Saturday, August 19, 2017

Week in review (8/13 to 8/19)

Mark up another win for the growth of the Gulf Coast aerospace corridor.

Safran USA plans to open a manufacturing operation at Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley and hire 20 workers over the next three years. The announcement was made this week, two months after the Mobile team met with Safran USA's executives at the Paris Air Show.

The company will produce and install aircraft engine nacelles at the facility.

The Mobile Airport Authority is building out one of the existing bays at Mobile Aeroplex to 24,500 square feet. In addition, the company is investing some $1 million in equipment with an opening planned for November 2017.

Safran was the first Airbus-related supplier to announce it would open an operation at the Mobile Aeroplex after Airbus said it would build A320 series jetliners in Mobile, Safran Engineering Services opened its Mobile office with a ribbon-cutting the same day Airbus broke ground on its assembly line. In addition, Safran company Messier-Bugatti-Dowty also has an operation at the Mobile Aeroplex. (Post)

While I'm on the subject of the growth of this region's aerospace activities, at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., the National Flight Academy at the National Naval Aviation Museum celebrated its 10,000th student Wednesday. The academy inside looks like an aircraft carrier, where students learn math and science skills solving aviation-related problems. It opened in 2012. (Story)


Airports
Pensacola International Airport has set another all-time monthly record number of passengers in July, with a total of 175,814 individuals arriving and departing the facility. It’s an increase of 13 percent over July 2016. Overall, Pensacola International Airport is up some 4 percent in total passengers for the fiscal year over the same period last year. (Post)

-- The Civil Air Patrol from across Northwest Florida is gathering at Marianna Municipal Airport Friday through Sunday for a training exercise designed to develop and hone skills for disaster response and search and rescue missions. A story in the Northwest Florida Daily News says aircraft and crews will also operate from Tallahassee International Airport and Eglin Air Force Base, simulating forward operating bases much as they would in an actual disaster. CAP is a non-profit volunteer organization with 58,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft. (Story)


Contracts
Raytheon Missile Systems of Tucson, Ariz., was awarded a $104.9 million contract to provide for delivery of all variants of Griffin standoff precision guided munitions and corresponding production, test and engineering support. Work will be performed in Tucson and is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2018. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. … Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. of Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded $53.5 million delivery order against a previously issued basic ordering agreement. This order provides for supplies and services in support of the F-35 Lightning II milestone event capabilities, including retrofit modification kits and installation services for the Marine Corps, Air Force, Navy, and non-Department of Defense (DoD) participants. Work will be performed in Fort Worth and is expected to be completed in July 2021 for DoD customers and September 2025 for non-DoD participants. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center. … CACI-INC of Chantilly, Va., was awarded a $14.9 million contract for the modification and configuration on new commercial software for NexGen requirements. Work will be done Panama City, Fla.; Niceville, Fla.; Beavercreek, Ohio; San Antonio, Texas; Raleigh, N.C.; Palm City, Fla.; Fair Haven, N.J., and is expected to be completed March 12, 2019. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Maxwell Air Force Base, Gunter Annex, Montgomery, Ala., is the contracting activity. … Raytheon Co. of El Segundo, Calif., was awarded $8.5 million for a delivery order under a previously awarded basic ordering agreement for the repair of 331 units across 16 assemblies used in support of the F-18 Active Electronically Scanned Array Radar System. Work will be performed in Forest, Miss., and is expected to be completed by December 2019. Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity. … L3 Vertex Aerospace LLC, Madison, Miss., was awarded an $8.9 million contract for organizational and intermediate-level aircraft maintenance on three KC-130J aircraft, logistics and supply functions, limited repair of common support equipment and required support for the government of Kuwait. Work is expected to be completed in August 2022. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Week in review (7/30 to 8/5)

The August issue of the Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor newsletter will be released Tuesday. If you're a subscriber, the 8-pager will be sent to your inbox. If you're not a subscriber, you can find it Tuesday at the Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor website.

In the upcoming issue we'll tell you about what economic development officials from our region had to say about the Paris Air Show they attended in June. We spoke to folks from Northwest Florida, Mobile, Hancock County, Miss., and Louisiana.

We can tell you that the most consistent comment we heard was that this visit to Paris was one of the most successful. While no major announcements were made, many of them are working on proposals now. Interestingly, they are starting to meet with higher-level officials.

We also take a look at three upcoming events in the region that you might want to consider attending. The TeCMEN Industry day will be held later this month in Fort Walton Beach. Then in October there's the Gulf Power Economic Symposium in Sandestin at the start of the month and later in the month the Aerospace Alliance Summit in New Orleans.

So take a look at the newsletter next week.


Test missions
The 46th Test Squadron recently performed cybersecurity testing on the second-generation space surveillance system known as the Space Fence, according to the July mission report of the 96th Operations Group at Eglin Air Force Base. The Space Fence system is used to track satellites and space debri. For a bit more background, take a look at a post we had in 2014 about the Space Fence.

On the weapons front back in June, initial operational test and evaluation began for the AC-130J’s Block 20 software update, which added the 105mm cannon and Laser Small Diameter Bomb capability to the Air Force Special Operations aircraft.

Developmental test also began on the AC-130J Block 20+ software update. The Block 20+ new additions include a special mission processor, radio frequency countermeasures, rail launchers and Hellfire missiles, according to the mission report from June.


Education
An interactive traveling exhibit that helps children have fun with math – MathAlive! – opened Saturday at the Emerald Coast Science Center. Presented by Raytheon to military family communities nationwide, the exhibit is designed to show the connection of math to many of the things they love, including music, sports, movies, games and more.

The hope is to inspire young people in science, technology, engineering and math fields. The U.S. continues to fall short in ensuring there are enough future workers to fill the demand. MathAlive! will be presented at the Emerald Coast Science Center through Sept. 10. (Post)


Contracts
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded $211.2 million modification to a previously awarded contract. This modification provides for the procurement of production non-recurring special tooling and special test equipment that are required to meet current and future F-35 production rates. Work will be performed in Texas, California, New Hampshire, Florida and other locations in the U.S.; the United Kingdom and Italy and other outside-of-the-continental U.S. locations and is expected to be completed in May 2021. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. … Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded an $11.9 million modification for F-22 sustainment. This modification is for the exercise of options for F-22 sustainment activities. Work will be performed at Fort Worth, Texas, and is expected to be completed by Dec. 16, 2020. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, is the contracting activity. Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., trains F-22 pilots and has an operational squadron. … Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., San Diego, Calif., is being awarded $19.9 million for an order against a previously issued basic ordering agreement for engineering and analysis efforts to develop solutions for near-term emergent obsolescence issues identified for the MQ-4C Triton. Work will be done in Maryland and California and is expected to be completed in May 2020. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. Triton fuselage work is done in Moss Point, Miss.