Saturday, September 23, 2017

Week in review (9/17 to 9/23)

The upcoming October issue of the Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor bimonthly newsletter will have the first article of a four-part series on the aerospace activities of the four states that belong to the Aerospace Alliance. In the first installment, we'll tell you about Louisiana.

My readers are likely familiar with NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in east New Orleans and Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans in Belle Chasse. But that's just the beginning.

For Louisiana, much of the aerospace and aviation activity takes place along the Interstate 10 corridor west of New Orleans all the way to the state line. We’ll tell you about Lafayette, where subassembly work is done on the Bell 525. It's also where Bell works on the airframe used for the Navy's Fire Scout unmanned helicopter. Then we'll head west to Lake Charles, where Chennault International Airport has become an MRO powerhouse.

A few hours north of the Gulf Coast is England Airpark, right in the middle of the state in Alexandria. It's where a business and residential community has developed at a former air base and current airport. Last but not least, we'll tell you about Barksdale Air Force Base, home of the 2nd Bomb Wing.

If you are not signed up to get the October newsletter delivered to your inbox, drop me a line and I’ll add you to the list. It’s free, thanks to our underwriters.

Now for your week in review.

Defense giant Northrop Grumman is acquiring space-focused Orbital ATK for about $7.8 billion, a deal that will give Northrop a major role in space and missiles. Orbital, based in Dulles, Va., makes rocket motors and designs and produces launch vehicles. The deal comes as the Pentagon increasingly looks at space as a battle front. The Orbital purchase ranks as the largest defense deal since Lockheed Martin bought Sikorsky from United Technologies Corp. Orbital and ATK merged in 2014. (Post)

The number of in-service Airbus commercial aircraft in North America reached a new high of 1,500 following the delivery of an A321 to American Airlines on Friday. The company delivered its first North American-operated aircraft to U.S.-based Eastern Airlines in 1977 and has gone on to tally more than 2,000 orders with 25 airline companies and lessors in the region.

A celebration was held at the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile with delivery teams from American Airlines and Airbus marking the milestone. American Airlines operates more Airbus passenger aircraft than any other airline in the world. It received its first Airbus jet in 1988. (Post)

-- The HC-144 aircraft, manufactured by Airbus and operated by the United States Coast Guard as the Ocean Sentry fleet, reached a milestone 100,000 hours of flight in eight years of service with the USCG. The fleet has been involved in 3,500 search and rescue missions saving 620 lives, and supported 8,400 law enforcement missions including 890 drug interdiction missions. The milestone was commemorated by Airbus and the USCG Friday at the Airbus Defense & Space facility at Mobile Regional Airport, where Airbus maintains the fleet for the USCG. (Post)

The 1st Special Operations Maintenance Group at Hurlburt Field, Fla., was among the winners of the 2017 Secretary of Defense Maintenance Awards. The awards are presented annually to recognize outstanding achievements in weapon systems and military equipment maintenance.

The Hurlburt team was one of two units to win in the large field-level category. Four other awards were given in the medium and small categories. One of the six organizations will be selected as winner of the Phoenix Award, given to the best of the best field-level maintenance units. (Post)

Jacobs Technology Inc., Fort Walton Beach, Fla., was awarded a contract for test, evaluation and certification support services. The face value of this action is $480 million. The minimum guarantee of $10,000 will be satisfied through the issuance of Task Order 0001. Primary performance will be at Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Joint Interoperability Test Command Headquarters, Fort Huachuca, Ariz.; and DISA Headquarters, Ft. Meade, Md., with incidental performance at other locations worldwide. The period of performance for the base period is Sept. 21, 2017 through Sept. 20, 2019 with three, one-year option periods and one six-month option period through March 20, 2023. The Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., is the contracting activity.

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