Saturday, January 3, 2015

Week in review (12/28 to 1/3)

Anyone who follows aerospace news from this region will easily recall the long battle between Boeing and Airbus to build aerial refueling tankers for the Air Force. Airbus, which at the time went by EADS, hoped to build them in Mobile, Ala.

Boeing won the contract to build the planes in Everett, Wash.

Last weekend Boeing and the Air Force successfully completed the first flight of the KC-46 tanker test program. The Boeing 767-2C took off from Paine Field, Wash., and landed three hours and 32 minutes later at Boeing Field. The aircraft will receive its military systems following certification. Boeing is under contract to deliver the first 18 of 179 KC-46 aircraft to the Air Force by 2017. (Post)

Mobile lost out on that contract, but ended up with something that is, arguably, far better. It is the home of an Airbus A320 final assembly line. The plant will open in the fall of this year, and the first jetliner – an A321 for JetBlue – will roll out of the plant in 2016.

Four contracts announced by the Department of Defense during the week have ties to the Gulf Coast Interstate 10 aerospace corridor. They have a cumulative value of $96.6 million, and two of the contracts involve Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

In one contract, Jacobs Technology Inc. of Fort Walton Beach was awarded a $42.4 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the development of a launch test set complex for prototype testing and qualification of a launcher subsystem for the U.S. Navy and the government of the United Kingdom.

Work will be done in China Lake, Calif., and is expected to be completed in December 2019. The contract combines purchases for the U.S. Navy (90 percent) and the government of the United Kingdom (10 percent) under the foreign military sales program. The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division at China Lake is the contracting activity. (Post)

In another contract, Cubic Defense Applications Inc. of San Diego, Calif., was awarded a $15.2 million contract to design, develop, integrate and test hardware and weapons simulations source code software for the Royal Saudi Air Force P5 combat training system.

Cubic also will provide contractor logistics support of on-site advice and informal training in operation and maintenance of Saudi P5 CTS equipment at King Abulaziz, King Faisal, King Khalid and King Fahad Air Bases in Saudi Arabia.

The P5 system is designed to provide real-time training for air-to-air, air-to-ground and surface-to-air combat missions by recording mission data, relay time, space and positioning information between participating aircraft during training sorties. The system is used by the military in the Gulf Coast region.

Work will primarily be performed at San Diego and Fort Walton Beach, and is expected to be completed by Oct. 17, 2017. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Post)

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Eglin is also the contracting activity for another contract. In this one, Raytheon Co. Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz., was awarded an $18.7 million contract for HARM targeting system contractor logistic support. Contractor will provide depot repair services and sustaining engineering for HTS pods, as well as a variety of other HTS sustainment-related services and supplies. (Post)

The fourth contract of interest to the region was awarded to Cymstar Services LLC of Broken Arrow, Okla. It was awarded a $20.4 million contract modification for operations and sustainment support for the C-130J maintenance and aircrew training system devices, as well as material and travel costs to support the effort. The work will be done at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., Little Rock AFB, Ark., and Dyess AFB, Texas, and is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2015. (Post)

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