Saturday, September 8, 2018

Week in review (9/2 to 9/8)

Bay County is on its way to developing a center near the Naval Support Activity in Panama City that will give Northwest Florida its second "outside the gate" think tank designed to make it easier for companies and academia to work with the military.

Bay County commissioners accepted a $95,000 grant for a new military technology center during a meeting Wednesday. The grant is from the Florida Defense Support Task Force and was obtained through efforts by the Bay Defense Alliance (BDA).

The grant will go toward a feasibility study for the Expeditionary Innovation Center, shortened to Ex-Cell, near Naval Support Activity Panama City. It will be used to support the base's science lab, the Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division.

The "neutral facility" will be outside the base fence, to better collaborate with local universities and businesses. It's modeled after similar military tech innovation centers in Fort Walton Beach and Tampa. (Post)

The Fort Walton Beach center is the Doolittle Institute, a think tank that opened its doors in 2014. It's a think tank that helps find solutions for the military by cutting out a lot of the red tape and providing a center where the military, academia and companies can get together to find solutions and put innovation on the fast track.

The creation of the institute in Fort Walton Beach led to the creation of a similar operation in Tampa, SOFWERX, which works with the Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base.

NASA conducted a full-duration 500-second test of an RS-25 engine flight controller Thursday at Stennis Space Center (SSC), Miss. It was the sixth test of a 3D-printed pogo accumulator assembly, a component that dampens potential engine propellant pressure oscillations that can cause a rocket to become unstable in flight.

The hot fire test on the A-1 test stand also was the second test of an RS-25 main combustion chamber fabricated using a bonding technique called hot isostatic pressing, which saves time and money over more traditional methods.

SSC, which has been conducting RS-25 engine and component tests since January 2015. NASA began testing RS-25 flight controller units in March 2017. RS-25 engines were use on the space shuttle, but are modified for use on NASA’s Space Launch System. (Post)

F-35 contracts
Hydraulics International Inc., Chatsworth, Calif., was awarded a $43.6 million contract for the procurement of up to 305 MHU-83D production units, truck, lift, aerial stores loaders for ordnance/store loading operations on AV-8B, F/A-18, AH-1W, AH-1Z, UH-1Y, and F-35 B/C aircraft in support of the Marine Corps. Work will be performed in Chatsworth and is expected to be completed in September 2023. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, N.J., is the contracting activity. Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center. … Lockheed Martin Corp., Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded a $39.2 million contract modification for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter annual sustainment contract. Work will be performed in Patuxent River, Md., Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and Fort Worth and is expected to be completed in April 2019. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, is the contracting activity.

Other contracts
Booz Allen Hamilton, McLean, Va., CACI Inc. – Federal, Chantilly, Va., Science Application International Corp., Reston, Va., Capstone Corp., Alexandria, Va., and Serco Inc., Herndon, Va., were awarded an estimated $103.4 million multiple award contracts to provide technical support services in support of the deputy chief of naval operations manpower, personnel, training and education domain. The base ordering period of the contract is expected to be completed by September 2021. Work will be performed in Millington, Tenn. (45 percent); Pensacola, Fla. (27 percent); Arlington, Va. (10 percent); various locations throughout the continental U.S. (16 percent); and various contractor facilitates (2 percent). Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center Norfolk, Va.; and Contracting Department Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity. … General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., Poway, Calif., was awarded a $50,000 minimum, $15,000,000 maximum contract for integration and testing support for Medium Altitude, Long Endurance Tactical (MALET) MQ-9 and MQ-1C Special Operations Forces peculiar (SOF-p) modifications; procurement of GA-ASI developed and produced aircraft modification kits; and analysis and studies to inform future decisions on potential MALET MQ-9 and MQ-1C SOF-p modifications. The work will be performed in Poway, and is expected to be completed by September 2023. U.S. Special Operations Command, Tampa, Fla., is the contracting activity. Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Fla., was chosen in November 2017 to host an MQ-9 wing, and Hurlburt Field, Fla., was chosen in May 2018 to host an MQ-9 squadron.

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