In covering aerospace issues of interest to the Gulf Coast region, there's a lot happening that can pique my interest. One of those was the joint venture announced during the week involving GE Aviation and Praxair Surface Technologies.
The two companies entered into an agreement to form a joint venture for the development, support and application of specialized coatings that will be tailored for current and future engines made by GE Aviation along with those made by the joint venture CFM International, which involves GE Aviation and Snecma, part of France’s Safran. Those engines include the GE9X and LEAP engines.
The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but Praxair Surface Technologies will be the majority member of the new venture, which is expected to begin operations in the second quarter of 2016.
The joint-venture company will expand its footprint with a new coatings plant in the Southeast United States, which will supplement the services provided to GE from Praxair’s Indianapolis facility and other global operations. (Post)
I got in touch with Praxair to find out where the plant would be located, because it struck me that with plans to start operations in the second quarter of 2016, the chances seem good that it will be at a plant already in operation. But perhaps not.
I was told that the location of the venture will be handled in a separate announcement.
Praxair Surface Technologies, with 2014 sales of .7 billion, provides high-performance coatings and technologies to the aviation, energy and other industries. Praxair Surface Coatings has an operation in Brevard and Charlotte, N.C., and Houston, Texas.
GE Aviation, an operating unit of GE, provides jet and turboprop engines, components and integrated systems for commercial, military, business and general aviation aircraft. In this region, GE Aviation has an engine parts manufacturing plant near Hattiesburg, Miss., and Auburn, Ala.
This is also the region where Airbus is building the A320 series of passenger jetliners. Some of those jetliners use engines built by CFM, a joint venture of GE Aviation and Snecma, part of France’s Safran, which also now has an operation in this region at the Mobile Aeroplex.
And just to add more tie-ins with aircraft propulsion systems, this is also the region where Rolls-Royce tests its Trent series of aircraft engines, and where commercial space companies and NASA test rocket engines.
In other items of interest to the Gulf Coast during the week:
Raytheon Co., Tucson, Ariz., was awarded a not-to-exceed $14 million contract for research and development in support of increased capabilities for next-generation, air-launched, tactical missiles.
Raytheon will work to increase the number of missiles carried on a single sortie, increase the effectiveness of each missile, and enhance the platform survivability against all threats in an anti-access, area denial environment.
Two research concepts to fulfill these needs are the Small Advanced Capability Missile (SACM) and Miniature Self-Defense Munition (MSDM). The SACM will support affordable, highly lethal, small size and weight ordnance with advanced air frame design and synergistic control capabilities for air dominance enabling high air-to-air load-out.
The MSDM will support miniaturized weapon capabilities for air superiority by enabling close-in platform self-defense and penetration into contested anti-access/area denial environment with little to no impact to payload capacity.
Work will be performed at Tucson and is expected to be complete by Jan. 19, 2021. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition with four offers received.
Fiscal 2016 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $388,905 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Research Laboratory, Munitions Directorate, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity (Post)
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., Poway, Calif., was awarded a $34 million order to develop and field the Air Force Special Operations Command MQ-9 Medium Altitude Long Endurance Tactical (MALET) Lead-Off Hitter (LOH) software line. Work will be performed at Poway; Clovis, N.M.; and Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., and is expected to be complete by Feb. 28, 2018. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity. … Composite Engineering Inc., Sacramento, Calif., was awarded an $18.7 million modification to previously awarded contract for Air Force Subscale Aerial Target (AFSAT) Lots 11-13 production. Contractor will provide additional quantity of 21 AFSAT production units being produced under the basic contract (Lot 12) and the associated warranty. Work will be performed at Sacramento and is expected to be complete by Nov. 30, 2020. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. … PAE Applied Technologies LLC, Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded a $31.9 million modification to exercise the option on a previously awarded contract for Keesler Base Operations Support services. Work will be performed at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., and is expected to be complete by Jan. 31, 2017. The 81st Contracting Squadron, Keesler Air Force Base, is the contracting activity.