Saturday, April 29, 2017

Week in review (4/23 to 4/29)

It's that time of year again for the Gulf Coast Reporters' League. We're in the midst of compiling the sixth edition of the Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor book.

The 2017 edition is the first since we shifted from an annual to a biennial, and it will be packed with new and updated information for those who follow aerospace and aviation activities in this region.

A lot has happened in the I-10 aerospace corridor since the last edition was published in 2015, not the least of which is the production of jetliners in Mobile, Ala. So you won't want to miss this issue to add to your collection and keep up to date on this growing sector.

As in the past, this book will be free to readers, thanks to the underwriters who are coming on board. All our underwriters recognize the value of this ongoing study, and they want it to be shared with a wide audience. Making it free to readers is the best way to ensure that.

Now for your week in review:

Airbus continues to reserve judgment on any progress Pratt & Whitney has made in resolving several production problems plaguing its PW1100G turbofan. Deliveries of Pratt-powered A320neos remain stunted and the first Pratt-powered A321neo sits undelivered more than four months after certification.

Out of an expected 200 A320neo-family deliveries by the end of the year, Airbus shipped 26 during the first quarter, including the first CFM Leap-1A-powered A321neo. The A320 series plant in Mobile, Ala., will eventually build neo planes in addition to the current engine options. (Post)

The Air Force Thunderbirds and the Navy Blue Angels were in the same location at the same time for some joint training during the week – something that happens rarely.

The two elite flight demonstration teams are seldom in the same place at the same time because the Department of Defense wants to cover as much territory with the two teams as possible.

But they were both at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., during the week, something they haven’t done in Pensacola for more than 15 years. The two teams practiced Tuesday and Wednesday, and treated beach crowds to flyovers Wednesday. (Post)

NASA selected 399 research and technology proposals from 277 American small businesses and 44 research institutions that will enable NASA's future missions into deep space. The awards have a total value of approximately $49.9 million.

These include 13 projects tied to Stennis Space Center in South Mississippi.

NASA received 1,621 proposals in response to its 2017 solicitation for its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. From those, NASA selected 338 SBIR and 61 STTR Phase I proposals for contract negotiations.

The SBIR Phase I contracts last for six months and STTR Phase I contracts last for 12 months, both with maximum funding of $125,000. (Post)

It was a big week for contracts for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. of Fort Worth, Texas, with multiple contracts related to the F-35. That’s of interest to the region since Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the F-35 integrated training center.

The largest was a $1.37 billion contract for long-lead time materials, parts, components, and effort for 130 low-rate initial production Lot 12 F-35 aircraft for the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, non-U.S. Department of Defense participants, and foreign military sales customers. In addition this contract provides long-lead time materials, parts, components, and effort for 110 Lot 13 and 14 F-35 aircraft for the non-U.S. DoD participants and foreign military sales customers.

In a second huge contract, the company was awarded a $422.7 million modification to a previously awarded low-rate initial production Lot 10 F-35 advance acquisition contract. This modification provides the procurement of production non-recurring special tooling and special test equipment to support the F-35 production.

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics also was awarded a $109.6 million modification to a previous delivery order against a basic ordering agreement. This modification provides for the procurement of 567 modification kits for offboard system hardware and turnaround assets, and also recurring labor for the completion of hardware and software upgrades in support of the F-35 Lighting III Block 3F upgrade for Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, and international partners.

In two other F-35-related contract, Lockheed Martin was awarded a $10.8 million modification to a previously awarded advanced acquisition contract for additional hardware modules and racks in support of the F-35 low-rate initial production Lot 11 aircraft for the government of Israel under the Foreign Military Sales program. It also was awarded an $18.9 million modification to a previously awarded contract to provide additional sustainment, integration and test, training, and database production in support of the F-35 for the government of Japan under the Foreign Military Sales program.

In a non-F-35 contract, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Orlando, Fla., was awarded a $31.1 million modification to previously awarded contract for Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile production support, systems engineering, and tooling and test equipment. This contract consists of foreign military sales to Poland. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity.

Other contracts
DynCorp International, Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded a contract for contractor operated and maintained base supply services for the T-6A/B/D Texan II aircraft. The contractor will provide serviceable aircraft material and support equipment to support Air Force, Navy, and Army Texan II aircraft. Among the bases where work will be performed is Naval Air Station Pensacola and Naval Air Station Whiting Field, both in Florida. … HX5 LLC, Fort Walton Beach, Fla., was awarded a $67.9 million contract modification for a system support representative contract that will provide for the entire spectrum of mission planning support for ninety Air National Guard flying missions. Work will be performed in Arlington, Va., with an estimated completion date of Jan. 31, 2018. … Harris Corp., Colorado Springs, Colo., was awarded a $10.9 million modification to a previously awarded contract for system sustainment of the FPS-85 Phased Array Eglin radar, which provides space situational awareness data for tracking space objects. Contractor will provide sustainment services which include weapon systems management and engineering, core sustainment for the field service teams, requirements development modeling and analysis, engineering support and technical orders support. Work will be performed at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., and is expected to be complete by March 31, 2018.

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