Saturday, April 27, 2019

Week in review (4/21 to 4/27)

How important is aerospace to the Gulf Coast region? Important enough that we produce a biennial reference book that highlights the industry that's continuing to grow in the region between South Louisiana and Northwest Florida.

We're in the process of compiling Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor 2019-2020, the seventh edition of our biennial reference book. While we do track aerospace and aviation developments in our daily news feed, this weekly column and our bimonthly newsletter, so much occurs that we need to put it all in focus every couple of years. That's the purpose of the book, a must-read for anyone interested in the field.

One chapter we're taking up this year is the growth of aircraft assembly in recent years. Jetliners are built by Airbus in Mobile, Ala., unmanned helicopters are built by Northrop Grumman in Moss Point, Miss., and in 2021 Kopter Group will assemble helicopters in Lafayette, La. In addition, if Bell wins a Navy contract, training helicopters will be built in Ozark, Ala. Why is this happening, and can we expect the growth to continue?

We'll also have updated chapters on space activities, military aviation, commercial airports, education and innovation. The book will be published in June as a 100-page PDF that will be available on our website. It will be free to readers, thanks to the support of our underwriters who back it because they recognize this is an important story to tell. A printed version will also be available at cost plus shipping from our print-on-demand provider.

Speaking of underwriters, if you're a company interested in having your name associated with this worthwhile, unique publication, give me a call or email me and I'll provide you with details. Just think of all the students and potential future workers this will reach.

Now for your week in review:

ST Engineering
ST Engineering secured around $959 million in new contracts in the aerospace sector. The Singapore group says that among the new contracts is a 10-year service agreement with a long-time, unidentified North American operator, to provide heavy maintenance checks for its fleet of Airbus A300s and Boeing 757s.

The contract will cover over 160 widebody and narrowbody aircraft, to be serviced at its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities in San Antonio, Texas, and Pensacola, Fla., starting in 2020.

ST Engineering has one MRO hangar in Pensacola and plans are to build three more. ST Engineering also has an operation in Mobile, Ala. (Post)

Bell has announced that, if it is selected to build the U.S. Navy’s Advanced Helicopter Trainer, it will assemble the aircraft in Ozark, Ala., where it currently does some of the assembly work for the Fire Scout unmanned helicopter.

The company would build the Bell 407GXi, and final assembly would take place in Ozark, according to Bell’s parent company Textron. Ozarks is near Fort Rucker, where the Army trains its aviators.

The Navy wants about 130 aircraft for the program. Bell’s workforce at the Ozark site could grow by 25 percent to a total of 100 workers if the company wins the competition, according to the Alabama Department of Commerce.

If selected, the Bell 407GXi would replace the Navy’s TH-57 Sea Ranger training helicopters, which Bell first introduced in the 1970s. A decision from the Navy is expected later this year. Bell is competing against Airbus Helicopters and Leonardo Helicopters. (Post)

Contracts – F-35
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded a $117.1 million modification to a delivery order previously placed against a basic ordering agreement. This modification provides for air vehicle initial spares to include a deployment spares package, afloat spares package, and associated consumables to support air vehicle delivery schedules for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft in support of the Air Force and Marine Corps. Work will be performed in a variety of locations in the United States and Europe. Work is expected to be completed in August 2023. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. … Lockheed Martin Corp., Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded $90.8 million modification to a previously awarded contract. This modification will stand up organic depot repair capabilities for the F-35 integrated core processor. Work will be performed in a variety of locations in the United States and is expected to be completed in October 2022. 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.

Contracts – other
The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., was awarded a $127.6 million modification to a previously awarded contract for the B61-12 Life Extension Program. This modification provides for the initiation of an undefinitized contract action for Lot 1 and Lot 2 Long Lead items. Work will be performed in Saint Charles, Mo., and is expected to be complete by Aug. 31, 2020. Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. … Korte Construction Co., St. Louis, Mo., was awarded a $31.3 million contract to design and build an Integrated Training Center Academics Building at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Work will be performed in Okaloosa County, Fla., with an estimated completion date of April 30, 2021. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile, Ala., is the contracting activity.

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