Saturday, November 17, 2018

Week in review (11/11 to 11/17)

It's going to be a long haul for Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.

The Air Force says it will take up to five years to repair the damage caused by Hurricane Michael in October. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said at the Nov. 15 Defense One Summit that the hurricane damaged 95 percent of the base's buildings.

Missions will return to the base over the next three months, including the Air Operations Center. Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., some 60 miles west of Tyndall, has taken Tyndall's F-22 flying training unit, including T-38 trainers. The F-22 schoolhouse for pilots in training has also be moved to Eglin.

All the F-22 Raptors left behind during the storm because they were in various states of maintenance and repair have moved to the other bases until their future destination is determined. (Post)


Airbus
Airbus during the week named HPM as its program manager for planning, design and construction of its new A220 assembly line at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley. HPM also will be responsible for the expansion of Airbus' current facilities to accommodate the expected increase in A320 series production.

Construction on facilities for the A320 expansion and new A220 production has begun, and construction for a main A220 flow line building is expected to begin next year. A220 jetliner assembly is planned to start in 2019, using a combination of the existing and expanded Airbus facilities at Brookley to enable the first A220 delivery from Mobile to take place in 2020.

HPM, with offices in Birmingham, Huntsville, Auburn and Mobile, Ala., Atlanta, Dallas and Tampa, worked with Airbus in Mobile more than a decade ago with the Airbus Engineering Center. It was also program manager for the A320 series production facility, which was completed in 2015, and the ST Engineering Aerospace maintenance, repair and overhaul facility in Pensacola, Fla. (Post)


Space
NASA during the week conducted a full-power, full-duration 650-second RS-25 engine test on the A-1 Test Stand at Stennis Space Center, Miss. Operators fired development engine No. 0525 to a 113 percent thrust level for 60 seconds during the test, the second time they have achieved the highest RS-25 power level. Engineers first fired development engine No. 0528 to that level during a February test at Stennis Space Center.

Four RS-25 engines will help power NASA's Space Launch System, supplying a combined 2 million pounds of thrust and working in conjunction with a pair of solid rocket boosters to provide more than 8 million pounds of thrust. RS-25 tests at Stennis are conducted by a combined team of NASA, Aerojet Rocketdyne and Syncom Space Services operators. Aerojet Rocketdyne is the RS-25 prime contractor. Syncom Space Services is the prime contractor for Stennis facilities and operations. (Post)


Airports
The Northwest Beaches International Airport soon will have a new addition when The St. Joe Company breaks ground in early 2019 on a 110- to 125-room hotel on the airport grounds.

The hotel, including a restaurant, bar and meeting rooms, will be built adjacent to the now-closed covered parking facility on the north side of West Bay Parkway, St. Joe President and CEO Jorge Gonzalez said.

The airport’s passenger traffic was cited as the reason behind the hotel. In 2017, passenger traffic with the airport’s four operating airlines surpassed 900,000 passengers for the first time at the eight-year-old airport. The company hopes to open the new hotel in early 2020. (Post)


Contracts – F-35
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded three contracts during the week in connection with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, is the contracting activity for all three contracts.

The largest was a $22.7 billion contract modification to a previously awarded advanced acquisition contract for 255 aircraft. This modification provides for the production and delivery of 106 F-35 aircraft for the U.S. services (64 F-35As Air Force; 26 F-35Bs Marine Corps; 16 F-35Cs Navy); 89 F-35s for non-Department of Defense (DoD) participants (71 F-35As, 18 F-35 Bs); and 60 F-35s for Foreign Military Sales customers (60 F-35As). Work will be performed in Texas, California, Florida, New Hampshire, Maryland, the United Kingdom, Italy, Japan, and various locations outside the continental U.S., and is expected to be completed in March 2023.

The next largest was a $348.8 million contract for infrastructure to support developmental laboratory facilities and flight test activities in support of F-35 development, production and sustainment. Work will be performed in California, Maryland, and Texas and is expected to be completed in March 2020. This contract combines purchases for the Air Force (40 percent); Marine Corps (20 percent); Navy (20 percent) and non-DOD participants (20 percent).

The other contract is an $83.1 million contract action that provides for the development, integration, certification, and testing of dual capable aircraft capability to include hardware and software into the Air Force F-35A. Work will be performed in Texas, California and Missouri and is expected to be completed in February 2024.

Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center.


Other contracts
Lockheed Martin Corp., Owego, N.Y., was awarded a $382 million contract that provides for the production and delivery of eight MH-60R aircraft as well as associated systems engineering and program management support. Eight percent of the work will be done in Troy, Ala. Other work sites are in New York and Connecticut. Work is expected to be completed in September 2020. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. … Lockheed Martin Corp., Orlando, Fla., was awarded a $172.1 million contract for long range anti-ship missiles (LRASMs) Lot 2 production. The contract allows for the production of 50 LRASMs. Work will be performed in Orlando and is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2021. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. … Kaman Precision Products Inc., Orlando, Fla., and Middletown, Conn., was awarded a $52 million contract modification for the Joint Programmable Fuzes. The contract modification is for the purchase of an additional 15,000 fuzes being produced under the basic contract. Work will be performed in Orlando and Middletown and is expected to be completed by June 1, 2020. Total cumulative face value of the contract is $225.4 million. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. … L3 Communications Vertex Aerospace LLC, Madison, Miss., was awarded a $35 million contract modification for contractor logistic support of the Air Force C-12 fleet. Work will be performed in Mississippi, Texas, Oklahoma, Maryland, California, New Mexico, Alaska, Argentina, Botswana, Brazil, Columbia, Egypt, Ghana, Honduras, Hungary, Kenya, Morocco, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Turkey and Japan. Work is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2018. Air Force Lifecycle Management Center, Tinker AFB, Okla., is the contracting activity. … EMR Inc., Niceville, Fla., was awarded a $16.9 million task order under a previously awarded multiple award construction contract for renovations to Colmer Dining Facility Building 367 at Naval Construction Battalion Center Gulfport, Miss. Work will be performed in Gulfport and is expected to be completed by Nov. 2021. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Week in review (11/4 to 11/10)

The shift in passenger service from Mobile Regional Airport to the downtown airport at the Mobile Aeroplex is still way in the future, but a step towards that has been taken by the Mobile Airport Authority.

The MAA last week gave conditional approval to contracts for development of a terminal at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley. “Terminal 1” would be used by low-cost carrier ViaAir and cost roughly $7 million - $5 million for the building and parking and the rest for FAA-required fencing and security. The MAA chose remodeling an existing building over building a temporary structure.

The new terminal will bring commercial passenger service to the complex near downtown Mobile in six months. Until it can use the downtown terminal, the carrier will use Mobile Regional for its service to Orlando. (Post)

Meanwhile, over in Louisiana, there was a ceremonial groundbreaking at Lafayette Regional Airport for a new terminal. The airport was constructed in the 1950’s and was renovated in the 80’s, but after a record number of passengers in 2017, the expansion was considered necessary.

The airport executive director said the current terminal can’t easily expand, but the new one will be built with the future in mind. It will be 110,000 square feet, larger than the current 62,000 square-foot terminal. Construction will take about two-and-a-half years. (Post)


Space
Stratolaunch successfully tested a component of its hydrogen-fueled rocket engine with the pre-burner hot-fire test last week at NASA’s Stennis Space Center rocket engine test facility in South Mississippi.

The pre-burner serves as the smaller of two combustion chambers in the hydrogen-fueled PGA rocket engine. The name PGA is from the initials of the company's founder Paul G. Allen, who recently passed away.

The Microsoft co-founder launched the company with aerospace engineer and entrepreneur Burt Rutan in 2011 with the aim of providing flexible, low-cost access to space.

Stratolaunch did not disclose how long the test firing lasted, but the company said the duration and power levels of the pre-burner tests would be increased over the coming months. (Post)


Contracts
Lockheed Martin Corp., Orlando, Fla., was awarded a $350 million increase to a contract for Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) production support. The contractor will provide lifecycle support for all efforts related to JASSM, Long Range Anti-Ship Missile, JASSM-Extended Range, and any JASSM variant in the areas of system upgrades, integration, production, sustainment, management and logistical support. Work will be performed in Orlando and is expected to be completed by April 17, 2022. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Week in review (10/28 to 11/3)

If there was a major take-away from the two-day Aerospace Alliance Summit at the Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Ala., it was that the aerospace sector in this region is on a growth trajectory, and that steps need to be taken to ensure the workforce pipeline is filled.

More than 100 folks participated in the annual event that focuses on issues important to the industry in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi. One of the presentations Friday was by Paul Gaskell, who is heading up the Airbus A220 final assembly line project in Mobile.

The A220 project along with the expected growth of the A320 production rate will double the size of the Airbus footprint at the Mobile Aeroplex over the next few years, he said. The current assembly line is doing four jetliners a month and will deliver its 100th A320 jetliner in December to Frontier Airlines. That plane is currently on the assembly line. The Mobile plant will build its first extended range A321 next year, Gaskell said.

As for the A220 line, right now they are finalizing construction plans. Haskell said during the summit that with the A320 assembly line it took three years from project launch to start of assembly. For the A220, it will be 13 months. Like the A320 assembly line, major sections will be brought to Mobile from a variety of locations, including Belfast, Montreal and Italy.

Airbus has committed to going to an annual rate 60 A320s by mid-2019, up from the current 48. “Getting to rate 60 is an extremely difficult task, especially in Europe,” said Gaskell. “But here, we have room to grow, and therefore, I can’t announce anything, but we will definitely grow in Alabama.”

Airbus is working towards creating a technical school of its own that would help provide it with the larger workforce it expects it will need with the ramp up of the A320 production line and the new A220 production line. The school was mentioned Thursday by Stephanie Burt, director of Human Resources for the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility at the Mobile Aeroplex. Airbus currently has 480 direct employees and will be hiring 400 to 500 workers for the new A220 assembly line and another 150 for the A320 line as production ramps up to meet customer demand.

She said that at this point Airbus has enough qualified applicants, but that will not necessarily be the case in the future with so many jobs that will be created. The school would open next year and will not be a technical school in the traditional sense of a two-year college, but rather a place where someone who went to a two-year school could come and be assessed over three- to five-week program before being put in a position at the plant or “you come to us with nothing and in 12 weeks we have you capable to go out and do some OJT (on-the-job-training).” (Post)

While Mobile’s footprint is clearly growing, to the east in Pensacola, Fla., growth is also in the cards. ST Engineering and the city of Pensacola signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for additional maintenance, repair and overhaul hangars at Pensacola International Airport, adjacent to a 173,500 square-foot hangar that opened this summer. It will bring about 1,000 additional aerospace jobs to Pensacola.

ST Engineering will invest $35 million in the $210 million project. The MOU was signed Oct. 27 in Singapore. Under the agreement, ST Engineering and the city of Pensacola will develop the MRO complex over four years after the formalization of definitive agreements. The 655,000 square-foot design-to-build complex will consist of three state-of-the-art widebody aircraft hangars and an administration building. Since opening in June 2018, the current facility has already redelivered 25 aircraft. (Post)


Tech park
Setting up a Community Redevelopment Agency or business improvement district at the Fort Walton Beach Commerce and Technology Park could generate money to help pay for improvements, including more buildings.

That's according to City Manager Michael Beedie. The park is home to about 70 businesses, ranging from Fortune 100 companies such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin to local-based businesses like Props Craft Brewery and Fort Walton Machining.

“When you have an aging asset and you’re not tuned into competitive realities, a great jewel can pass you by if you don’t try to chart a new path,” said Nathan Sparks, executive director of the Economic Development Council of Okaloosa County.

Beedie and Sparks said much of the park’s long-term future will be guided by its ongoing master plan, a draft version of which will be presented to the City Council on Nov. 13. (Post)


Tyndall
Members of the Florida Defense Support Task Force have toured Tyndall Air Force Base to survey the considerable damage caused by Hurricane Michael. Officials say Tyndall should be up and running by January.

Jay Trumbull, state representative and chair for the task force, said Tyndall's needs will be met with a significant structural rebuild. The task force, which has an interest in all military installations in the state, offers support on a state level. Rep. Neal Dunn said the rebuild will mean a brand new Tyndall, updated to the needs of the 21st century. Currently around 35 percent of infrastructure on base has significant damage. (Post)


Contracts
Lockheed Martin Aerospace Co., Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded a $130.4 million modification to a previously awarded contract in support of the F35 Block 4 Pre-modernization Phase II effort. Work will be performed in Fort Worth and is expected to be completed in March 2020. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. ... Lockheed Martin Corp., Fort Worth, Texas, also was awarded a $64.3 million modification to a previously awarded contract that exercises an option to procure one lot of F-35 training devices for the Marine Corps. Work will be performed in Florida, Virginia, Oregon, Ohio, California, and the United Kingdom and is expected to be completed in July 2021. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. ... Lockheed Martin Space, Sunnyvale, Calif., was awarded a $129.5 million contract under a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) case to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Under this new contract, the contractor will provide maintenance and sustainment for two Terminal High Altitude Area Defense Batteries for UAE. The work will be performed in California, Alabama, Florida and the United Arab Emirates, with an expected period of performance of Nov. 1, 2018, through July 2, 2021. The Missile Defense Agency, Huntsville, Ala., is the contracting activity ... Multiple companies, including Science and Management Resources Inc., of Pensacola, Fla., were awarded a ceiling $473 million contract for the Air Force Enterprise Contracted Precision Measurement Equipment Laboratories Services II. Work will be performed at various Air Force bases in the continental U.S. and outside the continental U.S., and is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2028. Headquarters Air Combat Command Acquisition Management and Integration Center, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., is the contracting activity. ... General Dynamics Information Technology Inc., Fairfax, Va., was awarded a $54.4 million modification to a previously awarded contract. This modification provides integrated logistics support for multiple foreign military sales (FMS) customers using purchased Navy defense articles including weapon systems, various aircraft, and other components procured under FMS programs. Work will be performed in at Patuxent River, Md. (52 percent); Philadelphia, Pa. (11 percent); Jacksonville, Fla. (2.5 percent); Pensacola, Fla. (1.5 percent); Mechanicsburg, Pa. (1 percent); various locations within the continental U.S. (4 percent); and various locations outside the continental U.S. (28 percent), and is expected to be completed in October 2019. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, is the contracting activity.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Week in review (10/21 to 10/27)

The annual summit of the four-state Aerospace Alliance will be held Thursday and Friday, Nov. 1-2, at the Grand Hotel Marriott Resort in Point Clear, Ala.

Now in its 10th year, the summit is hosted by Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi. The event includes presentations and panel discussions centered on subjects shaping the aerospace industry.

Thursday’s summit session begins at 1:30 p.m. and focused on education, workforce and research and development. There will be an aerospace company panel discussion, followed by an education and training best practices panel discussion. There will also be a session on how best to collaborate to meet the education and training needs of the aerospace region.

Friday’s summit session begins at 8:30 a.m., and will include an address about the Airbus A220 project in Mobile and an a talk about how autonomous technologies are changing aerospace. There will also be an education update and a talk about a decade of innovation.

During the Aerospace Alliance Summit last year in New Orleans, education was the focus of one of the meetings, and it’s important enough that it will play a major part of the upcoming summit.

The most recent Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor Newsletter, created by an independent team of journalists, focused on aerospace and aviation education and training in the region. The special 36-page issue published Tuesday. (Post)


Contracts
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded an $8.7 million order against a previously issued basic ordering agreement. This order provides support services to design a non-Department of Defense (DoD) participant strategic facility in support of the F-35 aircraft. Work will be performed in Missouri and Texas and is expected to be completed in March 2020. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Week in review (10/14 to 10/20)

Next week we’ll publish the education and training special edition of the bimonthly Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor Newsletter. And for those of you who regularly read the newsletter, you’ll be surprised to see the size and scope of this one.

We usually have an eight-page publication with three or four stories, and primarily focus on the slice of the region between Southeast Louisiana and Northwest Florida. And it’s usually published by mid-month.

The October issue is 36 pages, not surprising considering we took a look at aerospace training in all four states that have a piece of the I-10 corridor. It’s being published later in the month than normal because it’s a big research project.

There are 10 stories – including a cover story summary – and a master list of the schools and colleges that offer aerospace and aviation courses in the four states. Because our primary means of distribution is elesctronic, the PDF has active links. So in addition to seeing a high school or college, you’ll be able to click on a link to get more information.

A print version will also be available at cost if you feel the need to have something to hold in your hands. For technical reasons with the service we’ve used for years, the printed version has a cover, making it look more like a book than a newsletter.

The list of schools will also be accessible at the Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor website. In addition to duplicating the list from our newsletter research, the list will be updated as we move forward. There’s a form that can be submitted so we can add schools and courses. Our plans at this point include doing a follow-up newsletter next year with stories we couldn’t get to this time around. And there are plenty.

The Gulf Coast Reporters’ League recognizes the workforce issue the aerospace industry faces, now and in the future, and the crucial role education and training plays in ensuring this region has the people who can fill these positions.

The newsletter will be sent to the inboxes of subscribers next week, and will be available for download at Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor on Tuesday. We expect it to be widely read in all four states.

Now for the rest of your week in review:


F-22s
F-22 Raptor fighters were damaged when Hurricane Michael hit Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. About a dozen F-22s were trapped on the ground because they were in various states of maintenance and repair and had to ride out the Category 4 hurricane in a hangar.

As many as 17 of Tyndall’s F-22s might have sustained damage or been destroyed. Each F-22, a single-engine, single-seat fighter, costs $150 million. The rest of the F-22s based at Tyndall were sent to Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

The hurricane’s destruction also forced the headquarters of the First Air Force to move to Virginia. The First Air Force, responsible for air security of the United States, will for now be run out of Langley Air Force Base in Hampton.

While the move is not permanent, it is expected to remain in Virginia for at least the rest of the year. (Post)


F-35s
Most of the Lockheed Martin-built F-35 fighter jets in the United States and around the world have cleared engine inspections and are now approved for flights.

Earlier, all U.S. and international F-35 fighter jets were grounded so that fuel tubes could be examined. The engines are made by Pratt & Whitney. (Post)

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Week in review (10/7 to 10/13)

With so many military assets along the Gulf Coast Interstate 10 corridor region, anytime a hurricane threatens it puts billions of dollars worth of critical U.S. assets at risk. While aircraft, ships and personnel can be evacuated to safer locations, the bases have to withstand the onslaught - and have done so for years.

Tyndall took a direct hit from Hurricane Michael, one of the most destructive hurricanes on record, and like surrounding civilian locations, the base was devastated. Every building took a hit, and there are reports that aircraft that couldn’t be moved – like those in hangars for repairs or maintenance - were also damaged. (Post)

There were no fatalities at the base, which had a skeleton crew left behind to ride it out. The runway, crucial for the base to get supplies brought in, has been reopened, but when personnel and families can return is unclear at this point. But there’s a long road ahead for the base.

So what will it cost to rebuild? Tyndall’s plant replacement value is $1.637 billion, according to the Department of Defense Base Structure Report FY 2015. The plant replacement value (PRV) is what it would cost to replace all buildings, structures and linear structures at a facility, using that year’s labor and materials costs. Depending on the extent of damage, it's a pretty good indicator of the pricetag.

There are 45 bases and base annexes in the region between New Orleans and Panama City with a combined replacement value of nearly $22 billion. The most expensive is Eglin Air Force Base, with a PRV of $4.9 billion. In fact, all the replacement values have gone up since the 2015 report.

Beyond the actual cost, there’s the disruption to the mission. Tyndall is home of F-22 training and an operational F-22 squadron. It’s also were a lot of full-size drones, former fighters converted into target planes, are located.

The base, 12 miles east of Panama City and 16 miles west of Mexico Beach, is home of the 325th Fighter Wing and some 600 military families. It's also home to headquarters of the First Air Force, part of the Air Combat Command, responsible for air defense of the United States.


F-35
The Pentagon grounded all 245 U.S. Navy, Air Force and Marines F-35 fighters this week as part of an ongoing investigation into a jet that crashed in Beaufort, S.C., late last month. The cause is believed to be  problem with fuel tubes.

Eleven international partners who participated in the program also grounded most of their F-35s. Some that had already been inspected were back in service, according to reports.

A Navy board is charged with overseeing the investigation, and they are conducting a fleet-wide inspection of a fuel tube inside the engine of the F-35 aircraft, according to military officials. Joe Dellavedova, director of public affairs for the F-35 program, said that they will remove and replace any fuel tubes they suspect might be problematic.

Those planes that don't have the problem will be cleared to fly, he said, and they hope to have the inspections completed within 24 to 48 hours. Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center. (Post)


Space
A team of operators conducted another 500-second RS-25 hot fire on the A-1 Test Stand at Stennis Space Center on Oct. 11, the fourth in a series that will extend into 2019. Once again, the hot fire features an acceptance test of an RS-25 engine controller for use on a future flight of NASA’s new Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.

Four RS-25 engines, firing simultaneously, will provide a combined 2 million pounds of thrust to help launch the new rocket. NASA has been testing RS-25 engines at Stennis Space Center (SSC) for SLS use since early 2015. (Post)


Contracts
Orbital Sciences Corp., Chandler, Ariz., was awarded a $791.6 million other-transaction agreement for the development of a Launch System Prototype for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program. The areement requires shared cost investment for the development of the OmegA launch system. Work will be performed in Chandler; Magna and Promontory, Utah; Iuka, Miss.; West Palm Beach, Fla.; Sandusky, Ohio; and Michoud, La., with launch facilities at Kennedy Space Center, Fla.; and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The work is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2024. The Launch Systems Enterprise Directorate, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., is the contracting activity. … Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Grand Prairie, Texas, was awarded a $164 million contract modification to previously awarded contract for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense Field Support Contract (TFSC). This modification will increase the total ceiling value from $561,200,000 to $725,200,000. The work will be performed in Huntsville, Ala.; Sunnyvale, Calif.; Grand Prairie, Texas; and Troy, Ala. The Missile Defense Agency, Huntsville, is the contracting activity.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Week in review (9/23 to 9/29)

There are simply weeks where contracts dominate our daily news feed. And during the just ended week, that was precisely the case. Some were related to the F-35, and as you know, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center. Two contracts were for the reprogramming lab at Eglin.

Here's your week in review:

The U.S. military suffered its first crash of an F-35 when a Marine Corps variant, the F-35B, crashed late in the week outside Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C. The pilot safely ejected, and the cause of the crash is being investigated.

The F-35 belonged to Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501, which trains Marine pilots to fly combat missions with the stealth fighter.

Earlier in the week in an unrelated F-35 news item, two British aviators were the first to touch own on the deck of the aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth, while the ship was off the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S. (Post)

Those were not the only firsts for the F-35. Another Marine Corps F-35B was used in a combat mission in Afghanistan, marking the first U.S. combat use of the fighter. The F-35B jet took off from the USS Essex (LHD 2) amphibious assault ship in the Arabian Sea in support of ground clearance operations. In May, Israel became the first country to use the U.S.-made F-35 stealth fighter in combat. (Post)

In another F-35-related item during the week, the Navy plans to deactivate next year the F-35C fleet replacement squadron at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and combine it within VFA-125, the other fleet replacement squadron, at Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif. Seapower Magazine reported the information from an internal directive dated Sept. 10 said the Navy intends to deactivate Strike Fighter Squadron 101 (VFA-101) on next July 1. The squadron was reactivated in 2012 and began flying F-35Cs in 2013. (Post)

There were five F-35-related contracts awarded during the week. Three were for Lockheed Martin and two were for United Technologies Corp.

Lockheed Martin Corp., Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded $315.8 million for a modification to a previously awarded contract to procure support equipment for F-35 Lightning low-rate initial production Lot XI aircraft in support of the Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, and non-Department of Defense (DoD) participants. Work will be performed in Orlando, Fla. (31 percent); Redondo Beach, Calif. (25 percent); Fort Worth, Texas (13 percent); Hartford, Conn. (12 percent); Melbourne, Australia (8 percent); Rome, Italy (4 percent); Franklin, Ohio (4 percent); and Chatsworth, Calif. (3 percent), and is expected to be completed in September 2023. … Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded a $29.3 million delivery order against a previously issued basic ordering agreement to provide for the procurement of various diminishing manufacturing sources parts to protect deliveries for future F-35 Lightning II lots. Work will be performed in Fort Worth and is expected to be completed in February 2019. … Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded a $116.3 million delivery order against a previously issued basic ordering agreement for the procurement of 440 low-rate initial production 11 Generation 3 Helmet Mounted Display Systems, oxygen masks, and initial spares in support of the F-35 for the Air Force (180); Navy (60); Marine Corps (69); non-Department of Defense (DoD) participants (119); and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers (12). Work will be performed in Fort Worth and is expected to be completed in October 2020. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity for all three contracts.

In two engine-related contracts, United Technologies Corp., Pratt and Whitney Engines, East Hartford, Conn., was awarded $209.6 million modification to a previously awarded advance acquisition contract for additional long-lead materials, parts, and components in support of F-35 low-rate initial production Lot 13 propulsion systems. Work will be performed in East Hartford (67 percent); Indianapolis, Ind. (26.5 percent); and Bristol, United Kingdom (6.5 percent), and is expected to be completed in September 2021. … United Technologies also was awarded $39.3 million modification to a previously awarded contract that provides for additional long lead-time components, parts, and materials in support of Lot 13 F-35 propulsion systems. Work will be performed in East Hartford (67 percent); Indianapolis, Ind. (26.5 percent); and Bristol, United Kingdom (6.5 percent), and is expected to be completed in September 2021. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity for both UTC contracts.


Space
There was another test of RS-25 developmental engine No. 0525 on the A-1 stand at Stennis Space Center, Miss., during the week. The hot fire of the controller also marked the seventh test of a 3D-printed pogo accumulator and the third test of a main combustion chamber fabricated using a bonding technique.

The flight controller units are a key component of the RS-25 engine, serving as the “brain” to help it communicate with the rocket and to provide control of its operation and internal health diagnostics. Engineers are testing RS-25 engines to help power the new SLS rocket, built to carry humans deeper into space than ever before. Four RS-25 engines will help power the SLS at launch. (Post)


T-X
The Boeing-Saab partnership won a $9.2 billion contract to produce a new generation of Air Force training jets. The plan ultimately is for the Air Force to buy up to 475 aircraft and 120 simulators and associated ground equipment.

Initial operating capability is planned by the end of fiscal 2024, with the first simulators arriving at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, in 2023. Full operational capability is projected for 2034.

Saab promised that, should the partnership emerge victorious, it would build a new plant in the United States for its T-X work, although a location has not been announced.

The other two teams that competed for the contract were Leonardo DRS and Lockheed Martin. Had Leonardo DRS won, the trainer based on the Leonardo M-346 trainer would have been built in Tuskegee, Ala. Lockheed Martin and Korea Aerospace Industries wanted to build a modified version of KAI’s T-50 in Greenville, S.C. (Post)


Contracts reprogramming lab
Northrop Grumman was awarded two contracts related to the F-35 Reprogramming Labs at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

In one, Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Linthicum Heights, Md., was awarded a $10 million contract for spare equipment, on-site technical support, repairs, upgrades, and travel to support the F-35 labs. The work will be done at Eglin and Linthicum Heights and is expected to be complete by Sept. 27, 2023. ... In the second contract, Northrop Grumman Systems Corp.-Amherst Systems Inc., Buffalo, N.Y., was awarded a $7.7 million contract for spare equipment, on-site technical support, repairs, upgrades, and travel in support of the F-35 labs. Work will be performed at Eglin and Buffalo and is expected to be completed by Sept. 28, 2024. Air Force Test Center, Specialized Contracting Branch, Eglin Air Force Base, is the contracting activity for both contracts.

Other contracts
Telspan Data LLC, Concord, Calif., was awarded a $46.2 million contract for air data recorders (ADR), ground recorder systems (GRS), data replay systems (DRS) and support services. The contract provides for spare equipment, support services, and improvement of ADR, GRS, and DRS capabilities for use by the operational and test communities in support of the Air Force Test mission. Work will be performed in Concord and multiple continental U.S. military installations, and is expected to be completed by Sept. 28, 2024. Air Force Test Center, Specialized Contracting Branch, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. … Cherokee Nation Management and Consulting LLC, Catoosa, Okla., was awarded a $22 million contract for civil engineering support services. Work will be performed at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and is expected to be complete by 2023. Air Force Test Center, Eglin Air Force Base, is the contracting activity. … Webb Electric Co. of Florida Inc., Pensacola, Fla., was awarded a $16.5 million contract in support of the Airfield Lighting Phase 1&2 construction project. Work will be performed at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., and is expected to be completed November 2019. 375th Contracting Squadron, Scott AFB, is the contracting activity. … Speegle Construction Inc., Niceville, Fla., was awarded an $8 million contract for design and construction of a new 10,134 sq. ft. two-story addition at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Work will be performed in Eglin with an estimated completion date of July 29, 2020. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile, Ala., is the contracting activity. … BCI Construction USA Inc., Pace, Fla., was awarded a $13.7 million contract for headworks intake lifting equipment. Work will be performed in Lancaster, Tenn.; Celina, Tenn.; and Jamestown, Ky., with an estimated completion date of Oct. 15, 2020. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Nashville, Tenn., is the contracting activity. … Bell-Boeing Joint Project Office, Amarillo, Texas, was awarded a $10.8 million modification to a previously issued delivery order placed against a basic ordering agreement to procure 12 additional MV-22 Integrated Aircraft Survivability Equipment (IASE) retrofit A-Kits Block C; 12 MV-22 IASE retrofit kit installations; IASE configuration B retrofit A and B-Kit installation; and five CV-22 IASE advanced mission computer A-Kits. Work will be performed at Ridley Park, Pa. (81.9 percent); Fort Walton Beach, Fla. (17.7 percent); and Fort Worth, Texas (.4 percent), and is expected to be completed in August 2020. Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. … Arete Associates Inc., Northridge, Calif., was awarded a $40.4 million contract to provide coastal battlefield reconnaissance and analysis (COBRA) systems, COBRA program systems support, and provisioned item orders/spares for the AN/DVS-1 COBRA Block 1 System. Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz. (35 percent); Destin, Fla. (35 percent); and Santa Rosa, Calif. (30 percent), and is expected to be completed by March 2021. The Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division, Panama City, Fla., is the contracting activity. … Calculex Inc., Las Cruces, N.M., was awarded a $46.6 million contract for Air Data Recorders (ADR) and support services. The contract provides for spare equipment, support services, and improvement of ADR capabilities for use by the operational and test communities in support of the Air Force Test mission. Work will be performed in Las Cruces and multiple continental U.S. military installations, and is expected to be completed by Sept. 27, 2024. Air Force Test Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. … QuantiTech, Inc., Huntsville, Ala., was awarded a $47.4 million modification to a contract for Technical and Management Advisory Services range support. Work will be performed at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.; Arnold AFB, Tenn.; Holloman AFB, N.M.; Hill AFB, Utah; Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio; Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii; and Eielson AFB, Alaska, and is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2019. Air Force Test Center, Eglin AFB, is the contracting activity. … Torch Technologies Inc., Huntsville, Ala., was awarded a $44.5 million contract modification for Technical and Management Advisory Services Armament support. Work will be performed at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.; Kirkland AFB, N.M.; and Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, and is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2019. Air Force Test Center, Eglin AFB, is the contracting activity. … Bevilacqua Research Corp., Huntsville, Ala., was been awarded a $36 million modification to a contract for Technical and Management Advisory Services Platforms support. Work will be performed at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.; Duke Field, Fla.; Hurlburt Field, Fla.; Nellis AFB, Nev.; Tinker AFB, Okla.; and Edwards AFB, Calif., and is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2019. Air Force Test Center, Eglin AFB, is the contracting activity. … Microsoft, Redmond, Wash., was awarded a $34.4 million other transaction agreement. This agreement provides for experimentation of a secure, reliable, measured, commercial data and voice network in order to enable access to Department of Defense data and applications from DoD facilities, as well as enable access for mobile and remotely located users. Work will be performed in Hurlburt Field, Fla.; Cannon Air Force Base, N.M.; and Maxwell AFB, Ala., and is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2021. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Hanscom AFB, Mass., is the contracting activity. … DCS Corp., Alexandria, Va., was awarded a $16.3 million modification to a previously awarded contract for Technical and Management Advisory Services Electronic Warfare support. Work will be performed at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.; and Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2019. Air Force Test Center, Eglin AFB, is the contracting activity. … EMR Inc., Niceville, Fla., and Drace Anderson JV, Ocean Springs, Miss., were among companies in a multiple award contract for construction projects located primarily within the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast area of responsibility. The maximum dollar value for the five year ordering period for all six contracts combined is $99 million. EMR Inc. is being awarded the initial task order at $9.8 million for the construction of K-C130J Enlisted Aircrew Training System Facility at Naval Air Station, Joint Readiness Base, Fort Worth, Texas. Work for this task order is expected to be completed by December 2019. All work on this contract will be performed within the NAVFAC Southeast AOR which includes Texas (40 percent); Louisiana (40 percent); and Mississippi (20 percent). The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity. … IDSC Holdings LLC, doing business as Snap-On Industrial, Kenosha, Wisc., was awarded an $11.9 million contract for the procurement of 1,482 different brand-name commercial hand tools and toolboxes with a total overall quantity of 158,516 items for Lot 11 low-rate initial production F-35 Lightning II aircraft in support of the Joint Strike Fighter F35A/B/C Tool Control Program. Work will be performed in Kenosha and is expected to be completed in September 2019. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, N.J., is the contracting activity. … Integrated Solutions for Systems Inc., Huntsville, Ala., was awarded a $17.5 million contract for the Weapons Effects Simulation Testing effort. This contract provides for research and development concepts and conventional inventory weapon systems. Work will be performed at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and is expected to be completed by Sept. 27, 2023. Air Force Research Laboratory, Eglin AFB, is the contracting activity. … Global Connections to Employment Inc., Pensacola, Fla., was awarded a $13 million contract modification to extend the previously awarded contract to exercise option period two for full food and mess attendant services in support of Naval Air Station, Pensacola; and Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal School Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.; and mess attendant services in support of Naval Construction Battalion Center, Gulfport, Miss. Work will be performed in Pensacola (60 percent); Eglin AFB, (20 percent); and Gulfport (20 percent), and work is expected to be completed by September 2019. Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity.

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.