Saturday, December 22, 2012

Week in review (12/16 to 12/22)

F-35 training to being next month; construction of the SLS will begin soon; Stennis Space Center has a new deputy director; the Air Force can use more state land in Florida for training; a county plans to sue Vision Airlines for unpaid fees; a county approves its part of an incentives package for an Airbus supplier; and L-3 talks expansion.

Here's your Gulf Coast aerospace week in review:

Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is ready to start training pilots in the Air Force's variant of the Joint Strike Fighter beginning Jan. 7. The Air Force is tentatively planning initial operating capability by 2016 when the first operational base opens. An Air Education and Training Command Joint Operational Test Team conducted an operational utility evaluation this fall. The OUE lasted 46 days and focused on classroom and simulator training, along with six flights. (Post)

Construction is set to begin at Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans on the core stage of NASA's Space Launch System. The work will being hundreds of jobs to Michoud in east New Orleans. The rocket is designed to bring astronauts on missions to deep space. In Huntsville, Ala., the core stage passed a preliminary design review at Marshall Space Flight Center Thursday. (Post)

In related testing, NASA completed the latest series of parachute tests for its Orion capsule at the Army Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona. Orion, built in New Orleans, is the capsule that will carry the astronauts into deep space. (Post)

Meanwhile, an executive with experience in the SLS program was selected as the deputy director of NASA's Stennis Space Center, Miss. Jerry Cook served as the associate program manager of the SLS Program Office at MSFC in Huntsville. (Post)

In Florida, the Air Force will be allowed to conduct non-hazardous missions on additional state-owned land. The state Department of Environmental Protection agreed to let the Air Force us pockets of land across the region. The agreement is part of an effort to ease competition for range space on Eglin Air Force Base’s 450,000-acre reservation. (Post)

-- The Operational Flight Program (OFP) Combined Test Force was recently recognized with the Ferguson Award for Engineering for developing F-15 aircraft modernization system, Suite 7E. OFP CTF is the first organization from Eglin to win the award since its inception in 2003. (Post)

In other OFP-related news, for the first time, developmental testing for an F-16 operational flight program will occur at the 40th Flight Test Squadron at Eglin. The testing for Block 40 and 50 model F-16s is scheduled to begin in 2014. It will also be the first time developmental testing (DT) and operational testing (OT) of the OFP will be conducted at the same base. (Post)

-- Okaloosa County plans to sue Vision Airlines to recoup more than $146,000 in unpaid fees. The board authorized Airports Director Greg Donovan to work with county attorneys to take Vision to court if it doesn’t pay its debt by Dec. 31. Vision Airlines served Northwest Florida Regional Airport until last February. (Post)

The Mobile County Commission approved contributing $24,000 toward a $106,000 incentives package to bring Airbus supplier Labinal Engineering Inc. to Mobile. The incentives are from the city, county and state. Labinal, a subsidiary of Safran Engineering Services of France, plans to build a $2 million engineering center at Brookley Aeroplex. Brookley is also where Airbus plans to build an A320 assembly line. (Post)

-- Pegasus Airlines, second largest airline in Turkey, signed for up to 100 A320neo aircraft, with 75 of them firm orders. It’s the largest single commercial aircraft order ever placed by an airline in Turkey. AirAsia also recently ordered 100 A320s. (Post)

Florida Gov. Rick Scott and L-3 Crestview Aerospace said during the week that the company will create 340 jobs within two years through the expansion of the Okaloosa County operation. The project is an investment of more than $13.7 million, including $7 million in facilities upgrades and the retrofit of hangar space at Bob Sikes Airport in 2013 and 2014. L-3 first announced the $7 million upgrade in November. (Post)

-- GE has agreed to purchase the aviation business of Avio S.p.A., an Italy-based manufacturer of aviation propulsion components and systems for civil and military aircraft, for $4.3 billion. The transaction is subject to regulatory and governmental approvals. GE Aviation is building an aircraft parts plant near Hattiesburg, Miss. (Post)

-- Lockheed Martin is commemorating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Lockheed Company. Brothers Allan and Malcolm Lockheed founded the company out of a garage in California, where they built their Model G seaplane. Lockheed Martin has operations in the Gulf Coast region, including the Space and Technology Center at Stennis Space Center, Miss. (Post)

The X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System demonstrator completed its first at-sea test phase aboard the nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman. The Northrop Grumman-built X-47B was put through myriad trials to assess the viability of an unmanned system's operation aboard a carrier. The X-47B isn’t built in this region, but Northrop Grumman does build portions of the Global Hawk and Fire Scout UAVs in Moss Point, Miss. (Post)

Boeing was awarded a $118 million contract to procure Lot 17 Guided Vehicle kits for the Joint Direct Attack Munition weapon system. The contracting activity is AFLCMC/EBDK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. ... Boeing also was awarded an $8.9 million contract for procurement of Laser Small Diameter Bombs retrofits, LSDB guided test vehicles, production, engineering, integration and test support and storage/shipping containers. The contracting activity is AFLCMC/PZJ, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. ... Northrop Grumman was awarded two contracts related to the MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopters. One was a $19.2 million contract for logistics services, and the other a $33.3 million contract for the development, production, integration, and testing of nine radar systems. Work on both contracts will be done in San Diego, Calif., and Patuxent River, Md. Some of the work on Fire Scouts is done in Moss Point, Miss. … United Technologies was awarded an $85.3 million contract modification for the F119 Engine Sustainment. Among locations of performance is Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.

Zumwalt: Bath Iron Works in Maine erected the composite deckhouse for DDG 1000,  the U.S. Navy's next generation destroyer. The 900-ton deckhouse module, built in Gulfport, Miss., by Ingalls Shipbuilding, was lifted to a height of about 100 feet using four cranes. (Post)

VT Halter: VT Halter Marine Inc. of Pascagoula, Miss., has partnered with Norwegian company Scana Volda AS for delivery of the propulsion systems and controls for two offshore supply vessels for Hornbeck Offshore Services Inc. (Post)

Contracts: Austal USA, Mobile, Ala., was awarded a $166.9 million contract to exercise the construction option for Joint High Speed Vessel 10. (Post)

Contract: Austal USA, Mobile, Ala., was awarded an $8 million contract to exercise an option for Littoral Combat Ship core class services. (Post)

Contract: Textron Inc., New Orleans, La., was awarded a $23.3 million contract to exercise an option for long lead time materials, advanced planning, engineering, procurement services and technical manuals for the Ship to Shore Connector program. (Post)

No comments:

Post a Comment