Friday, June 28, 2019

Contract: Lockheed, $15.9M

Lockheed Martin Space, Sunnyvale, Calif., has been awarded a $15,915,000 modification (P00770) to previously awarded contract F04701-02-C-0002 for Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF). The contract modification is to make changes to the AEHF Mission Planning Element software to provide capability improvements. Work will be performed at Sunnyvale and is expected to be completed by June 30, 2020. Fiscal 2017 space procurement appropriation in the amount of $15,915,000 is being obligated at the time of award. Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 06/28/19) Gulf Coast note: Work on the AEHF core propulsion system is done at Stennis Space Center, Miss.

Contract: Med-Eng, $11.5M

Med-Eng LLC., Ogdensburg, N.Y., has been awarded an $11,500,000 ceiling increase modification (P00002) from previously awarded contract FA8051-18-D-0001 for the delivery of a full bomb suit ensemble and associated accessories for explosive ordinance disposal personnel. This modification raises the price ceiling from $15,000,000 to $26,500,000. Work will be performed at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, and is expected to be completed by March 2023. No funds are being obligated with the modification. The 772d Enterprise Sourcing Squadron, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 06/28/19)

Contract: UTC, $358.5M

United Technologies Corp., Pratt and Whitney Military Engines, East Hartford, Conn., is awarded not-to-exceed $358,529,006 modification P00008 to a previously awarded advanced acquisition contract (N00019-18-C-1021). This modification provides for eight initial spare F135-PW-100 propulsion systems and one initial spare F135-PW-600 propulsion system for the Global Spares Pool, including initial spare modules and initial spare parts. The Global Spares Pool supports the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps., Non-U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Participants and foreign military sales (FMS) customers. Work will be performed in East Hartford (93%); Indianapolis, Ind. (6%); and Bristol, United Kingdom (1%), and is expected to be completed in June 2022. Fiscal 2019 aircraft procurement (Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy), non-U.S. DoD participant and FMS funds in the amount of $229,449,221 are being obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This modification combines purchases for U.S. Air Force ($121,237,779; 34%); U.S. Marine Corps ($83,050,441; 23%); the U.S. Navy ($23,547,961; 7%); Non-U.S. DoD Participants ($100,160,036; 28 %) and FMS customers ($30,532,789; 8%). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 06/28/19) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center.

Small businesses getting $45M

NASA has selected 363 proposals from small businesses and research institutions across 41 states to help advance capabilities for future missions to the Moon and beyond. The selections have an estimated value of more than $45 million and are part of NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. They include seven SBIR projects and two STTR projects tied to Stennis Space Center, Miss., where rocket engines are tested. More than 20 percent of the businesses are from underrepresented communities, including minority and women-owned businesses. Among the projects are an intelligent rover wheel with integrated sensing and perception subsystems to improve mobility on the Moon and planetary bodies. The technology could also be used on Earth for autonomous tractors and other off-road vehicles. Also included is a project for a light-weight, deployable solar panel that leverages recent advancements in thin film solar cell technology. It rolls into a compact cylinder for storage, as opposed to conventional rigid solar panels that require mechanical hinges. (Source: NASA/SSC, 06/28/19)

SLS test article shipped

The last of four structural test articles for NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) was loaded onto NASA's Pegasus barge Wednesday at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. The barge will deliver the liquid oxygen (LOX) tank test article to NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., for structural testing. The LOX tank is one of two propellant tanks in the rocket's core stage that will produce more than 2 million pounds of thrust to help send Artemis 1, the first flight of NASA's Orion spacecraft and SLS, to the Moon. The nearly 70-foot-long test article is structurally identical to the flight version. SLS is being developed to send astronauts into deep space. (Source: Space Daily, 06/28/19)

33rd FW gets new leader

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - Hundreds of Nomads welcomed a new commander to the 33rd Fighter Wing during a change of command ceremony June 18. Maj. Gen. Craig Wills, the commander of 19th Air Force, presided over the ceremony where Col. Jon Wheeler took his place as the newest Nomad One and the wing bid farewell to Col. Paul Moga, who heads to an air staff position at the Pentagon. Wheeler assumed the 33rd FW’s top spot after completing a remote tour as the vice commander of the 8th FW “Wolf Pack,” Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea. In 2010, Wheeler was one of only 10 fighter pilots selected to serve in the inaugural cadre of F-35 instructor pilots at the 33rd FW. This group led the wing’s successful transition to the world’s first F-35 fighter wing and laid the foundation for the current flying training mission that Wheeler now oversees. (Source: 33rd Fighter Wing Public Affairs, 06/26/19)

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Draft EA for TH-XX released

With Naval Air Station Whiting Field in Milton, Fla., scheduled to receive new training helicopters to replace the TH-57 Sea Ranger, the Navy has released a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) detailing the impact. The Advanced Helicopter Training System, called TH-XX while the Navy considers bidders for the contract, will provide 130 newer, more capable helicopter and training system to Training Air Wing 5 and would meet the advanced helicopter and intermediate tilt-rotor training requirements through 2050. The replacement helicopter, which will require an additional 33 training personnel, has not yet been determined, but will be a commercially available helicopter. For the purposes of the Draft EA, a conservative representative surrogate helicopter, the UH-72 Lakota, larger and louder than comparable commercially available helicopters, was used to analyze the potential impacts from the TH-XX. Training will transition to the TH-XX beginning in 2021 and completed by 2025. Training operations would generally be similar to existing training, but with an increase in the number of annual flight operations, including training involving night vision devices, flying in formation at night, and search an rescue. Prior to the arrival of the TH-XX, new facilities and associated infrastructure would be constructed at NAS Whiting Field to accommodate helicopter maintenance activities and ground based training requirements. Two temporary facilities will be built but later will be replaced by two permanent structures. Public comments on the Draft EA, also available at area libraries, must be postmarked or received online no later than July 19, 2019. For background on TH-XX competition, see the April 2019 Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor Newsletter, page 6. (Source: GCAC, 06/27/19)

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Funds cut from MRO expansion

Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed $131 million of proposed spending from this year's budget, including $1.5 million for the expansion of the ST Aerospace maintenance, repair and overhaul campus at Pensacola International Airport. ST Engineering already has one hangar at the airport, but the $210 million project will add three additional hangars and supporting buildings. Pensacola City Administrator Chris Holley said the state has been helpful with the project, and it's hard to be critical of a veto over $1.5 million when the state came up with money from the Department of Transportation a few months back to move the project forward. Holley said the project, expected to create 1,300 jobs, has a five-year time frame for build-out, which he said is plenty of time to go back to the Legislature. (Sources: WUWF, WEAR, 06/25/19) Previous: Council OKs ST Engineering lease; MRO project lands $20M more

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Contract: Innovative Techn, $7M

Innovative Technologies International Inc., Lynchburg, Va., has been awarded a $7,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for Katana Hardware Fabrication effort. The contract provides for concept design analysis and advanced fabrication capabilities to rapidly manufacture products meeting specific characteristics through a partnering arrangement by fulfilling research, development, test and evaluation requirements for Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., with organization-specific tasks. Work will be performed at Lynchburg and is expected to be completed by June 25, 2024. This contract is the result of a sole source award. Fiscal 2018 research and development funds in the amount of $24,897.00 are being obligated at the time of award. The Air Force Research Laboratory, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity (FA8651-19). (Source: DoD, 06/25/19)

Bombardier exits commercial air

Bombardier Inc. said on Tuesday it will sell its money-losing regional jet business to Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd (MHI) for $550 million in cash. It marks the Canadian plane and train maker’s exit from commercial aviation. Montreal-based Bombardier had combined its aviation units to focus more on profitable business jets and passenger rail cars, after facing a cash-crunch in 2015 while bringing its flagship commercial jet to market. As part of the deal, expected to close in the first half of next year, the Japanese company will also take over a $200 million debt. Bombardier will continue to assemble its regional jet planes (CRJ), but will stop making the aircraft in the second half of 2020 after delivering its remaining orders. (Source: Reuters, 06/25/19) Gulf Coast note: Bombardier last year agreed to make Airbus a majority partner in a partnership that builds the A220, the former Bombardier CSeries. A new production line is being built in Mobile, Ala. Previous related

Navy gets Fat Albert replacement

A new Fat Albert C-130 is headed to the Pensacola-based U.S. Navy Blue Angels from the British Royal Air Force. The Navy said Monday that it had awarded a $29.7 million contract to the United Kingdom Ministry of Defense for a Royal Air Force C-130J Super Hercules. In a news release, the Navy's Naval Air Systems Command based in Patuxent River, Md., said purchasing the used British aircraft to replace Fat Albert as part of the world-famous flight demonstration would be about $50 million less than the cost of a new aircraft. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 06/24/19) Previous

Monday, June 24, 2019

Region airports getting grants

Fifteen airports in the Gulf Coast I-10 region will receive 16 airport infrastructure grants totaling $34.5 million from the Federal Aviation Administration. They were among 358 grants awarded to 327 airports in 46 states and the Pacific Islands announced by the FAA Monday. The agency said the $495 million in grants is the second allotment of the total $3.18 billion in Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funding for airports across the United States. In the Gulf Coast, the grants, from highest to lowest were: Eglin Air Force Base/Destin-Fort Walton Beach, Valparaiso, Fla. ($11,527,654, expand apron, expand terminal building); Lakefront, New Orleans, La. ($8,505,000, rehabilitate runway 18R/36L); Lafayette Regional/Paul Fournet Field, Lafayette, LA. ($6,449,350, reconstruct apron); Mobile Regional, Mobile, Ala. ($2,361,754, rehabilitate taxiway); Mobile Downtown, Mobile, Ala. ($1,350,000, update airport master plan study, and $822,207, acquire equipment, rehabilitate runway 14/32); Bob Sikes, Crestview, Fla. ($900,000, rehabilitate runway 17/35); Dothan Regional, Dothan, Ala. ($700,061, acquire equipment, acquire safety and/or security equipment, reconstruct apron, rehabilitate runway 14/32); H.L. (Sonny) Callahan, Fairhope, Ala. ($325,000, expand access road); Gulfport-Biloxi International, Gulfport, Miss. ($319,500, update airport master plan study); Foley Municipal, Foley, Ala. ($305,000, reconstruct taxiway); Ozark-Blackwell Field, Ozark, Ala. ($303,444, construct fuel farm); Peter Prince Field, Milton, Fla. ($300,000, update airport master plan study); Trent Lott International, Pascagoula, Miss. ($138,308, rehabilitate runway 17/35); Stennis International Airport, Bay St. Louis, Miss. ($99,061, rehabilitate taxiway); Poplarville-Pearl River County, Poplarville, Miss. ($69,750, improve access road, improve airport drainage). The FAA says airport infrastructure in the United States, with 3,332 airports and 5,000 paved runways, supports economic competitiveness and improves quality of life. According to the FAA’s most recent economic analysis, U.S. civil aviation accounts for $1.6 trillion in total economic activity and supports nearly 11 million jobs. (Source: GCAC, 06/24/19) Complete list of grants

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Bell to repay state $9.5M

Bell Helicopters, which operated an assembly facility next to Lafayette Regional Airport, has agreed to pay the state some $9.5 million over its failure to meet job-creation goals. The state’s Economic Development Agency cut ties with Bell in 2017. The state had given the company tax credits to open the Lafayette facility in a deal originally announced in 2013, but it depended on Bell attaining certain employment goals, which it failed to do. The company moved its operations to Texas. Swiss Helicopter Company Kopter Group AG is moving into the location. (Source: KADN, 06/21/19) Gulf Coast note: Lafayette is two hours west of New Orleans along Interstate 10.

Command change

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - Lt. Gen. Marc Sasseville has assumed command of the First Air Force, taking over from Cmdr. Lt. Gen. R. Scott Williams during a ceremony Thursday. The First Air Force, as part of NORAD and USNORTHCOM, plays roles in air defense operations and disaster assistance, among other responsibilities. It is a tenant unit at Tyndall Air Force Base.Sasseville graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science degree in international affairs and has held squadron, group and wing command, according to a biography. Williams is retiring after 32 years of service and has been the First Air Force Commander since July 2016. The First Air Force resumed operations in December after the damage caused by Hurricane Michael. (Source: Panama City News Herald, 06/20/19)

Friday, June 21, 2019

First A220 sections arrive

First sections arrive by truck. Airbus photo
MOBILE, Ala. - The first large aircraft components for the first A220 that will be built in Mobile have been delivered to the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility. The major component assemblies (MCAs) are the aft fuselage and cockpit, which arrived by truck. “With the arrival of these assemblies, A220 production in Mobile will shortly become a reality,” said Paul Gaskell, President-Airbus U.S. A220, Inc. “The arrival of these MCAs is taking place almost four years to the day from when our first A320 MCAs arrived. It’s amazing to see how much we’ve grown over that time, and an exciting time for Airbus, Mobile and Alabama." Wings, vertical and horizontal tail planes, tail cones and landing gear will arrive in coming weeks. Aircraft production is scheduled to begin in the next couple of months, even as construction on some of the A220-specific buildings on the campus continues over the next year. Employees for the new A220 production line will be returning from training in Mirabel, Canada in time for production start. Hiring for A220 and A320 production is continuing. (Source: Airbus, 06/20/19)

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Delta ups A220 order

LE BOURGET, France – Delta Air Lines has ordered five additional A220-100 aircraft, bringing to 95 the total number of orders placed, including both the A220-100s and A220-300s. The airline is the first to select the new increased maximum takeoff weight option for its entire fleet from 2020. Airbus announced in May that it would increase the maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) for the A220. The new MTOW will increase the maximum range capabilities. Delta was the U.S. launch customer for the A220, placing an initial order for 75 aircraft in 2016 and booking an additional 15 in December 2018. With this latest order, Delta’s orders total 45 A220-100s and 50 A220-300s. Delta’s A220-100s are produced in Mirabel, Qu├ębec, Canada, while the A220-300s will be built at a new U.S. assembly plant now under construction in Mobile, Ala., adjacent to the existing Airbus A320 assembly facility. (Source: Airbus, 06/18/19) Previous

IHMC, AREF to collaborate

PENSACOLA, Fla. — The Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) and Andrews Research and Educations Foundation (AREF) have announced partnership to conduct research projects together. They signed an agreement to collaborate on human-performance research. IHMC and AREF will share office and lab spaces at their Pensacola and Gulf Breeze facilities. The scientists and doctors will collaborate on research into area ranging from optimizing physical and cognitive performance to developing technologies aimed at helping high-performing humans like professional athletes, astronauts and fighter pilots. They'll work together to study ways to help human movement, vision and reaction in extreme environments. Immediate plans include IHMC and AREF personnel working together on current ongoing research projects as well as developing proposals for future projects and grants. (Source: WEAR-TV, 06/18/19)

June newsletter available

The June issue of the bimonthly Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor Newsletter is available for download at the website The eight-page bimonthy in this issue summarizes the content of the just-released Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor 2019-2020 reference book. (GCAC, 06/19/19)

Contract: Management Svc., $20M

Management Services Group Inc., doing business as Global Technical Systems, Virginia Beach, Va., has been awarded a $20,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for Mid-Size Munitions (MSM) technology effort. This contract provides for the prototyping and demonstration program which focuses on an intermediate weight capable of defeating challenging targets. This program leads to flight test demonstrations, effectiveness assessments, and manufacturing readiness assessments adequate to support weapon system transitions. Work will be performed at Virginia Beach and is expected to be completed by June 17, 2024. This award is the result of a broad agency announcement and one offer was received. Fiscal 2019 research and development funds in the amount of $4,526,000 are being obligated on the first task order which will be awarded immediately with the basic contract. The Air Force Research Laboratory, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity (FA8651-19-D-0073). (Source: DoD, 06/19/19)

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Biennial aerospace book available

Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor 2019-2020 is now available for download at the website The 100-page reference book has chapters on aircraft assembly and maintenance in the central part of the corridor, military aviation, space activities, education, airports and a summary of aerospace activities in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi. The book can be found on the homepage, which takes you to a page where the entire book or individual chapters can also be downloaded. (GCAC, 06/18/19)

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Relativity to build rockets at SSC

California-based Relativity today announced that it will build 3D rockets at Stennis Space Center (SSC), Miss. It will create 200 jobs and make an investment of $59 million. Relativity said it secured an agreement with NASA and an incentive package from the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) to expand facilities and infrastructure at SSC. Relativity will build and integrate a robotic 3D printing rocket factory and an expanded testing facility to produce Relativity's Terran 1 rocket launch vehicles. The agreement with NASA includes exclusive use of 220,000 square feet within building 9101 at Stennis Space Center for a nine-year lease. The facility includes an 80-foot high bay, multiple bridge cranes, and extensive industrial infrastructure. The agreement also includes an option to extend the lease for an additional 10 years. Relativity’s partnership with the MDA is supported by a significant cost reimbursement and tax incentive package for Relativity's employment and capital investments for advanced aerospace manufacturing and technology development in the state. On path to first orbital launch in 2020, Relativity will be building out first stage assembly, engine integration and testing, and a full 3D printing and robotics-enabled production line at the site. The technologies developed through Relativity’s Stennis factory site are the first step toward the company’s long term vision of 3D printing the first rocket made in Mars and expanding the human experience in space. With this expansion at Stennis, Relativity is increasing infrastructure fourfold to over 280,000 square feet of operations, production, testing, and launch facilities and is on track to reach over 350,000 square feet of space in 2019. In the past year, the company increased team size over 6 times from 14 to 90 employees. (Source: Business Wire, 06/11/19) Previous; background/prediction (April 2018 Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor Newsletter column, page 7)

Contract: Advance Concepts, $7.2M

Advanced Concepts and Technologies International LLC, Waco, Texas, has been awarded a $7,202,973 firm-fixed-price modification (P00003) to previously awarded contract FA4890-18-F-5102 for the 505th Training Group academic and training support. This contract provides for the exercise of option period one for services to cover requirements in the areas of course instruction, mission support, exercise support and lessons learned to the government-led maintenance and execution of select 505th Training Group courses. Work will be performed primarily at Hurlburt Field, Fla., as well as various other locations worldwide, and is expected to be complete by June 9, 2020. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance funds in the full amount are being obligated at the time of award. Air Combat Command Acquisition Management and Integration Center, Hurlburt Field, is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 06/10/19)

Monday, June 10, 2019

UTC-Raytheon merging

United Technologies and Raytheon are joining forces in one of the biggest corporate mergers of 2019. It was announce Sunday that they have agreed to combine in an all-stock deal they termed a "merger of equals." The new company would have annual revenue of about $74 billion. Under the terms of the deal, United Technologies shareholders would own 57 percent of the combined company, with Raytheon shareholders owning the rest. UTC is an industrial conglomerate, and makes everything from jet engines to elevators. It owns the Pratt & Whitney engine maker as well as Collins Aerospace. Raytheon is rooted in defense, and produces missile defense systems and cybersecurity solutions. Both companies are Airbus and Boeing suppliers. The combined company will be named Raytheon Technologies Corporation and based in Boston. It will be second in size to Boeing in the U.S. and tied for third in the world with Airbus. UTC and Raytheon have almost no overlap, with most units likely being able to stay more or less as-is. (Sources, multiple, including CNN, Forbes, 06/10/19, Winston-Salem Journal, Hartford Courant, 06/09/19) Gulf Coast note: One of UTC's three companies is Collins Aerospace, which does jet engine podding work in Foley, Ala. It has 1,100 employees. Previous

Friday, June 7, 2019

Contract: Lockheed, $1.8B

Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is awarded a $1,808,545,655 cost-plus-incentive-fee, cost-plus-award-fee, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for continued design maturation and development of Block 4 capabilities in support of the F-35 Lightning II Phase 2.3 Pre-Modernization for the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps; and non-U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) participants. Work will be performed in Fort Worth and is expected to be completed in August 2026. Fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation (Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps); and non-U.S. DoD participant funds in the amount of $98,998,910 will be 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 ($732,460,990; 40.50 percent); Navy ($371,475,278; 20.54 percent), Marine Corps ($345,974,784; 19.13 percent) and non-U.S. DoD participants ($358,634,603; 19.83 percent). This contract was not competitive procured pursuant to U.S. Code 2304(c)(1). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-19-C-0010). (Source: DoD, 06/09/19) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of an F-35 training center.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

NASA picks companies for planning

NASA has selected four companies to provide real property master planning (RPMP) for the agency, as needed for all 10 NASA centers. The companies are: HB&A – The Schreifer Group Joint Venture of Colorado Springs, Colo.; The Urban Collaborative of Eugene, Oregon; Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. of Atlanta; and Michael Baker International Inc. of Moon Township, Pa. The maximum potential value of this contract will not exceed $24 million for work that starts June 15, 2019, and extends for five years, with three one-year options. Work under the contract will be in the form of any of the following RPMP products: center vision plan, area development plans, sustainability component plans, center design guide, center development plan, master plan digest, master plan website, area development execution plans, center special study or agency special study. (Source: NASA, 06/06/19)