Spaceport America in southern New Mexico is finally getting its anchor tenant since its official opening in 2011. Billionaire Richard Branson said at a news conference May 10 that Virgin Galactic will relocate its headquarters and flight operations from California’s Mojave Air and Space Port to Spaceport America.
The move will be this summer, in anticipation of commercial spaceflights beginning by the end of the year. More than 100 Virgin Galactic flight personnel and support staff are expected to move. Virgin Galactic affiliate, manufacturer The Spaceship Company, will remain in Mojave.
Spaceport America, near Truth or Consequences, has hosted close to 50 private suborbital launches since its official 2011 opening. Taxpayers invested some $200 million with the idea that Virgin Galactic would be the anchor tenant. The facility is on the northwestern edge of the U.S. Army's White Sands Missile Range. (Story)
The Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission hopes to make Stennis International Airport in Kiln, just outside Stennis Space Center, one of the nation’s licensed spaceports. It’s no doubt a long road. But every journey begins with the first step.
Contracts – F-35
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded three contracts in connection with the F-35 program during the week. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity for all three contracts. Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., trains F-35 pilots and maintainers.
One was a $21.4 million modification to a previously awarded contract that will provide initial repair material for the Electronic Warfare Digital Channelized Receiver/Techniques Generator Tuner Insertion Program, Fuel and Life Support systems at multiple F-35 depots within the continental U.S. Work will be performed in New Hampshire, Texas, and the United Kingdom and is expected to be completed in January 2022.
The company also was awarded an $11.9 million modification to a delivery order previously issued against a basic ordering agreement. This modification provides for modification kits and special tooling required for the modification and retrofit of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter in support of the Marine Corps, Air Force, Navy, non-U.S. Department of Defense (non-U.S. DoD) participants; and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas, and is expected to be completed in December 2023.
The company also was awarded an $18.5 million modification to a previously awarded contract. This modification authorizes the procurement of Diminishing Manufacturing Sources redesign activities in support of the F-35 aircraft. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas, and is expected to be completed in January 2024.
Sikorsky, Stratford, Conn., was awarded a $1.1 billion modification to a previously awarded contract. This modification provides for the procurement of 12 Lot II and Lot III low-rate initial production CH-53K aircraft, including programmatic support, logistics support, and peculiar support equipment. Fort Walton Beach, Fla., will handle 1.11 percent of the work. Other work sites are in Connecticut, Kansas, Utah, Missouri, West Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, New York, the United Kingdom and Canada. Work is expected to be completed in December 2023. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. … Raytheon Co., Keyport, Wash., was awarded a $20.7 million modification to a previously awarded contract to exercise options for maintenance and support of AN/AQS-20 Sonar Mine Detecting Set. The AN/AQS-20 is a towed, mine hunting and identification system for Program Executive Office, Unmanned and Small Combatants. Panama City, Fla., will handle 5 percent of the work. Other work sites are in Rhode Island and Washington. Work is expected to be completed by May 2020. The Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division, Panama City, is the contracting activity. … EMR Inc., Niceville, Fla., is awarded an $18.9 million task order under a multiple award construction contract for the design and construction of P855 expeditionary combat skills student berthing at Naval Construction Battalion Center Gulfport, Miss. Work will be performed in Gulfport and is expected to be completed by June 2021. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity.