Saturday, March 10, 2018

Week in review (3/4 to 3/10)

The Navy plans to replace the TH-57 training helicopter with a commercially available helicopter, according to Seapower magazine. Rear Adm. Scott D. Conn, the Navy's director of air warfare, told the Senate Armed Services seapower subcommittee that it's a new approach to replace the 115 training helicopters.

A competition will be held then a winner chosen. The TH-57 Sea Ranger, derived from the Bell 206, has trained rotary-wing pilots for the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard since 1968. It's flown by three helicopter training squadrons at Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Milton, Fla. (Post)

-- A test was conducted recently at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., to validate the sympathetic reaction of a new safety-oriented explosive. It was co-developed by the Air Force Research Lab and Aerojet Rocketdyne.

The MNX-770 Mod 1 explosive is being developed for use in 500-pound BLU-111 (Mk-82) and 1000-pound BLU-110 (Mk-83) general purpose bombs. The explosive employs characteristics that make it less prone to unintended detonation than the currently-employed PBXN-109, while retaining the same lethality. (Post)

-- The Blue Angels’ 2018 air show season begins today at El Centro Naval Air Facility, Calif., and concludes Nov. 2-3 with the Homecoming show at Naval Air Station Pensacola. The Pensacola Beach air show is July 14. There's another air show on the Gulf Coast July 21-22 in Biloxi, Miss. (Post)

-- Brig. Gen. Sean M. Farrell, director, strategic plans, programs and requirements, Headquarters Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, Fla., has been assigned as director, Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation Directorate, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. (Post)

-- The 43rd Fighter Squadron graduated 13 F-22 Raptor Basic Course students during a March 2 ceremony. The students completed a course of instruction that included academics, examinations, sorties and simulator missions. With completion of the course the new F-22 pilots are now prepared to begin mission qualification training in their combat unit. (Post)

Nearly $23 million in awards for eleven Florida Job Growth Grant Fund projects across the state were announced during the week by Gov. Rick Scott. Among the awards are aerospace-related projects for Pensacola and Marianna in Northwest Florida.

Pensacola will get $4 million to develop additional taxiways, ramp construction and expansion for future development at Pensacola International Airport. Marianna will get nearly $2 million to extend the runway at Marianna Airport Commerce Park to 6,000 feet, which will allow the airport to accommodate larger business jets. (Post)

-- Okaloosa County's lease of 130 acres of Eglin Air Force Base land that contains the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport will be extended by 25 years and expire on July 30, 2063. The extension was part of a lease amendment the County Commission unanimously approved earlier in the week. (Post)

F-35 contracts
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded two contracts for the F-35 program. In one, the company was awarded a $24.9 million modification to a previously awarded contract to update and revise F-35A integration requirements in accordance with the letter of offer and acceptance in support of the government of Japan. Work will be performed in Japan, Texas and Florida, and is expected to be completed in March 2021. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

In the other, the company was awarded $24 million for a modification to a previously issued delivery order placed against basic ordering agreement. This modification provides for the procurement of Integrated Core Processor prototypes to support laboratory system integration for all Joint Strike Fighter aircraft variants. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas, and is expected to be completed in April 2019. 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.

Other contracts
Airbus Helicopters Inc., Grand Prairie, Texas, was awarded a $273.3 million contract for procurement of 35 UH-72A aircraft. Work will be performed in Columbus, Miss., with an estimated completion date of March 8, 2021. U.S. Army Contracting Command , Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity.

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