Saturday, December 31, 2016

Week in review (12/25 to 12/31)

This is the time of year that we reflect on the past and look forward to the future. So this is as good a time as any to provide you with some insight into this weekly column, our aerospace news feed and our other efforts to highlight aerospace activities in the Gulf Coast region.

Since we started the Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor daily news report in 2008, we've posted close to 5,000 news briefs and are approaching a quarter-million page views. We'll hit that mark in the coming year. In 2016, we posted 340 news briefs and had well over 39,000 page views. For December, we had 31 news briefs and over 9,500 page views.

Most of the news feed audience has been from the United States, but we have a substantial audience in Russia, Germany, France and Italy, and to a lesser extent the United Kingdom and China.

As for this weekly column, I’ve posted more than 430 since I started it in 2008, with more than 93,000 page views. Interestingly, most of the column audience is from Italy, followed by the United States, Germany, Russia and France.

Of course, those numbers are pretty modest in the world of internet traffic, but aerospace is a niche topic, and we target only those who care about aerospace and aviation. But the number of posts indicates just how much activity we have in the Gulf Coast region, and the domestic and foreign audience shows there's growing interest in what we do here in the region between Southeast Louisiana and Northwest Florida.

And what we do goes beyond the digital news and column. We also have produced 18 eight-page aerospace newsletters since 2013, along with one four-page out-of-cycle special report. We already have a special report planned for January. We've also produced five annual aerospace reference books since 2011. Now we're producing the books every-other-year and will be publishing our sixth one in June 2017. We do know that some groups from this region have brought the books to international air shows.

All things considered, if you want to do research on aerospace in this region, you'll find us a valuable source. We have an archive of aerospace news briefs dating to 2005. Interestingly, the first brief in the archive was about the search by Airbus, then called EADS, for a site to build Air Force tankers. The tanker project went to Boeing and Washington state, but as you know, Airbus is now producing A320 series jetliners in our region.

I would be remiss if I didn't take this opportunity to thank the groups that believe in the value of our work and have been consistent underwriters. Santa Rosa Economic Development, Gulf Power, Mobile Airport Authority and FloridaWest were year-long underwriters in 2016 for all of our aerospace products. Without them, we could not provide the aerospace feeds, newsletters or books.

I also want to heap praise on all the Gulf Coast Reporters' League associates, all of them highly experienced journalists, who provided our content. The associates as a group have more than 500 years of newspaper experience. With a team like that, no wonder we're getting noticed. So on that note, I want to wish all of you a very happy and prosperous 2017.

Now for your week in review:

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded two contracts during the week in connection with the F-35. In one, the company was awarded a $450 million modification to the previously awarded low-rate initial production Lot 10 F-35 advance acquisition contract.

This modification continues the integration work to implement the development and delivery of the F-35A Air System to the Republic of Korea under the Foreign Military Sales program. This effort will also provide for non-recurring engineering work.

Work will be performed in Fort Worth and is expected to be completed in August 2019. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Post)

In another contract, Lockheed Martin was awarded $19.3 million modification to a previously awarded contract to procure, deliver, and install a deployable mission rehearsal trainer in support of F-35. The Naval Air Systems Command in Maryland is the contracting activity. (Post)

Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., as you know, is home of the F-35 integrated training center.

In another contract that has nothing to do with the F-35, Lockheed Martin Corp. - Rotary and Mission Systems, Orlando, Fla., was awarded a $20 million modification to a previously awarded contract for training system support center services.

The contractor will provide software and hardware support, monitor modification work, obsolescence monitoring and identification, and overall system operation reporting. Hurlburt Field, Fla., and Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., are two of the sites where the work will be performed. Other sites are in Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico, Georgia, Arizona, North Carolina, California, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Germany.

Work is expected to be complete by Dec. 29, 2017. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, is the contracting activity. (Post)

Other contracts
The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., was awarded $308.3 million for modification to a previously awarded cost reimbursement contract to provide for the engineering change proposal integration of Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) Pod onto the EA-18G aircraft. Fort Walton Beach, Fla., is one of the sites were work will be performed. Other sites are in Missouri, New York, Oklahoma, California, Arizona, and Maryland and is expected to be completed in December 2021. … CAE USA Inc., Tampa, Fla., was awarded a $50 million contract for rotary wing flight training instructor support services. Work will be performed at Fort Rucker, Ala., with an estimated completion date of March 31, 2026. Army Contracting Command, Fort Rucker, is the contracting activity.

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