Saturday, September 22, 2018

Week in review (9/16 to 9/22)

In the course of working on the upcoming aerospace and aviation education edition of our bimonthly newsletter, our reporting team has reached out to a range of people, from company officials and workers to students and academic officials.

I can tell you from my own experience heading up this project, there’s a good deal of enthusiasm over what we’re doing. During the week I talked to an official with the Mississippi Department of Education’s career and technical training program, and he sent word to all his contacts about our project. He was particularly excited that there was a hands-on learning center being built in the region – Flight Works Alabama. It didn’t matter that it’s in another state. It’s an opportunity for student from the entire region.

Weeks earlier, when I reached out to an academic official I’ve known for several years in Pensacola, he too was happy we are devoting the entire October issue to education and training the current and next generation of aviation workers. He reached out to his associates, and one contacted me about their programs. I passed that along to the reporter handling the Florida story.

In Louisiana, one official from Louisiana Economic Development who participated in a conference call with me and others about the project pulled together – unsolicited – and sent to me a list of some of the college aviation activities in his state.

All of which goes to show that when you decide to do a story or publication that focuses on education and training, you find there is no lack of folks who are dying to tell you about what they’re doing. The passion is there, and I feel certain this October issue will be of high interest because this issue is important.

I recently participated remotely in the Federal Aviation Administration’s Aerospace Workforce Symposium. The overall message was clear: There is a current and growing need to fill the aerospace and aviation education and training pipeline, and the need ranges from pilots to maintenance workers and more.

The problem, in part, is that with so many exciting technology fields vying for workers, the aerospace industry is facing tough competition and has to reach out early to students, as well as tap into a large pool of potential workers from demographic groups that have been under-represented in the industry.

With aerospace and aviation growing so much in our region, we hope this upcoming issue will help get the word out about the opportunities and highlight the pathways. And we may end up making this an annual research project.

Now for your week in review:


Airbus
Airbus’ A320 series production facility in Mobile, Ala., has delivered its first aircraft partially powered by sustainable jet fuel to customer JetBlue.

The A321 flew out of Mobile with a 15 percent renewable jet fuel mixture in its tanks. In total, five A321s are due to be delivered to JetBlue from Mobile using sustainable fuel by the end of 2018.

All of the fuel will be supplied and certified by Air BP. It will be loaded into the aircraft by Signature Flight Support, Airbus’ fueling services provider in Mobile.

Since May 2016, Airbus has offered customers the option of taking delivery of new aircraft from Toulouse, France, using a blend of sustainable jet fuel. Following the deliveries to JetBlue, Airbus will determine the next steps toward offering this option to more customers taking aircraft deliveries from Mobile.

Longer term, Airbus envisions supporting industrial production of sustainable fuels for aviation in the U.S. Southeast.

Renewable jet fuel is chemically equivalent to conventional jet-A fuel, with no difference in performance or safety. Thousands of commercial flights have flown on different types of renewable jet fuel. (Post)


Aircraft maintenance contracts
Two military aircraft maintenance contracts that will involve work in Northwest Florida were awarded during the week.

In one contract, DynCorp International LLC, Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded a $173.2 million modification to a previously awarded contract. It provides organizational, intermediate, and depot-level maintenance and logistics support for 16 T-34, 54 T-44, and 287 T-6 aircraft.

Thirty-nine percent of the work will be one in Milton, Fla., home of Naval Air Station Whiting Field, and another eight percent will be done in Pensacola, Fla., home of Naval Air Station Pensacola.

Most of the work, 50 percent, will be one in Corpus Christi, Texas, home of Naval Air Station Corpus Christi. The remaining three percent of the work will be done in various locations within the continental U.S.

Work is expected to be completed in September 2019. The Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, Orlando, Fla., is the contracting activity.

In another contract, L3 Vertex Aerospace LLC, Madison, Miss., was awarded $16.3 million modification to a previously awarded contract to exercise an option to provide for intermediate level maintenance, repair, and logistics services in support of the Navy’s Chief of Naval Aircraft Training aircraft.

Half the work will be done at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., and 5 percent at Naval Air Station Whiting Field in Milton, Fla. Another 45 percent will be one at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas. Work is expected to be completed in September 2019.

The Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, Orlando, Fla., is the contracting activity.


Other contracts
CAE USA Inc., Tampa, Fla., was awarded a $25.4 million modification to a contract for fixed-wing courses, academic and flight simulator, flight training and support services. Work will be performed in Dothan, Ala., home of Fort Rucker. The estimated completion date is March 9, 2024. U.S. Army Mission and Installation Contracting Command, Fort Rucker, is the contracting activity. … EMR Inc., Niceville, Fla., was awarded a $16 million contract for an addition/alteration to an existing commissary at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla. The contract is for a 539 calendar day period based on the issuance of the notice to proceed which is expected in November 2018. The contracting activity is the Defense Commissary Agency, Enterprise Acquisition Division, Construction Design Branch, Joint Base San Antonio, Lackland, Texas.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Week in review (9/9 to 9/15)

Leaders in this region are clearly serious about the education and training of a workforce that can handle the growing number of aviation jobs that are coming down the pike.

During the week there was a ceremonial groundbreaking at the Mobile Aeroplex marking the start of construction of the Flight Works Alabama education center. The $6.5 million center is being built near the Airbus manufacturing facility and across from Continental Motors.

"The future of our state begins right here," said Gov. Kay Ivey about the hands-on learning center. It's designed to bolster Alabama's workforce development efforts and inspire young people.

Jeff Knittel, Airbus Americas chairman and CEO, said what the industry needs is a workforce not only for today, but one ready for the future. He said the center will help in a fun and creative way.

Of particular importance is that the center will be an education hub, with nine educational institutions, including Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, signing up to have programs at the center.

Under an agreement with Airbus, Embry-Riddle will offer its award-winning educational programs at Flight Works, making it the latest Embry-Riddle Worldwide Campus. It will offer targeted associates, bachelors and masters degree programs, high school dual-enrollment opportunities, specialized training and continuing education.

The other education partners are Auburn University, Bishop State Community College, Coastal Alabama Community College, Troy University, Tuskegee University, University of South Alabama, University of Alabama, and the University of West Alabama.

The center is due to open in late 2019. (Post)

The hands-on nature of the center will add yet another link to the already significant number of learning centers along the Gulf Coast I-10 region. All are designed to pique the interest of youth in science and technology careers.

Back in July 2016, I wrote about the region's learning centers, and at the time said how surprised I was that someone hadn't thought of putting them all together in a multi-day family-focused education tour. (Gulf Coast Reporters’ League Business Quarterly, pages 24-37). I still think that's a great idea that not only piques the interest of youth, but goes a long way to dispell the stereotype of this region - and the South in general. Maybe now with Airbus added to the mix that might happen.

What is really striking to me about the approach of Flight Works Alabama is the genius behind the idea of putting under one roof the hands-on experience with educational opportunities. If someone comes in and looks at the exhibits and gets fired up, it makes sense to have the educational opportunities right there to give them a sense of the pathways that will get them involved in aerospace and aviation.

If this education and training talk intrigues you, then you should know that we'll be writing about all the aviation education opportunities in the four states with a piece of the I-10 region in our October issue of the Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor/Gulf Coast Reporters’ League aerospace newsletter. It will be a real eye-opener.


Unmanned
Northrop Grumman recently began flight tests for MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopters produced at the Trent Lott International Airport in Moss Point, Miss. It's a major milestone for the company and the region's aerospace economy.

The plant is key to producing and testing the MQ-8C Fire Scout, the Navy's newest autonomous helicopter that is bringing increased speed, endurance and payload capacity to maritime operations.

The Navy recently completed initial operational test and evaluation aboard the USS Coronado (LCS 4) for the MQ-8C Fire Scout, which has over 1,500 program flight hours. The aircraft is a modified Bell 407 helicopter, and final assembly is done in Moss Point at a 101,000-square-foot plant that opened in 2006 and now works on the Fire Scout and Global Hawk unmanned systems and does subassembly work for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

"Building on Northrop Grumman's recent announcement of new production capabilities in Moss Point and a 40 percent increase in employment at the site, the ability to now conduct MQ-8C Fire Scout flight tests where the production occurs will bring new efficiencies and effectiveness to our local operations and improve our ability to serve the U.S. Navy," said Melissa Packwood, program director, Fire Scout, Northrop Grumman. (Post)

-- Skyborne Technology, Inc., a designer and developer of manned and unmanned next generation aviation systems, has opened a manufacturing facility in Florida's Gulf County.

Skyborne said it chose the area to have access to employ manned and unmanned aircraft pilots, skilled manufacturing labor for composites, aircraft aluminum and high bulletproof fabrics.

The manufacturing facility is at the Gulf County Industrial Park near Wewahitchka. The company’s target markets are agriculture, communications, education, defense, border security, and more. The company plans to create up to 100 jobs. (Post)


Contracts F-35
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded an $88 million modification to a previously awarded contract. This modification exercises an option for F-35 Lightning II low-rate initial production Lot XI support equipment for the Marine Corps. Work will be performed in Florida, California, Connecticut, Texas, Ohio, Maryland, Australia and Italy, and is expected to be completed in September 2022. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. ... Pratt and Whitney Military Engines, East Hartford, Conn., was awarded a $266 million contract for the procurement of program administrative labor for non-recurring sustainment activities; supplies, services and planning for depot activations; material and support equipment for depot maintenance facilities and mockup engines and modules for test cells in support of F-35 Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, non-U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) participants and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers. Work will be performed in East Hartford and is expected to be completed in October 2021. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. ... Pratt and Whitney Military Engines also was awarded a $187.6 million modification to a previously awarded contract. This modification provides for fiscal 2018 Initial Spare Modules, Parts and Afloat/Deployment Spares Package in support of the F135 Lot 12 Propulsion Production contract. Work will be performed in Connecticut, Indiana and the United Kingdom and is expected to be completed in September 2021. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.


Contracts munitions
The Boeing Co. Defense, St. Louis, Mo., was awarded a $14 million contract for Small Diameter Bomb I focused lethality munition production assets. This contract provides for GBU-39 A/B weapons, and single weapon shipping/storage containers. Work will be performed in St. Louis and is expected to be 
completed by September 2020. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. … Lockheed Martin Corp., Orlando, Fla., was awarded a $51 million contract for Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile Extreme Range (JASSM-XR). This contract effort includes all all-up round level systems engineering and programmatic activities to align and phase the work necessary to design, develop, integrate, test, and verify component and subsystem design changes to the JASSM-XR baseline electronics, hardware, firmware, and operational flight software. Work will be performed in Orlando and is expected to be completed by Aug. 31, 2023. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity.


Contract aircraft maintenance
L3 Communications Vertex Aerospace LLC, Madison, Miss., was awarded a $202.9 million modification to a previously awarded contract to exercise an option for organizational, intermediate, and depot level maintenance, logistics, and engineering support for Navy T-45 aircraft, aircraft systems, and related support equipment for flight and test and evaluation operations. Work will be performed at the Naval Air Station (NAS) Kingsville, Texas (45.7 percent); NAS Meridian, Miss. (41.7 percent); NAS Pensacola, Fla. (10.1 percent); and NAS Patuxent River, Md. (2.5 percent), and is expected to be completed in September 2019. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, is the contracting activity.


Other contract
Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services, Madison, Miss., was awarded a $7.4 million modification on a contract for full food services. The location of performance is Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., and work is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2019. The 81st Contracting Squadron, Keesler AFB, is the contracting activity. … EMR Inc., Niceville, Fla., was awarded $7.1 million for a task order under a previously awarded contract for repairs and modifications to Building 484 at Naval Support Activity, Panama City, Fla. Work will be performed in Panama City and is expected to be completed by September 2020. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity. … Seaside Engineering and Surveying LLC, Baker, Fla.; Gustin, Cothern and Tucker, Niceville, Fla.; Joyner Keeny PLLC, Rocky Mount, N.C.; Maptech Inc., Jackson, Miss.; Merrick and Co., Greenwood Village, Colo.; SurvTech Solutions Inc., Tampa, Fla.; and Woolpert Inc., Dayton, Ohio, will compete for each order of the $49 million contract for architect and engineering services for survey and mapping. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 12, 2021. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile, Ala., is the contracting activity.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Week in review (9/2 to 9/8)

Bay County is on its way to developing a center near the Naval Support Activity in Panama City that will give Northwest Florida its second "outside the gate" think tank designed to make it easier for companies and academia to work with the military.

Bay County commissioners accepted a $95,000 grant for a new military technology center during a meeting Wednesday. The grant is from the Florida Defense Support Task Force and was obtained through efforts by the Bay Defense Alliance (BDA).

The grant will go toward a feasibility study for the Expeditionary Innovation Center, shortened to Ex-Cell, near Naval Support Activity Panama City. It will be used to support the base's science lab, the Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division.

The "neutral facility" will be outside the base fence, to better collaborate with local universities and businesses. It's modeled after similar military tech innovation centers in Fort Walton Beach and Tampa. (Post)

The Fort Walton Beach center is the Doolittle Institute, a think tank that opened its doors in 2014. It's a think tank that helps find solutions for the military by cutting out a lot of the red tape and providing a center where the military, academia and companies can get together to find solutions and put innovation on the fast track.

The creation of the institute in Fort Walton Beach led to the creation of a similar operation in Tampa, SOFWERX, which works with the Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base.


Space
NASA conducted a full-duration 500-second test of an RS-25 engine flight controller Thursday at Stennis Space Center (SSC), Miss. It was the sixth test of a 3D-printed pogo accumulator assembly, a component that dampens potential engine propellant pressure oscillations that can cause a rocket to become unstable in flight.

The hot fire test on the A-1 test stand also was the second test of an RS-25 main combustion chamber fabricated using a bonding technique called hot isostatic pressing, which saves time and money over more traditional methods.

SSC, which has been conducting RS-25 engine and component tests since January 2015. NASA began testing RS-25 flight controller units in March 2017. RS-25 engines were use on the space shuttle, but are modified for use on NASA’s Space Launch System. (Post)


F-35 contracts
Hydraulics International Inc., Chatsworth, Calif., was awarded a $43.6 million contract for the procurement of up to 305 MHU-83D production units, truck, lift, aerial stores loaders for ordnance/store loading operations on AV-8B, F/A-18, AH-1W, AH-1Z, UH-1Y, and F-35 B/C aircraft in support of the Marine Corps. Work will be performed in Chatsworth and is expected to be completed in September 2023. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, N.J., is the contracting activity. Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center. … Lockheed Martin Corp., Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded a $39.2 million contract modification for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter annual sustainment contract. Work will be performed in Patuxent River, Md., Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and Fort Worth and is expected to be completed in April 2019. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, is the contracting activity.


Other contracts
Booz Allen Hamilton, McLean, Va., CACI Inc. – Federal, Chantilly, Va., Science Application International Corp., Reston, Va., Capstone Corp., Alexandria, Va., and Serco Inc., Herndon, Va., were awarded an estimated $103.4 million multiple award contracts to provide technical support services in support of the deputy chief of naval operations manpower, personnel, training and education domain. The base ordering period of the contract is expected to be completed by September 2021. Work will be performed in Millington, Tenn. (45 percent); Pensacola, Fla. (27 percent); Arlington, Va. (10 percent); various locations throughout the continental U.S. (16 percent); and various contractor facilitates (2 percent). Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center Norfolk, Va.; and Contracting Department Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity. … General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., Poway, Calif., was awarded a $50,000 minimum, $15,000,000 maximum contract for integration and testing support for Medium Altitude, Long Endurance Tactical (MALET) MQ-9 and MQ-1C Special Operations Forces peculiar (SOF-p) modifications; procurement of GA-ASI developed and produced aircraft modification kits; and analysis and studies to inform future decisions on potential MALET MQ-9 and MQ-1C SOF-p modifications. The work will be performed in Poway, and is expected to be completed by September 2023. U.S. Special Operations Command, Tampa, Fla., is the contracting activity. Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Fla., was chosen in November 2017 to host an MQ-9 wing, and Hurlburt Field, Fla., was chosen in May 2018 to host an MQ-9 squadron.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Week in review (8/26 to 9/1)

The unmanned aerial vehicle field just keeps notching advances.

During the week, an $805.3 million contract was awarded to Boeing to provide the design, development, fabrication, test, verification, certification, delivery, and support of four MQ-25A unmanned aerial refueling vehicles. That also includes the aircraft’s integration into the carrier air wing to provide an initial operational capability to the Navy. The work is expected to be completed in August 2024. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Post)

The award is just the latest affirmation that the military is fully embracing the vision of unmanned vehicles taking over chores previously done by humans. We’ve had unmanned systems doing surveillance for quite some time now, think of the Global Hawk in all its iterations, and the Fire Scout unmanned helicopter, both built in part in Moss Point, Miss.

They also have a long track record of being armed. Think Predator and Reaper.

It was a few years back that Northrop Grumman demonstrated the ability of using an unmanned strike fighter aboard a Navy carrier. In May 2013, the X-47B had the first catapult launch of an unmanned aircraft.

I’ve always been fascinated by what the future can hold for robotic systems. As far back as January 2007, I wrote about the possibility one day that we may have unmanned passenger jets. (Alliance Insight, January 2007, page 5). More recently, I wrote about some of the concerns associate with artificial intelligence. (Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor Newsletter, February 2018, page 5).

But lesson in all this is that technological advances keep coming. We just have to keep in mind how to use it all wisely.


Space
Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans completed construction on the spacecraft capsule structure that will return astronauts to the Moon. It was shipped to Florida and is now at Kennedy Space Center, undergoing final assembly into a full spacecraft.

The capsule structure, or pressure vessel, for NASA's Orion Exploration Mission-2 (EM-2) spacecraft was welded together over the last seven months by Lockheed Martin technicians and engineers at the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.

Orion is the world's only exploration-class spaceship, and the EM-2 mission will be its first flight with astronauts on board, taking them farther into the solar system than ever before. The first pressure vessel for EM-1, which will be used in an unmanned flight, was also built at Michoud and is at Kennedy. (Post)


Corporate
Gulf Power today filed an agreement with the Florida Public Service Commission seeking approval to reduce rates for 2019 and beyond by some $9.6 million on an annual basis. This reduction reflects the remaining tax savings resulting from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Of that amount, $3.8 million will benefit businesses and industrial customers, including Northwest Florida’s military bases. (Post)


Contracts F-35
Multiple contracts were awarded during the week in connection with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center. Two were awarded to Lockheed Martin, three to Pratt and Whitney and one to Harper. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity for five of the six contracts.

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded a $250.4 million modification to a previously awarded contract. This modification definitizes pricing for F-35 Lightning II low-rate initial production Lot 11 production non-recurring special tooling and special test equipment. Work is expected to be completed in December 2021. The company was also awarded an $81 million delivery order issued against a basic ordering agreement. This modification provides for the procurement of air vehicle initial spares for the F-35 Lightning III aircraft, including afloat spares packages, Marine Corps quick engine change kits, and associated consumables to support the air vehicle delivery schedules for Navy and Marine Corps. Work is expected to be completed in December 2023.

Pratt and Whitney Military Engines, East Hartford, Conn., was awarded a $10.5 million order against a previously issued basic ordering agreement for the retrofit of 14 three bearing swivel module units for Marine Corps F-35 Lightening II aircraft. Work is expected to be complete in August 2020. The company also was awarded a $10.2 million modification to a previously awarded contract for F-35 support equipment fleet modernization efforts to include the procurement of support equipment and associated site activation labor in support of the Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, non-U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) participants and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers. Work is expected to be completed in August 2021. In a third contract, the company was awarded a $118.2 million modification to a previously awarded contract. This modification provides for initial spares, including four F135-PW-600 (STOVL) engines for the Marine Corps; one power module and gearbox; four lift fan modules; and eight drive shafts in support of the Marine Corps’ low-rate initial production Lot 11 F-35 Lightning II aircraft. Work is expected to be completed 
in August 2021.

In the final F-35 related contract, Harper Construction Co. Inc., San Diego, Calif., was awarded $30.8 million task order under a previously awarded contract for construction of an F-35 simulator facility at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. The facility will support six full mission simulators and support spaces including administrative, classroom, and conferences spaces. Work is expected to be completed by May 2020. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, is the contracting activity.


Other contracts
The Rockhill Group
, Molino, Fla., was awarded an $8.4 million contract modification for the air-to-ground intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance contract. The contract modification is for exercising Option Year Two. The total cumulative face value of the contract is $76,627,660. Air Combat Command Acquisition Management and Integration Center, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., is the contracting activity. … PAE Aviation and Technical Services LLC, Marlton, N.J., was awarded a $17.9 million contract modification to provide functional and quality assurance support for the aerial targets program, which directly supports live-fire weapons system testing and enables the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group in the developmental and operational weapons testing for all air-to-air missiles for the F-22, F-35, F-16, and F-15 aircraft. Work will be performed at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.; and Holloman AFB, N.M., and is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2019. Air Combat Command, Acquisition Management and Integration Center, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., is the contracting activity. … Whitesell-Green Inc., Pensacola, Fla., was awarded $17.6 million for a task order under a previously awarded contract for the renovation of the Fleet Readiness Center Southeast Building 101 at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla. Work is expected to be completed by January 2021. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, is the contracting activity. … Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., McLean, Va., was awarded a $17.6 million task order under a previously awarded General Services Administration (GSA) One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services contract for Marine Corps Installations Command Headquarters directorate wide professional services. New Orleans is one of the work locations. The Marine Corps Installations Command, Arlington, Va., is the contracting activity.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Week in review (8/19 to 8/25)

We have lost a true patriot, Sen. John McCain, a man who exemplified what it means to serve this country with honor, a man who brought great moral authority to the political world.

McCain served with distinction as a Navy pilot and endured life at the hands of the enemy for nearly six years as a prisoner of war. It is a trial few have to face. Son of a Navy admiral, he was seen as a pawn by his captors and was even given the chance to be released. But he would not leave his fellow POWs behind.

He served in Congress where he was always an advocate for the military and for the veterans who served this country. Speaking for all my fellow veterans, he was indeed one of us, whether we agreed with his politics or not.

He was a decent man who put country over party, an independent thinker who was respected even by his opponents. One of the most vivid examples of his character was when he defended Barack Obama, his opponent in the presidential race, when a woman repeated falsehoods about the man who would go on to become president.

McCain was to the very end, decent, dignified. His passing is a tremendous loss for our country.


Now for your aerospace week in review:


Industry day
When you attract more people the second time you put on an event, you must be doing something right. That's what happened at the TeCMEN Industry Day held Thursday at the Emerald Coast Convention Center in Fort Walton Beach.

Thirty-year-old TeCMEN is the Technology Coast Manufacturing and Engineering Network, and this was its second annual Industry Day. Linda Sumblin, the group's coordinator with the Economic Development Council of Okaloosa County, said 318 individuals attended and there were 46 entities showcased in the exhibitor hall. That's better than last year's turnout of 287 participants and 44 exhibitors.

The idea behind industry day is to put all the business, military and educational players in one place and foster collaboration. The exhibits allow players to showcase what they do. The goal is to connect people, companies, and academic partners from across the engineering and manufacturing landscape to showcase the region's technology.

A common thread, of course, is the defense industry. Okaloosa County is home to Eglin Air Force Base, where aerial weapons are developed and tested, and Hurlburt Field, home of the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command. A lot of dollars are spent in this region on the nation’s defense, so much of what you see during Industry Day involves that.

I could only spend a couple of hours at the event, but met a few people who will be good interviews for future stories in the Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor Newsletter. I also reconnected with some folks I've talked to in the past, which is always a pleasure.

One of the speakers I did catch was on Don Gaetz, former Florida Senate president and now the chairman of Triumph Gulf Coast, the organization responsible for distributing $1.5 million that resulted from the settlement in the wake of the BP oil spill.

He talked about factors that determine whether a project ends up getting funding. The money is being used to diversify the Northwest Florida economy, to provide a third leg to an economy so reliant on tourism and the military.

Importantly, the money is being used not to entirely fund selected projects, but to back projects that can attract additional dollars from the public and private sector, those where the proposer is also putting money into the great idea.

According to Gaetz, there have been 180 applicants requesting a total of $1.8 billion. So far just under $100 million has been awarded in the first few months, and that's resulted in $400 million worth of economic development now underway. That's what it means to leverage the money and over time, with the goal of turning it into $3 billion worth of investments.

One of the projects that received preliminary approval was for the expansion of the maintenance, repair and overhaul campus at Pensacola International Airport. Gaetz said the request was for $130 million, but Triumph Gulf Coast approved $56 million – some 28 percent of what will be a more than $200 million project. He also talked about the $8.2 million in funding that will go to provide infrastructure for Whiting Aviation Park in Milton in what will be an $18 million project. That project will help protect Whiting and increase its value to the military.

"The 2018 edition of TeCMEN Industry Day was by all accounts a great success," said Nathan Sparks, executive director of the EDC of Okaloosa County. "The energy on the sold out exhibit floor was at an all-time high, with many exhibitors taking full advantage of the opportunity to provide hands-on demonstrations of their equipment and technological capabilities."

There are two other events coming up in October and November in the region that involve topics of interest to the region's aerospace activities. One is the Gulf Power Economic Symposium at Sandestin Beach Resort in Florida, and the other is the Aerospace Alliance Annual Summit at Point Clear, Ala.


Bell
Bell Helicopters is shutting down its operation at the Lafayette Regional Airport in Louisiana. Louisiana Economic Development (LED) said the state’s contract with Bell was being terminated due to underperformance.

LED provided $26 million in funding to the manufacturer in 2013 to establish an assembly base. It was initially supposed to be the final assembly line for the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X but later transitioned to the 525 cabin subassembly facility.

Part of the agreement was that Bell would create 115 new direct jobs. Bell renegotiated the contract last year to bring that number down to 95. Bell currently employs 22 full-time workers at the site. The work done in Lafayette will be done now in Amarillo, Texas.

LED is seeking to be repaid $16 million. Lafayette is about two hours west of New Orleans along Interstate 10. (Post)


Military
A Hurlburt Field airman who gave his life on the battlefield was recognized Wednesday in Washington, D.C. Air Force Tech Sgt. John Chapman was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

He was killed in March 2002 in a battle in Afghanistan when Chapman and his reconnaissance team engaged the enemy in the rescue of a Navy petty officer who'd fallen from the chopper they were on.

Despite being wounded in the rescue, Chapman continued to fight, ultimately losing his life. During that battle 16 years ago, seven service members lost their lives. Chapman was the 19th airman to win the nation’s highest military honor, and the first airman since the Vietnam era. (Post)

-- An F-35 that returned to base after an in-flight emergency was parked on the flight line when its nose gear gave out. The plane had the ground incident shortly after noon Wednesday, according to the 33rd Fighter Wing. Nobody was injured.

The plane was from the 58th Fighter Squadron. Eglin shares the runway with Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport, but no commercial traffic was affected. An investigation into the circumstances surrounding the mishap is under way. (Post)

-- The Department of Energy has recognized Naval Air Station Whiting Field for its contributions to energy efficiency, conservation and renewable energy technologies. It’s the second award related to energy excellence in recent weeks.

NAS Whiting was selected earlier this month as the Department of the Navy’s small shore installation Energy Excellence award winner for 2018. Its recent Utility Energy Savings Contract (UESC) was also selected by the Department of Energy (DOE) as a Federal Energy and Management Program (FEMP) award for 2018.

The project was one of only nine selected throughout the entire federal government, and the only Department of Navy project recognized. (Post)


Space
Relativity Space, a California-based company that's building a rocket using far fewer parts thanks to additive manufacturing, will test for the first time in history, the combination of a 3D printed engine with a 3D printed fuel tank at NASA's Stennis Space Center, Miss., in 2019. Building a rocket usually takes 12 to 18 months and consists of more than 100,000 parts. Relativity Space takes two months and the rocket is made of fewer than 1,000 parts. (Post)


Contracts
BAE Systems, Technology Solutions and Services Inc., Rockville, Md., was awarded an 
$83.5 million contract. Tasking includes maintenance, integrated logistic support, management, life cycle sustainment, and the upgrade of current systems; such as the Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Combat Systems, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance system; using new and emerging technologies in support of the Special Communications Mission Solutions Division. Fort Walton Bech will be the location for three percent of the work. Other work sites are in Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, California, Texas, Kentucky, Colorado, Washington, and Germany, and is expected to be completed in August 2023. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. … Technical Systems Integration Inc., Chesapeake, Va., was awarded a $10.6 million contract for depot-level repair, overhaul, and modification for the MK-105 magnetic minesweeping gear. Work will be performed in Panama City, Fla., and is expected to be completed by August 2019. The Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division, Panama City Beach, is the contracting activity. … MSE Group LLC, San Antonio, Texas, was awarded a maximum amount $10 million contract in the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast area of responsibility (AOR). A task order in the amount of $15,659 is being awarded to prepare Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act Sections 312 and 313 regulatory requirements for reporting year 2018 at Naval Support Activity Panama City, Fla. Work for this task order is expected to be completed by July 2019. All work on this contract will be performed at various Navy and Marine Corps installations in the NAVFAC Southeast AOR. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity. … The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., was awarded an $8.2 million contract for five Automated System Test Set Trailers and spares. Work will be performed in St. Louis and will be completed by Aug. 20, 2020. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. … Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems Inc., Sacramento, Calif., was awarded a $109 million contract, for Lot 14-16 production and contractor logistics support. Work will be performed at Sacramento and is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2022. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. … Jacobs Technology Inc., Tampa, Fla., was awarded a $13.9 million contract. This is a bridge contract that provides for uninterrupted contractor support services, most importantly in the areas of information technology (IT) and information assurance (IA), for the F-35 Joint Program Office. Four percent of the work will be done at Eglin Air Force Base. Other work sites are in Virginia, California, Maryland, Ohio, Texas and Jacksonville, Fla., and is expected to be completed in January 2019. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, N.J., is the contracting activity.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Week in review (8/12 to 8/18)

The August issue of the Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor Newsletter published Tuesday and is now available for download. Two of the stories highlight the growth of maintenance, repair and overhaul activities in the Pensacola metro area.

One is about the effort to expand the MRO operations at Pensacola International Airport. It has one MRO right now, but the airport received preliminary approval for funding from Triumph Gulf Coast, the organization that distributes recovery money from the 2010 BP oil spill. The funding will be used to build three more hangars, two of them larger than the current hangar operate by Mobile-based ST Engineering Aerospace.

There's also a story about the development of an aviation park just outside Naval Air Station Whiting Field near Milton. The county received preliminary approval for funding from Triumph Gulf Coast for the park's infrastructure. Plans down the road call for an MRO hangar for smaller aircraft.

There is also a story about the recent Southeast Aerospace and Defense Conference in Mobile, where that city's aerospace footprint continues to grow. (Post)

If you follow our bimonthly newsletters you know that it focuses on activities in the Interstate 10 corridor between Southeast Louisiana and Northwest Florida. But every now and then we expand our coverage to include a wider area.

That will be the case in October when the newsletter focuses on aerospace and aviation training in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi. The subject area is so large, this newsletter will be at least twice the size of our usual eight-page offering.

Speaking of things to come, the TecMEN Industry Day is scheduled for August 23 at the Emerald Coast Convention Center in Fort Walton Beach. TecMEN, by the way, is shorthand for Technology Coast Manufacturing and Engineering Network. Among other things, there will be a panel discussion about the outlook for the defense market.

Now for your week in review:

Space
In South Mississippi, NASA selected 20 research and technology proposals valued at $15 million from 19 American small businesses. Each is partnering with research institutions for Phase II of NASA’s Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program.

The winning projects include two supporting Stennis Space Center activities in South Mississippi. One is "Through Wall Wireless Intelligent Sensor and Health monitoring," developed by American GNC Corp. of Simi Valley, Calif., an Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute of Troy, New York.

The other is "High Performance Simulation Tool for Multiphysics Propulsion Using Fidelity-Adaptive Combustion Modeling," developed by Streamline Numerics, Inc. of Gainesville, Fla., and Stanford University of Stanford, Calif.

Phase II is focused on the development, demonstration and delivery of the innovation, and winners are chosen as a result of competitive evaluations. Phase II contracts last for 24 months with a maximum funding of $750,000. (Post)

-- Operators conducted a successful test of RS-25 developmental engine No. 0525, along with a new flight controller unit, on the A-1 Test Stand early in the week. The hot fire was the first RS-25 test at Stennis Space Center since February, when operators powered the engine to its highest operating level ever. This test was supposed to be for 500 seconds, but was aborted at 319 seconds because of a facilities issue.

It also was the first test of developmental engine No. 0525 since August 2015. It marked the first in a series of nine scheduled tests on engine No. 0525 through the rest of the year and into 2019. Four RS-25 engines will power the NASA Space Launch System, designed to take astronauts on deep-space missions. (Post)


Contracts
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control
, Orlando, Fla., was awarded a $480 million contract for air-launched rapid response weapon critical design review and test and production readiness support. Work will be performed in Orlando and is expected to be completed by Nov. 30, 2021. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. … Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded a $26.1 million order against a previously issued basic ordering agreement. This order provides for non-recurring engineering activities associated with the F-35 Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) Security Architecture Phase III design, development, integration and test of the ALIS Sovereign Data Management (SDM) system in support of the Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy and F-35 international partners. Work will be performed in Texas and Florida, and is expected to be completed in June 2020. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center. … The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., was awarded $17 million for a delivery order against a previously issued basic ordering agreement. This order is for the retrofit documentation and kits to convert nine F/A-18E and two F/A-18F aircraft into a Blue Angel configuration. Work will be performed in St. Louis and is expected to be completed in December 2021. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. The Blue Angels are headquartered at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Week in review (8/5 to 8/11)

The August issue of the Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor Newsletter will publish next week on Tuesday. It will be emailed to subscribers, and available on our website, Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor.

In this issue there's a story about the proposed, expanded maintenance, repair and overhaul campus at Pensacola International Airport. The project was given preliminary approval for funding from Triumph Gulf Coast, the organization responsible for distributing BP funds to counties in Northwest Florida impacted by the 2010 oil spill.

While details still need to be worked out, the plan is to add three more MRO hangars to the one MRO hangar that opened this summer on the north end of airport property. There will be other buildings as well, giving Pensacola a major foothold in the MRO segment of aviation.

If all things go according to plan, the new campus will go a long way towards recovering the aerospace MRO jobs that were lost when the Naval Aviation Depot at Naval Air Station Pensacola shut down in the 1990s.

We’ll also tell you why the MRO operation at the airport is now called ST Engineering Aerospace and no longer VT Mobile Aerospace Engineering, or VT MAE. It's the same company, just a new name. The operation in Mobile, Ala., 60 miles to the west, also changed its name to ST Engineering Aerospace.

There's also a story about the development of the Whiting Aviation Park, just outside Naval Air Station Whiting Field north of Milton in Santa Rosa County, Fla. It’s been a dream project for more than a dozen years to create a military aviation MRO adjacent to Naval Air Station Whiting Field, and now it’s moving forward thanks to a preliminary approval for funds from Triumph Gulf Coast.

We also give you a rundown of other important aerospace activities in the Gulf Coast region that occurred since our last newsletter in June.

Now for your week in review:


Airports
Continental Motors has begun work on a nearly 275,000-square-foot engine and parts manufacturing facility at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley. The plant will include $40 million in new equipment and an area dedicated to new manufacturing techniques and processes, such as additive manufacturing.

The plant, which consolidates operations scattered among nearly a dozen buildings, is expected to be operational in 2019. Continental Motors, which employs 400 workers in Mobile, is a subsidiary of China’s AVIC International Holding LTD. It produces piston and turbine engines for light aircraft, and also provides services. (Post)

-- Aircraft maintenance service provider Yulista has opened a new two-hangar, fixed- and rotary-wing facility in Andalusia, Ala., at the Southern Alabama Regional Airport. It also includes an office and manufacturing and storage space.

Services geared toward Lockheed C-130 and Boeing 737 aircraft. The airport's distance to Eglin Air Force Base and other Northwest Florida military installations opens new opportunities for contracts, the company said. Yulista is based in Huntsville, Ala., and also announced this week it had completed a new 80,000-square foot hangar at the Huntsville Executive Airport. (Post)

-- Nearly $5 million worth of improvements are now finished at Stennis International Airport in the community of Kiln in Hancock County, Miss. The funding came from the Federal Aviation Administration's airport improvement program.

The 8,500-foot grooved and lighted runway is an essential component to attracting new companies to the airpark, currently home to 16 companies and nearly 400 employees. Stennis airport also serves as a military training facility, relying on both the runway as well as Stennis Space Center’s acoustical buffer zone. (Post)


Bases
Naval Air Station Whiting Field in Milton, Fla., was the recipient of the Department of the Navy Energy Excellence Award for 2018 in the Navy Small Shore category. The announcement was made Aug. 3 by the Secretary of the Navy.

The award program promotes excellence in the areas of energy security, new technology, innovation, program management and efficiency across the department. Whiting Field implemented several initiatives resulting in a nearly 20 percent energy intensity reduction. The feat was possible in part through completion of a year-long Utility Energy Service Contract in partnership with Gulf Power. (Post)


F-35 contracts
There were multiple contracts awarded in the F-35 program. That’s of interest to this region because Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center.

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded $302 million for a delivery order against a previously issued basic ordering agreement. This order provides for the procurement of ancillary mission equipment for F-35 Lightning II low-rate initial production Lot 12 aircraft in support of the Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy, the non-Department of Defense (DoD) participants and foreign military sales (FMS) customers.

Work will be performed in Fort Worth and is expected to be completed in January 2021. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. also was awarded $105 million for a contract modification for continued design maturation and development of contractually identified Block 4 common capabilities. These efforts are in support of the F-35 Phase 2.2(A)(1) pre-modernization of common capabilities in support of the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and the international partners.

Work will be performed in Fort Worth and is expected to be completed in July 2019. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. also was awarded a $20 million modification a delivery order previously issued against basic ordering agreement. This modification provides for the procurement of Aircraft Management System (AMS) and Panoramic Cockpit Display (PCD) components, mitigating hardware lead time schedule risk for Technical Refresh Phase 3 development, as well as integration of AMS and PCD into identified development laboratories to support Lot 15 F-35 Lightning II production.

Work will be performed in Fort Worth and is expected to be completed in September 2019. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Straub Construction Inc., Santa Rosa, Calif., was awarded a $16.8 million task order under a previously awarded multiple award construction contract for construction of the Air Wing Training Facility at Naval Air Station Fallon.

The facility will support desk-style aircraft simulators, Virtual Aegis Combat simulators, F-35 Mission Rehearsal Trainers, and unmanned aerial system simulators, E-2D simulators and support spaces.

Work will be performed in Fallon and is expected to be completed by August 2020. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity.


Other contracts
Choctawhatchee Electric Cooperative Inc.
, DeFuniak Springs, Fla., was awarded a maximum $20 million modification to an existing 50-year contract for electric utility services. Location of performance is Florida, with a July 31, 2067, performance completion date. The contracting activity is Defense Logistics Agency Energy, Fort Belvoir, Va. … Raytheon Co., Tucson, Ariz., was awarded a $110 million contract for Paveway weapons. Work will be performed in Tucson and is expected to be completed Feb. 9, 2029. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. … Raytheon Missiles Systems, Tucson, Ariz., was awarded a $13.1 million contract modification for advanced medium-range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM) technical support. Work will be performed in Tucson and is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2020. Air Force Lifecycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. … Sentient Digital Inc., doing business as Entrust Government Solutions, New Orleans, was awarded a total $49 million contract for information technology engineering support services. IT services in this contract will assist Military Sealift Command’s (MSC) Command, Control, Communications, and Computer Systems (C4S) division (N6) in providing and sustaining Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of the Navy (DoN) compliant technical C4S solutions. Work will be performed in Norfolk, Va., and is expected to be completed Aug. 15, 2023. The Navy’s Military Sealift Command, Norfolk, is the contracting activity.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Week in review (7/29 to 8/4)

For my readers who follow the space program, you'll be interested to know Aerojet Rocketdyne is now assembling the new components of the modified RS-25 rocket engines that will power future Space Launch System (SLS) launches. The RS-25 program is primarily based out of its Canoga Park facility in the Los Angeles area, where most of the engineering and production of the engines is done, but it also involves Stennis Space Center (SSC), Miss., which will test all those engines.

The company plans to deliver all the flight engines to NASA by July, 2024. The new engines are due to begin flying on the fifth SLS launch. The first four launches will be powered by the 16 engines left over from the Space Shuttle era. Those engines, like the new ones, are modified from their Space Shuttle configurations to operate at a higher power level and more severe thermal environment. Those engines went through extensive ground testing from early 2015 through late 2017.

Changes to the engine design will be certified in part during dozens of ground test firings at SSC. The first production restart test series, called “Retrofit 1a,” was completed in late February. That series demonstrated the first major production restart component, the pogo accumulator assembly. Those units are now built using a 3-D printing technique.

The upcoming Retrofit 1b test series is slated to start in the A-1 test stand at SSC this month. (Post)

We also had a space-related contract awarded during the week to Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co., Sunnyvale, Calif. The company was awarded a $32 million modification to a contract for Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) Satellite Vehicle 4 (SV 4).

The contract modification is to implement SV 4 operational resiliency phase one for the AEHF. Work will be performed in Sunnyvale and is expected to be completed by Jan. 31, 2021. Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., is the contracting activity.

The connection to our region? The core propulsion subsystem work the AEHF is done by Lockheed Martin at SSC. (Post)


F-35 contracts
There were three contracts awarded to Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., of Fort Worth, Texas, for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. In all three the Naval Air Systems Command of Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. I highlight these contracts because Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home to the F-35 integrated training center.

In one contract, Lockheed was awarded a $171.7 million modification to a previously awarded F-35 low rate initial production Lot 11 contract. This modification authorizes the procurement of diminishing manufacturing sources redesign activities in support of the F-35 Lightning II air system.

Work will be performed in Fort Worth and is expected to be completed in January 2024. This modification combines purchases for the Air Force (39.99 percent); Navy (19.99 percent); Marine Corps (19.99 percent); and international partners (20.03 percent). (Post)

In another contract, the company was awarded $16.2 million modification to a previously awarded contract. This modification provides for Phase 3 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Verification Simulation (VSim) / F-35 In-a-Box (FIAB) delivery of updates to the FIAB software model.

In addition, this modification provides continued FIAB software model development, integration, validation, verification and support. Work will be performed in Texas, Maryland and Georgia and is expected to be completed in April 2019. This contract combines purchases for the Air Force (65 percent); and Navy (35 percent). (Post)

In the third contract, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. was awarded a $7.8 million modification to a previously issued order issued against a basic ordering agreement. This modification provides for support for first of class flying trials and release of the military permit to fly for F-35B in support of the government of the United Kingdom.

Work will be performed in the United Kingdom, Texas, North Carolina, Florida and Maryland and is expected to be completed in June 2020. (Post)


Other contracts
Booz Allen Hamilton
, McLean, Va.; CACI Inc. – Federal, Chantilly, Va.; Deloitte & Touche LLP, Arlington, Va.; Systems Planning and Analysis Inc., Alexandria, Va.; and Whitney, Bradley & Brown Inc., Reston, Va., were awarded an estimated $68.6 million multiple award contracts that will include terms and conditions for the placement of both cost-plus-fixed-fee and firm-fixed-price task orders to provide contractor support of strategic assessment and planning; manpower assessment; planning and programming analysis support; financial program management; manpower, personnel, training and education program and policy assessment and management; and quantitative analysis, forecasting, performance assessment, and research, development, test and evaluation program management support in support of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (DCNO) manpower, personnel, training and education domain comprised of the DCNO, the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Navy Personnel Command, the Navy Manpower Analysis Center, Commander Naval Education and Training, and Commander Navy Recruiting Command. Work will be performed in Millington, Tenn. (50 percent); Arlington, Va. (30 percent); Pensacola, Fla. (10 percent); various locations throughout the continental U.S. (8 percent); and various contractor facilitates (2 percent). Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center Norfolk, Contracting Department Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity. … Applied Research Associates, Albuquerque, N.M., was awarded a $48.7 million contract for Joint Munitions Weapons Effectiveness Manuals and a $4,024,270 task order. The contract provides for software development and training. Work will be performed at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.; Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio; and Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. Air Force Test Center, Eglin Air Force Base, is the contracting activity. … Titan Facility Services, Gilbert, Ariz., was awarded a $9.4 million contract for Healthcare Aseptic Management Services. Work will be performed at Altus Air Force Base, Okla.; Vance AFB, Okla.; Tinker AFB, Okla.; Barksdale AFB, La.; Columbus AFB, Miss.; Eglin AFB, Fla.; Hurlburt Field, Fla.; MacDill AFB, Fla.; Patrick AFB, Fla.; Tyndall AFB, Fla.; Keesler AFB, Miss.; Little Rock AFB, Ark.; Moody AFB, Ga.; Robins AFB, Ga.; Charleston AFB, S.C.; and Shaw AFB, S.C.. Air Force Installation Contracting Agency, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, is the contracting activity. … Radiance Technologies Inc., Huntsville, Ala., was awarded a $19.8 million contract for Small Business Cyber Security Operations Center (SB-CSOC). Work will be performed in Baton Rouge, La., and is expected to be completed by July 29, 2021. Air Force Research Laboratory, Rome, N.Y., is the contracting activity.


Previous week
I didn’t have a column last week, but there were two contracts that I’d like to mention now. One was for the National Center for Critical Information Processing and Storage at NASA’s SSC in South Mississippi, and the other was related to the F-35.

NASA awarded a contract to COLSA Corp. of Huntsville, Ala., to provide facility operations support services to the center. The National Center for Critical Information Processing and Storage (NCCIPS), is a federal shared services data center managed by the NASA Shared Services Center (NSSC) at SSC.

NCCIPS Version Two is a firm, fixed price contract that began Aug. 1 with a 60-day phase-in period, followed by a one-year base period, four one-year options and three one-year award term options. The potential total value of the contract is about $107.4 million.

COLSA will be responsible for secure facility operations, maintenance, management, environmental analysis, energy management, information technology, system power, and network integration in support of NCCIPS. (Post)

NCCIPS supports data center requirements of federal agencies and manages those relationships via Interagency Agreements. It’s a 200,000-square-foot secure facility situated on a 64 acre campus at SSC.

NCCIPS was created as a result of a 2005 Congressional initiative to provide secure processing and storage of nationally sensitive, critical, or classified data. It offers federal agencies collocation services from a state-of-the-art data center. Each NCCIPS customer pays only an apportioned share of the actual data center operations and maintenance cost based on each customer's footprint in the data center.

In another contract, United Technologies Corp., Pratt and Whitney Military Engines, East Hartford, Conn., was awarded a $24.6 million modification to a previously awarded contract. This modification provides for the procurement of F135 Low-Rate Initial Production 9 non-annualized sustainment support equipment and associated labor for depot activation outside the continental U.S. to include support equipment fleet modernization in support of the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and non-Department of Defense participants.

Work will be performed in East Hartford (90 percent); and Indianapolis, Ind. (10 percent), and is expected to be completed in May 2021. This modification combines purchases for the Air Force (1 percent); Marine Corps (0.5 percent); Navy (0.3 percent); FMS (0.2 percent); and non-DoD participants (98 percent). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Post)

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Week in review (7/15 to 7/21)

Some weeks we have a lot of posts about contracts awarded by the military to various companies. But during this past week we were inundated by stories about money that will be spent on projects are airports in the region.

Triumph Gulf Coast during the week gave preliminary approval to $64.5 million in grants to expand Northwest Florida’s aerospace and aviation infrastructure. The Triumph board voted unanimously to support $56 million in major expansions of the Pensacola International Airport's maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities and $8.5 million for substantial expansion of Whiting Aviation Park in Santa Rosa County.

The funds for Pensacola is contingent upon obtaining more than $75 million now being sought from city, county, state and federal sources and $59 million in commitments to the project by private companies.

The next step for the Pensacola and Whiting projects is agreement on a term sheet that will stipulate the obligations of all funding partners and include performance requirements and a "claw back" that would allow Triumph to reclaim its funds if jobs aren’t created and sustained, as committed by the private and public sponsors of the proposals. (Post)

Across the state line in Alabama, airports in that state are getting grants from the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program.

The Downtown Mobile Airport will be getting a $7.1 million grant to pay for rehabilitation of runway 18/36, the reconstruction of taxiway H and installation of new taxiway lighting. A month earlier, H.L. (Sonny) Callahan Airport in Fairhope was awarded $3 million for runway construction. (Story)


Airbus
Airbus has named Hoar Program Management (HPM) to be in charge of building the new assembly line for the A220 series plane in Mobile. The A220 is the renamed Bombardier CSeries. It will be built in Mobile, as well as Quebec, Canada, as part of a joint venture between Airbus and Bombardier. Ground breaking is expected later this year.

HPM, which began in Birmingham, Ala., has locations across Alabama and elsewhere. It built the A320 final assembly line in Mobile, and the recently opened VT MAE hangar in Pensacola, Fla. (Post)


Contracts
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Grand Prairie, Texas, was awarded a
$164 million modification to previously awarded contract for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense Field Support Contract (TFSC). The work will be performed in Huntsville, Ala.; Sunnyvale, Calif.; Grand Prairie, Texas; and Troy, Ala. The Missile Defense Agency, Huntsville, Ala., is the contracting activity. … Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., San Diego, Calif., was awarded $19.3 million modification to a previously awarded contract to procure integrated functional capability (IFC) 4.0 unique material for the MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System. Work will be performed in California, Texas, North Dakota, Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida, New York, West Virginia and various locations in the continental U.S. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. Northrop Grumman does fuselage work on Triton in Moss Point, Miss. … PC Mechanical Inc., Santa Maria, Calif., was awarded a $19 million modification under a previously awarded contract to exercise option three for inspection, overhaul, repair, refurbishment, preventive maintenance, and logistics management information services to reconstitute the force of Civil Engineer Support Equipment (CESE) and Civil Engineer End Items (CEEI) under the CESE/CEEI Life Extension Program (CLEP) at Naval Base Ventura County. Work will be performed in Port Hueneme, Calif. (90 percent); and Gulfport, Miss. (10 percent), and this option period is from July 2018 to July 2019. The Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center, Port Hueneme, Calif., is the contracting activity. … Harris Corp., Rochester, N.Y., was awarded an $8 million contract for AN/PRC-160 radios. The radios will be delivered to Fort Benning, Ga.; Pope Army Airfield, N.C.; JB Lewis-McChord, Wash.; Hurlburt Field, Fla.; Cannon Air Force Base, N.M.; Louisville, Ky.; and Portland, Ore.. The radios will be delivered by Sept. 20 2018. 1st Special Operations Contracting Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla., is the contracting activity.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Week in review (7/8 to 7/14)

Representatives from the Gulf Coast who will be attending the July 16-22 Farnborough Air Show in England have a lot more to boast about then in years past. There's a lot more recognition of this region, and it may lead to attracting more companies.

During the week we learned that the Bombardier CSeries jetliner that will be built by a joint Airbus-Bombardier company has been given a new name. It will be the A220-100 and A220-300, the 300 model the one with the longer fuselage for more seating.

The new name, complete with a new paint scheme, was unveiled at a ceremony held at its Henri-Ziegler Delivery Center near Toulouse, France. The aircraft are for the 100 to 150 seat market and complement Airbus' existing A320 family.

Airbus is a majority holder in the partnership, which will lead to a new assembly line in Mobile, Ala., directly north of the current A320 series assembly line. (Post)

That rebranded model also got its first customer under the new name. JetBlue, which is also the first customer to take delivery of a U.S.-built A320, signed a Memorandum of Understanding for 60 firm orders for A220-300 model.

The airline also converted 25 of its current orders for Airbus A320neo into orders for the larger A321neo. The company’s A321neos and A220-300s will be powered by Pratt & Whitney GTF engines.

Airbus manufactures, markets and supports A220 aircraft under the recently finalized "C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership" (CSALP) agreement. (Post)

Speaking of Airbus, it is partnered with logistics giant DB Schenker on a logistics plan to use waterways to transport components to the Airbus A320 final assembly line in Mobile. The plan reduces the use of roads for transport.

Using a new roll-on/roll-off terminal, its barge, and a newly-dredged section of river, Airbus can use larger vessels to transfer components by water. Larger ocean going vessels are now being used for the international transport of four complete “ship sets” per month. The new logistics plan includes a refurbished pier at the production plant and construction of a new hangar. Airbus first used the new logistics setup for a shipment in May. (Post)


Employment
OK, job-seekers, listen up.

GKN Aerospace has hired 40 people to work at its new manufacturing facility at the airport near Panama City and is actively recruiting and training more new employees, officials said early in the week at a press conference at the Advanced Manufacturing Facility at Gulf Coast State Community College.

GKN has partnered with the college to help train employees.

The building at Venture Crossings is completed and equipment is being moved into the facility. By next year, officials say they will hire 172 people and be producing aircraft component parts.

GKN has invested $55 million in the facility and equipment. Kim Bodine, executive director for CareerSource Gulf Coast, said more than 900 people since last August have applied for the jobs on the CareerSource page taking applications. (Post)

On the subject of jobs, you may want to put in the back of your mind that in October, the Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor Newsletter will have a special, larger issue that will focus on the education and training options for folks interested in getting involved in the region's growing aerospace/aviation field. It promises to be a keeper whether you're a parent, student, worker or company official.


Air show
The Navy's Blue Angels flight demonstration team is performing in two shows close to home over the next couple of weeks. The first one, at Pensacola Beach, Fla., is this weekend and the second one will be in Biloxi, Miss., next weekend. The team, which uses F/A-18 jets, is headquartered at Naval Air Station Pensacola. (Post)


Contract
Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., San Diego, Calif., was awarded a $41.2 million modification to an order against a previously issued basic ordering agreement. This modification increases the ceiling and extends the period of performance on the delivery order to provide test, maintenance and logistics support services to sustain MQ-4C Triton unmanned air system (UAS) air vehicles, mission control and operator training systems. Work will be performed in Maryland, California, Florida and Guam and is expected to be completed in March 2019. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, is the contracting activity. Northrop Grumman does fuselage work on Global Hawk variants, including Triton, in Moss Point, Miss.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Week in review (7/1 to 7/7)

It was bound to happen. Less than a week after Airbus and Bombardier closed on the deal where Airbus took a majority stake in the Bombardier CSeries jetliner, Boeing agreed to take a majority stake in Embraer's jetliner business.

The new deal, which still has to be approved by stakeholders and the government of Brazil, will add a smaller single-aisle aircraft to the Boeing portfolio. Chicago-based company will hold an 80 percent ownership stake in a joint venture valued at $4.75 billion. (Post)

In the earlier Airbus-Bombardier deal, Airbus now owns a 50.01 percent majority stake in CSeries Aircraft Limited Partnership (CSALP), while Bombardier and Investissement Québec own about 34 percent and 16 percent, respectively. CSALP's head office, primary assembly line and related functions are based in Mirabel, Québec, ground will be broken this year on a second assembly line in Mobile, Ala., at the site where Airbus builds A320 series jetliners. (Post)

Both the Airbus-Bombardier and Boeing-Embraer deals are changing the landscape of competition to build jetliners. Bombardier and Embraer were once seen as potential competitors, and now they are part of two larger teams.

Airbus and Boeing both face the possibility that they'll one day be competing against aircraft built by China and Russia, but that will be a long time coming.

The C919 is a narrow-body twin-jet passenger jet built by Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC). It’s designed to compete with the Airbus A320 series and the Boeing 737 family. Russia’s competitor in this category is the Ikrut MC-21.

How well those competitors will do outside their home countries is yet to be seen. The single-aisle market is dominated by Airbus and Boeing, which produce hundreds of these aircraft each year. They have a global supplier chain in place and an impressive track record.

Cracking that duopoly is no small feat. The new competitors still face a long road ahead and a lot of hurdles. But something to keep in mind in an age where jet manufacturers are finding ways to join forces. Russia and China have also shown a willingness to work together. They are jointly developing a wide-body jet through the China-Russia Commercial Aircraft International Corporation.

In other items of interest to the Gulf Coast aerospace region during the week:


Space
An Aerojet Rocketdyne AR-22 rocket engine that will be used in a reuseable military aircraft has gone through a series of tests at NASA's Stennis Space Center, the rocket engine test facility in South Mississippi. The engine, a variant of the RS-25, was tested over a 10-day period, fired up for 100 seconds and then doing it again 24 hours later. (Post)

-- Relativity Space will be one of the few domestic players in a segment of the market dominated by foreign firms. This could put the company, which is focused on building 3D printed rockets, in an advantageous position to compete for military contracts. A launch site in the United States will be selected later this year. The company expects to fly its Terran 1 rocket by late 2020, with a goal to start commercial launches in 2021. Terran’s 3D printed engine, named Aeon 1, is being tested at Stennis Space Center, where the company signed a 20-year lease. (Post)


Military
Naval Air Station Whiting Field in Milton, Fla., is where generations of naval aviators have learned to fly. Started at the height of World War II to meet the nation's demand for aviators, Whiting will soon mark its 75th anniversary. (Post)


Contracts
DynCorp International, Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded a $14.9 million contract modification for continued contractor operated and maintained base supply support. Work will be performed at Columbus Air Force Base, Miss.; Laughlin AFB, Texas; Randolph AFB, Texas; Sheppard AFB, Texas; Vance AFB, Okla.; Air Force Combat Systems Officer at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla.; Navy Naval Flight Officer at NAS Pensacola, Fla.; NAS Whiting Field, Fla.; NAS Corpus Christi, Texas; NAS Patuxent River, Md. (satellite), and Army Aviation Flight Test Directorate (satellite). Work is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2018. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Training Aircraft Division, Joint Primary Aircraft Training System, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity. … Northrop Grumman Undersea Systems, Annapolis, Md., was awarded a $9.9 million modification to the previously awarded contract to exercise options for the accomplishment of 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. Work will be performed in Annapolis and is expected to be completed by April 2019. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division, Panama City, Fla., is the contracting activity.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Week in review (6/25 to 6/30)

Could the Gulf Coast or some other location in the Southeast make a pitch to Boeing to build a new line of aircraft? There are still a lot of ifs – the most important being that Boeing hasn't yet decided whether to even build the plane, the design of which was revealed last year at the Paris Air Show.

If this all sounds familiar, it should. A lot of areas were in the competition when Boeing was looking for a place to build the 787 Dreamliner, and a lot were also in the hunt when Airbus – the corporate name at the time was EADS – was looking for a site to build aerial tankers.

Aircraft assembly lines are one of the real jewels of economic development. In addition to the value of the assembly line itself and the workers who are hired, it also has a big impact on the supply chain. Companies worldwide start lining up to supply a variety of items for the new jetliner.

Areas along the Gulf Coast were among the finalists for the 787 site, but Boeing eventually decided to build it in Washington State, home of Boeing’s manufacturing center. It later opened up a second line in South Carolina. And the EADS plan? Mobile was chosen, and while the company did not win its bid to build the tankers, Mobile did become the site for what is arguably a far better deal, the A320 series assembly line.

And now Mobile will become the site for a second assembly line, this one to build Bombardier CSeries jetliners. So will Mobile or other regional economic development officials go ahead and make a pitch for the 797 aircraft?

Panelists at the recent Southeast Aerospace and Defense Conference held in Mobile had something akin to a why-not attitude. Certainly South Carolina, home to Boeings second 787 final assembly line, seems a natural to put in a bid. So too Alabama, where both Mobile and Huntsville are powerful contenders for aerospace production operations. Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi are also potential contenders with their own aerospace claims to fame.

We know of one area for sure that's in the hunt. Washington State is already preparing to do what it can to keep work on the New Midrange Aircraft – called the 797 – in that state. A Teal Group analysis, commissioned by a Washington coalition, was highly favorable for Washington and its skilled aerospace workers, and of course the state is holding up that study as ammunition.

It will be up to the other cities and states whether to make a pitch to Boeing, and while some of the preparatory work may be happening behind the scenes, it all depends on whether Boeing gives the thumbs up to the project and opens it up to bidders.

It makes sense that any location that was on the short list for the 787 and aerial tanker might consider going after this project. There are some must-haves for a project of this nature, including a port so sections can be shipped in, a runway where the finished product can tested and then turned over to a customer. And of course it needs to show it has the skilled workforce needed for aerospace work.

The 797, intended to fill the market betweeen the 737 and 787, was just one of the topics that came up during the week at the two-day inaugural Southeast Aerospace and Defense Conference held at Mobile’s Battle House Hotel.

During Wednesday's gathering, officials said ground would be broken this year for the new Bombardier CSeries assembly line that will be built in Mobile, a move that by 2021 will make Mobile the world’s fourth largest jetliner assembly center and second largest in North America.

The CSeries plant will be next to the Airbus A320 final assembly line at the Mobile Aeroplex as a result of a partnership between the two manufacturers that will be finalized Sunday. That happens to be Canada Day – the celebration of the day in 1867 that three colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick merged into a single dominion.

During the conference, Rob Dewar, vice president and general manager of Bombardier Aerospace, who becomes head of customer services and engineering Sunday, said he expects the first CSeries jetliner built in Mobile to be delivered in mid-2020.

The assembly line in Mobile will build the CS100 and CS300, which have the same assembly process. The difference is the CS300 has a longer fuselage. Dewar said it would take about a year to build the assembly line, which eventually will produce four jetliners per month and employ 400 workers.

The aircraft, by the way, will get a new name, but the announcement has not yet been made.

Daryl Taylor, vice president and general manager of the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility, said at the conference that Airbus in Mobile has delivered 75 jetliners to seven customers. The most recent was delivered Tuesday to Frontier Airlines.

He said the Mobile facility is beginning a new chapter with the CSeries assembly line. He said that by 2021, Mobile will be the fourth largest jetliner manufacturing center in the world, and second largest in North America. (Post)

About 115 participants from 10 countries were on hand Tuesday for the opening session. They were welcomed by Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson, who noted that Mobile’s history with aerospace goes back many years, but the footprint is destined to get larger.

Also coming up during the conference was a study that said it was feasible for Mobile to shift commercial jetliner service from Mobile Regional Airport in west Mobile to the downtown airport, closer to Interstate 10 and downtown.

Chris Curry, executive director of the Mobile Airport Authority, said moving commercial service will not hinder industrial tenants, like Airbus, who were consulted during the study to ensure any move would not jeopardize their operations. (Post)

The Leeham Company/Airfinance Journal conference will be at a different location in the Southeast next year. Scott Hamilton of Leeham Co., said it's always been the intent of organizers to rotate the annual conference. Nobody asked me, but for what it's worth Scott, put South Louisiana and South Mississippi on the list of potential sites for a conference. That's where you'll find Stennis Space Center and Michoud Assembly Facility, both involved in NASA and commercial space programs. You might also consider Northwest Florida, where Eglin Air Force Base is home of the F-35 integrated training center and the place where the Air Force develops its aerial-launched weapons. Just a thought.

Hamilton said the intent of the inaugural conference was to introduce the Southeast and its aerospace clusters to suppliers who aren’t familiar with opportunities in the Southeast. This year’s focus was the transformation that’s underway in manufacturing that suppliers must prepare for and the innovation that’s coming to produce future airplane.

We’ll have multiple stories resulting from this conference in the August issue of the Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor Newsletter.

Also during the week:


Expansion
Northrop Grumman has added an operational area to its Moss Point, Miss.-based manufacturing center. The 101,000-square-foot Moss Point facility has been doing work on unmanned fixed-wing and rotary-wing systems since 2006.

The expanded production facility can now accommodate projects on manned aircraft systems and will bring 60 new jobs to Moss Point. The number of employees at the site grow by more than 40 percent since 2017, officials said.

Gov. Phil Bryant and members of Mississippi’s federal and state delegations attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony that marked the official launch of the new machine shop section at the Moss Point facility. Northrop previously said it would do subassembly work on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in Moss Point. (Post)


Bases
The U.S. Navy is preparing future plans to construct detention centers for up to 25,000 illegal immigrants on remote bases in Alabama, Arizona and California, according to a copy of a draft memo obtained by TIME.

The Navy planning document outlines plans to build tent cities for up to 25,000 migrants at abandoned airfields in Baldwin County, Ala., at Navy Outlying Field Wolf in Orange Beach and NOF Silverhill.

But U.S. Sen. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.), said he’s prepared to fight a migrant camp in Baldwin County. "We have successfully fought efforts to house illegal immigrants in Baldwin County before, and we will do the same again because the proposal makes no sense," Byrne said. (Post)


Unmanned
Australia is to acquire six Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton maritime unmanned aerial systems, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced during the week. The first RAAF Triton is scheduled to be delivered in mid-2023.

Triton can fly at altitudes above 50,000 feet and has an endurance of more than 24 hours. Northrop Grumman does fuselage work on Triton in Moss Point, Miss. (Post)

-- The Coast Guard will equip National Security Cutter ships with ScanEagle unmanned aircraft, including the cutter Decisive that arrived at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., in June.

Decisive is one of four cutters expected to change homeports to Pensacola this year. The drones have aided the Coast Guard in the interdiction of $1.5 billion worth of cocaine and heroin off the coasts of Central and South America.

The drone weighs 40 pounds and can fly up to 20 hours. (Post)


Contracts
Bell Boeing JPO, Amarillo, Texas, was awarded $4.2 billion for a modification to convert the previously awarded V-22 tiltrotor aircraft advance acquisition contract to a fixed-price-incentive-fee multiyear contract. This contract provides for the manufacture and delivery of 39 CMV-22B aircraft for the Navy; 34 MV-22B aircraft for the Marine Corps; 1 CV-22B for the Air Force; and 4 MV-22B aircraft for the government of Japan. One work location is Crestview, Fla., where 0.72 percent of the work will be performed. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. … Lockheed Martin Corp., Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded $19.9 million for a modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the low rate initial production Lot 10 Non-Annualized Sustainment Contract Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) 3.0 rollout. This modification provides for the ALIS 3.0 software fleet release and installation into operational and production ALIS assets as well as required training to U.S. Government and international partner personnel in support of the F-35 aircraft. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. … Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Annapolis, Md., was awarded a $14.3 million modification to a previously awarded contract to exercise options for the fabrication, testing, production and delivery of AN/AQS-24C mine hunting sonar systems. The system is deployed from the MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter. Seventeen percent of the work will be performed in Panama City, Fla. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity. … Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz., was awarded a $96.1 million modification to a contract for Lot 11 Miniature Air Launched Decoy Jammer vehicles and support equipment. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. … Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz., was awarded a $93 million contract for Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB II) F/A-18E/F integration. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. … A. Finkl & Sons Co., Chicago, was awarded a $419.6 million contract for BLU-137/B penetrator warhead production. This contract provides for the production of the BLU-137/B penetrator warhead bodies with a guaranteed production of 300 bodies during the first year with a possibility of up to 3,500 bodies in the subsequent four years. Air force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. … Superior Forge and Steel Corp., Lima, Ohio, was awarded a $476.9 million contract for BLU-137/B penetrator warhead production. This contract provides for the production of the BLU-137/B penetrator warhead bodies with a guaranteed production of 300 bodies during the first year with a possibility of up to 3,500 bodies in the subsequent four years. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. … Enterprise Electronics Corp., Enterprise, Ala., was awarded an $11.6 million contract for the procurement of Supplemental Weather Radars (SWR) systems and associated sustainment services. Work will be performed in Enterprise and is expected to be completed by June 2023. Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic, Charleston, S.C., is the contracting activity. … The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., was awarded a $1.5 billion contract that provides for the production and delivery of 22 F/A-18E and six F/A-18F Super Hornets in support of the government of Kuwait. Fort Walton Beach, Fla., will perform 0.8 percent of the work. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. … Lockheed Martin Corp., Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded a $73.6 million modification to a previously awarded contract to stand-up depots outside the continental U.S. for the maintenance, repair, overhaul, and upgrade of the F-35 aircraft. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.