglin a flat fee of $400,000 year, and 50 cents per departing passenger for every passenger above the 400,000 mark. The county also plans to ask Eglin to allow the construction of a gas station or convenience store on airport property. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 11/01/15)