Saturday, September 26, 2015

Week in review (9/20 to 9/26)

Airbus wants suppliers of its A320 family of jetliners to cut prices by at least 10 percent by 2019 in order to make the company's cash cow more competitive. That's according to three people familiar with the matter, as reported by Reuters.

Airbus has told suppliers that the prospect of increased volumes and a longer lifespan for its best-selling jet means it is time to review all options in its supply chain. The demand echoes rival Boeing's cost-cutting Partner for Success initiative. (Post)

Both companies are experiencing high demand for single-aisle jetliners, and keeping pace is a real issue for both companies. Airbus just this month opened its newest A320 assembly line in Mobile, Ala., and Boeing said it plans to open a 737 completion and delivery center in China. It's Boeing's first outside the United States, a move that doesn't make unions very happy. (Story)

Speaking of the Mobile assembly line, delivery of the first A321 jetliner produced at the company's plant is several weeks behind schedule due to problems with a supplier. Still, Airbus said it expects to deliver it on time to JetBlue in the second quarter of 2016.

Allan McArtor, chairman and CEO of Airbus Group, said there were issues with jigs and tools, referring to the large structures that hold parts in place, as well as the tools used to join parts. But he notes Airbus has enough flexibility to catch up. (Post)

Airbus Defense and Space, prime contractor for NASA's Orion space vehicle's European
Service Module, has completed four large titanium tanks for the module that will be delivered for initial testing.

The tanks will be first transported to Italy, where the structural test model will be assembled before being tested in the United States. The next step is to build the engineering model that will be assembled and tested at Airbus Defense and Space in Bremen, Germany.

The Orion is assembled by Lockheed Martin at Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, where Boeing is building the core stage of the Space Launch System. The Rocketdyne engines that power the core stage of SLS are slated for testing at Stennis Space Center, Miss. (Post)

The Boeing Corp., St. Louis, Mo., was awarded a $36.3 million modification on a previously awarded contract. Contractor will provide research and development leading to the procurement of 60 long delay fuzes and development of an embedded fuze system. Work will be performed at St. Louis. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. … L-3 Communications Vertex Aerospace LLC, Madison, Miss., was awarded a $160.2 million modification to a previously awarded contract to exercise an option for the organizational, intermediate, and depot level maintenance and logistics services in support of approximately 200 T-45 aircraft based at Naval Air Station (NAS) Meridian, Miss.; NAS Kingsville, Texas; NAS Pensacola, Fla.; and NAS Patuxent River, Md. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, is the contracting activity. … Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz., was awarded a $180 million. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity.

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