Saturday, October 31, 2015

Week in review (10/25 to 10/31)

For those who have been following this weekly summary of aerospace activities in the Gulf Coast I-10 region, you may be interested in a new business publication coming in January.

It's the Gulf Coast Reporters' League Business Quarterly, and it will provide you with business stories covering the Interstate 10 corridor between Baton Rouge, La., and Tallahassee, Fla. There are nine metropolitan areas along the corridor and more than 4.4 million people.

To learn more about the publication and the highly experienced journalists behind it, go to the league's website. Signup to have the free magazine PDF delivered to your email when the first issue is published Jan. 5, or sign up for the blog.

Now for your aerospace week in review:

Airbus said at the end of the week that it plans to significantly increase production of its A320 family of jetliners before the end of the decade. The company has reached a compromise with suppliers over the capacity of the supply chain.

Airbus and Boeing have been riding a sustained wave of orders from fast-growing airlines, particularly in emerging markets. There has also been significant pent-up demand from American carriers.

The increase at Airbus would push output of the jet beyond its latest target of 50 a month to 60 of the single-aisle A320 series of jetliners by the middle of 2019. Airbus builds A320 jetliners at four plants, one in Germany, one in France, one in China and now one in the United States in Mobile, Ala. (Post)

Meanwhile, back in Mobile, Airbus is seeking four quality inspectors for its U.S. Manufacturing Facility. The quality inspectors-final assembly line are responsible for the execution and confirmation of quality inspections in the production process in the Final Assembly Line Hangar. (Post)

The Navy expects to begin operations of its unmanned fixed-wing Triton and the larger version of the Fire Scout unmanned helicopter in 2018. That’s according to Pat Buckley, the Navy’s deputy program executive officer for unmanned aerial systems.

He said the MQ-4C Triton, the maritime version of the Global Hawk, and the MQ-8C version of the Fire Scout would reach initial operational capability in 2018. He also said a surface-search radar and possibly a weapons capability would be added to the MQ-8C in 2019.

Fuselage work on Global Hawk variants and finishing work on Fire Scouts is done by Northrop Grumman in Moss Point, Miss. (Post)

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded a $120.6 million modification to the previously awarded low-rate initial production Lot IX F-35 advance acquisition contract to procure the non-recurring engineering effort. Work will be done in Fort Worth and is expected to be completed in June 2018. (Post)

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. also was awarded a $64.5 million modification to a previously awarded advanced acquisition contract for long lead materials and efforts associated with the production of the low-rate initial production 11 Japanese F-35A air systems for the government of Japan under the Foreign Military Sales program.

Work will be done in Fort Worth and is expected to be completed in February 2016. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity for both the F-35 contracts. (Post)

Also during the week, Pratt and Whitney Military Engines of East Hartford, Conn., was awarded a $104.3 million modification to a previously awarded contract for low-rate initial production (LRIP) Lot IX in support of the F-135 engines for the F-35 for the Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, non -U.S. Department of Defense participants and foreign military sales customers.

Work will be performed in East Hartford and Indianapolis, Ind., and is expected to be completed in September 2018. The contract combines purchases for the Air Force, Navy, Marines, non-U.S. DoD participants and foreign military sales. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Post)

Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Fla., hosted the 26th annual Naval Helicopter Association Fleet Fly-In during the week. It included more than two dozen Navy, Marine and Coast Guard helicopters.

The four-day event was designed to show students the aircraft they will fly when they go out in the fleet. Aerospace companies, including Lockheed Martin, Airbus, Bell Helicopter and Sikorsky, had displays. (Post)

The Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce will host a NASA Business Forum at the Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 4. The cost is $75 per person, includes breakfast and lunch, and is open to all area and regional businesses.

Featured at the forum will be senior procurement experts from four NASA centers in Alabama, Florida and Mississippi, as well as representatives from major aerospace prime contractors. Contact Brenda Rembert at 251-431-8607 to register or for more information. (Post)

2H&V Construction Services, Bonifay, Fla., and ESA South Inc., Cantonment, Fla., were among six companies awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity multiple award design-bid-build construction contract for construction projects located primarily within the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast area of responsibility (AOR). The maximum dollar value including the base period and four option years for all six contracts combined is $75,000,000. All work on this contract will be performed primarily within the NAVFAC Southeast AOR, including Pensacola, Panama City and Whiting Field, Fla., and the remainder of NAVFAC Southeast AOR. … Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz., was awarded an $11.2 million contract action for 225 Enhanced Paveway II /Guided Bomb Unit-49 kits. Work will be performed at Tucson and is expected to be complete by Aug. 30, 2016. This contract is 100 percent foreign military sales to Canada. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity.

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