Saturday, July 9, 2016

Week in review (7/3 to 7/9)

Leaders from the Gulf Coast region will be participating in the Farnborough International Airshow near London this week. The every-other-year show brings out the big names in the aerospace industry. Leaders from this region are there to talk up the benefits of having an aerospace operation right here.

The trade show portion is July 11-15, when we often hear about major contracts. The public show is July 16-17.

The F-35B short-takeoff and landing variant of the fifth-generation fighter is scheduled to participate in the show. Six F-35 jets, including one owned by Britain, were on display already at the Royal International Air Tatoo that precedes the Farnborough event.

Farnborough and the other every-other-year air show in Paris are opportunities to meet a wide variety of company officials – thus the participation of economic development officials from the region. But don’t expect any announcements related to our region. These events are typically ways to build relationships that can bring rewards down the road.

Speaking of the F-35, there were several contracts awarded for the fifth-generation fighter during the week. We follow it because Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center.

In one big contract, Pratt and Whitney Military Engines of East Hartford, Conn., was awarded a $1.5 billion modification to a previously awarded advance acquisition contract. This modification provides components, parts, and materials for the production of Low Rate Initial Production Lot 10 F135-PW-100 propulsion systems for the Air Force (44); Navy (4); and (9) F-135-PW-600 propulsion systems for the Marine Corps.

In addition, this modification provides components, parts and materials for (36) F135 –PW-100 propulsion systems for the international partners and Foreign Military Sales customers; (4) F135-PW-600 propulsion systems for the international partners; and (2) F135-PW-100 propulsion systems for the global spares pool.

Most of the work, 89 percent, will be done in East Hartford. The rest will be done in Indianapolis, Ind., and Bristol, United Kingdom, and is expected to be completed in Sept. 2019. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Post)

In another contract, Lockheed Martin Corp., Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded a $559.5 million contract for non-air vehicle spares, support equipment, autonomic logistics information system hardware and software upgrades, supply chain management, full mission simulators and non-recurring engineering services in support of low rate initial production lot 10 F-35 aircraft for the Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, Non Department of Defense (DoD) Participants, and Foreign Military Sales customers.

Most of the work, 79 percent, will be done in Orlando, Fla. The rest of the work will be done in Redondo Beach, Calif., Fort Worth, Texas, and Samlesbury, United Kingdom, and is expected to be completed July 2022. As with the F135 engine contract, the Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, also is the contracting activity. (Post)

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics also was awarded a $93.9 million modification to a previously awarded contract for procurement of diminishing manufacturing sources electronic components. The modification will support aircraft production through Lot 14 for U.S. facilities, and Lot 15 for international facilities for the F-35.

Nearly all the work, 98 percent, will be done in Richardson, Texas, but two percent will be done in Fort Worth and is expected to be completed in June 2017. The Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River is the contracting authority for this. (Post)

The Air Force announced eight installations as candidate locations where it will potentially consolidate its Battlefield Airman training – that is, the training of airmen who are part of the nation’s special ops forces.

The installations are Eglin Air Force Base, Hurlburt Field and Patrick AFB, all in Florida; Keesler AFB, Miss.; Joint Base San Antonio, Texas; Little Rock AFB, Ark.; Shaw AFB, S.C.; and Vandenberg AFB, Calif.

Last year, the Air Force reviewed its Battlefield Airman training, and the review determined grouping training at consolidated locations may lead to improvements and synergies in the current training processes. A decision will be made in early 2017. (Post)

The Air Force recently selected the first 10 enlisted Airmen to attend RQ-4 Global Hawk pilot training, marking the first time since World War II enlisted Airmen will be behind the stick. The first combined enlisted and officer training course will begin October 2016, with the first enlisted Airmen expected to graduate in 2017.

 The Global Hawk is the most stable remotely piloted aircraft community and presents an opportunity now to integrate enlisted airmen in RPAs to posture the force for future operating environments. Global Hawks are built in part in Moss Point, Miss.; pilot training is a major military activity in the region. (Post)

Sierra Nevada Corp., Mary Esther, Fla., was awarded a $23.2 million contract for forward operating location contractor logistic support. Contractor will perform 30-45 day excursions at forward operating locations in Afghanistan. Work will be performed at forward operating locations, Afghanistan, and is expected to be complete by May 30, 2017. … Raytheon Co., Tucson, Ariz., was awarded a $28.3 million modification to a previously awarded contract for hardware kits in support of the Phalanx Close-In-Weapon-System program. Work will be performed in Forest, Miss. (50 percent); Dallas, Texas (28 percent); El Segundo, Calif. (13 percent), and Andover, Mass. (9 percent), and is expected to be completed by February 2018.

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