DECEMBER 2006

Mobile makes strides in aerospace
MOBILE, Ala. – Mobile in 2006 made progress toward its goal of becoming a new aerospace
hub. Airbus in January broke ground on a new engineering center at the Brookley Field
Industrial Complex. The center will open in January with a staff of 50 aerospace engineers.
The city also moved forward in a pair of military competitions that each could bring an
aircraft assembly plant to Mobile. The Air Force formally kicked off a contest to build a new
fleet of aerial refueling tankers, a project that could bring a 1,000-worker plant to Brookley.
Northrop Grumman Corp. and EADS North America Inc. are competing for the contract
against Boeing Co. A winner will be chosen by late summer. In the second competition, a
team led by Raytheon Corp. and EADS CASA North America Inc. emerged as one of two
finalists for a contract to build cargo planes for the Army and Air Force. The Raytheon-
EADS CASA team has said it will build its C-295 aircraft in a new plant at Mobile Regional
Airport if it can win the work over a rival team led by L-3 Communications. The contract is
expected to be awarded in March. (
Source: Mobile Press-Register, 12/31/06)

Eglin hosts largest ever weapons evaluation program
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – Eglin Air Force Base’s western range was the site for the
largest-ever Combat Hammer weapons system evaluation program Dec. 4 to 8, sponsored
by the 86th Fighter Weapons Squadron. More than 40 precision-guided weapons were
dropped, including laser-guided bombs, joint-direct attack missiles and Maverick AGM-65s.
The squadron evaluated the accuracy of weapons systems of an A-10 Thunderbolt II unit
from the 354th Fighter Squadron at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., as well as B-52
Stratofortresses from the 20th Bomb Squadron at Barksdale AFB, La. Also participating was
a Canadian unit, the 409th Tactical Fighter Squadron from Cold Lake Air Base, Canada,
which brought nine CF-18 Hornets to the exercise. A typical weapons system evaluation
program is with only one unit. (
Source: Air Force Link, 12/14/06)

Eurocopter delivers Lakota to Army
EADS North America Inc. on Monday delivered its first Mississippi-made helicopter to the U.
S. Army. The first UH-72A Light Utility Helicopter was received by the Army at a naming
ceremony in Columbus, Miss., where the twin-engine helicopter is being produced. The
helicopter, to be known as the Lakota, was delivered three months ahead of schedule.
EADS, a subsidiary of the European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co., won a potential $2
billion contract in June to supply up to 322 of the helicopters over time. Under the contract's
initial phase, the Army has ordered 42 helicopters to be delivered by late 2008. The new
helicopters, designed to replace the Army's fleet of UH-60 Black Hawks, primarily will be
assigned to the Army National Guard for homeland security and disaster-response missions,
according to military officials. The helicopters are being assembled in northeast Mississippi
by American Eurocopter, an EADS subsidiary. The two-year-old plant currently employs 140
workers, but is undergoing a $30 million expansion that will boost employment to 330 by late
next year, the company said. (
Source: Mobile Press-Register, 12/12/06)

Air Force to ask contractors for tanker bids
WASHINGTON – The Air Force said Thursday that it will ask military contractors by mid-
December to submit bids for a winner-take-all contract to build aerial refueling tankers. The
proposed contract, which could be worth more than $10 billion and calls for as many as 179
tankers over more than 15 years, will be awarded by mid-2007, said Lt. Gen. Donald
Hoffman, the Air Force’s top military acquisition official. The likely competitors are Chicago-
based Boeing Co. and a team of Los Angeles-based Northrop Grumman Corp. and
European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co. There is no plan to split the work, Hoffman
said. The Air Force wants to replace up to 531 tankers over the next several decades.
(
Source: Bloomberg, 12/01/06)

NOVEMBER 2006

Lockheed protest in aircraft contest denied
MOBILE, Ala. – Lockheed Martin’s bid to rejoin a competition to build cargo planes for the
Army and Air Force was denied by the General Accountability Office, a spokesman for the
federal agency said Monday. Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed was one of three competitors
vying for the Joint Cargo Aircraft contract, estimated at up to $6 billion and 145 planes over
time. The others include a team led by Raytheon Corp. and EADS CASA North America Inc.,
and a team led by L-3 Communications, Alenia Aeronautica and Boeing Co. Raytheon and
EADS CASA have said they plan to assemble their C-295 cargo plane in a new plant at
Mobile Regional Airport if their team is selected. The L-3 team would assemble its C-27J
Spartan in Jacksonville, Fla. The Army and Air Force in July eliminated Lockheed's C-130J
and the CN-235, that was part of a dual entry by the Raytheon-EADS CASA team. The C-
130J and the CN-235 were the largest and the smallest planes in the competition,
respectively. (
Source: Mobile Press-Register, 11/28/06)

CV-22 Osprey operational at Hurlburt Field
HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. – Hurlburt Field, home of the Air Force Special Operations
Command, has received its first operational CV-22 Osprey. The Osprey costs more than
$60 million per unit, and it’s most notable for being able to fly like a fixed-wing aircraft and
land like a helicopter. Air Force officials said a second CV-22 will arrive at Hurlburt Field by
next month. (
Source: WEAR-TV, 11/16/06)

Army ordered additional UH-145s
MOBILE, Ala. - EADS North America said Thursday that the U.S. Army has ordered an
additional 34 of its UH-145 Light Utility Helicopters, bringing the total number purchased to
42. The Army has projected it will order up to 322 light utility helicopters over time, meaning
the full contract, won by EADS in June, could exceed $2 billion. The value of the new order
is $170 million, including flight and maintenance training, the company said. The helicopter
contract looms significant because it is the first major U.S. defense contract won by EADS as
the primary contractor. EADS is competing as a subcontractor in a pair of military
competitions that could each bring an aircraft assembly plant to Mobile. Those contests
include a bid to build aerial refueling tankers for the U.S. Air Force, where EADS is part of a
team led by Northrop Grumman Corp. EADS is teamed with Raytheon Corp. in a second
competition to build cargo planes for the Army and Air Force. The helicopters will be
assembled in Columbus, Miss., by American Eurocopter, an EADS subsidiary. (
Source:
Mobile Press-Register, 11/11/0)

Boeing to open office at UNO
NEW ORLEANS, La. – The Boeing Co., partnering with the University of New Orleans,
Greater New Orleans Inc., and the Louisiana Economic Development Group, is opening a
new office in New Orleans. The Boeing Space Exploration Michoud Facility Operation Office
at the University of New Orleans campus will allow Boeing to identify resources to support
projects such as the creation of the Ares I and Ares V launch vehicles, two primary rockets
designed to take astronauts and cargo to the moon and eventually Mars. The new office
may bring hundreds of jobs to NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility, an 832-acre plant located
in eastern New Orleans that manufactures space shuttle external fuel tanks. UNO Chancellor
Tim Ryan said the university, which will house Boeing's office at its Center for Energy
Resources Management, said the university's National Center for Advanced Manufacturing
has experience helping assemble external fuel tanks at Michoud. Brewster Shaw, vice
president and general manager of Boeing Space Exploration, said Huntsville’s Marshall
Space Flight Center needed a production partner. Marshall is doing the design work and
production will be done in Michoud. To produce long-lasting space vehicles that are cheaper
to operate than the current space shuttles, Boeing will work with local small-business
suppliers, UNO, Marshall Space Flight Center and the Michoud Facility. (
Source: New
Orleans Times-Picayune, 11/09/06)

Muskogee Metalworks to get Boeing’s help
ATMORE, Ala. – Poarch Creeks' Muskogee Metalworks is set to sign an agreement with The
Boeing Co. for training that could open the way for lucrative aircraft parts production
contracts in the future, according to the local company. Muskogee Metalworks, with 35
workers, manufactures metal parts for military and private enterprise at a 90,000-square-
foot facility near Atmore. Under the new agreement, Boeing will provide quality assurance,
marketing, business development assistance and other training to Muskogee Metalworks.
James T. Martin, president of Creek Indian Enterprises, said the contract, which costs the
tribe nothing, would eventually pay off in jobs for the area. In operation since 1989,
Muskogee Metalworks’ primary business is the design and manufacture of metal fabricated
hardware. (
Source: Mobile Press-Register, 11/09/06)

NASA marks shift to exploration program with test stand handover
STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – NASA Thursday officially marked the handover of the
Stennis Space Center's A-1 Test Stand from the Space Shuttle program to the Constellation
program. That program is developing the next generation of spacecraft that will return man
to the moon and then Mars. Richard Gilbrech, director of Stennis Space Center, called the
handover an “historic occasion for Stennis and for NASA,” calling it “a big visible sign of the
changing of the guard from the shuttle program into the exploration program.” The A-1 Test
Stand will be used to test the J-2X engine, which will be used for the rocket that will carry
America’s new spacecraft, Orion. The new spacecraft will also use the RS-68 engines that
are build at Stennis Space Center. The large concrete and steel A-1 stand, built between
1964 and 1967, is 158 feet high but another 58 feet is buried underground. The A-1 stand
and its sister stand, A-2, were built to test the stages of the Apollo program rocket engines.
They were modified in the 1970s to test all main engines for the space shuttle fleet.
“Transition of these systems into the next generation is going to be a huge job,” said
Michael Hawes, deputy associate administrator of the program integration office, “and it’s
not huge just because we have really big toys that have to be transitioned from one team to
another.” Hawes said it’s a big task in part because NASA is continuing to fly the Space
Shuttle. Stennis will continue testing shuttle main engines on the A-2 stand through the end
of that program in 2010. It will test the propulsion systems for the new spacecraft beginning
in 2007. (
Source: Tcp, 11/09/06)

C-295 plane wraps up tests
MOBILE, Ala. – Raytheon’s Spirit of Mobile, named for the city where the C-295 cargo plane
will be assembled if it’s chosen by the military, wrapped up 12 days of testing Thursday at
Fort Rucker near Dothan. Raytheon and EADS CASA plan a 150-worker plant at Mobile
Regional Airport if they win the contract. The turboprop plane is being evaluated by the
Army and the Air Force, which together are seeking a light cargo plane to ferry troops and
supplies. A contract for the Joint Cargo Aircraft is expected to approach $6 billion and
should be awarded by March. Raytheon-EADS CASA's C-295 is competing against the C-
27J Spartan, offered by a team led by L-3 Communications, Alenia Aeronautica and Boeing
Co. The Spartan is also being tested at Fort Rucker’s Army Aviation Center. (
Source:
Mobile Press-Register, 11/07/06)

Sites recognized for environmental, safety, health
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Operating sites of Northrop Grumman’s Integrated Systems sector,
including the newest one in Moss Point, have been recognized for meeting international
industry standards for environmental management and employee health and safety. Sites in
El Segundo, Palmdale and Rancho Bernardo, Calif., and Moss Point, Miss., received
International Standards Organization 14001 certification for environmental management.
The Rancho Bernardo and Moss Point locations also received the Occupational Health and
Safety Assessment Series 18001 certification for managing health and safety in the
workplace. The Moss Point facility is an assembly site for portions of the Fire Scout, Global
Hawk and Hunter UAVs. (
Source: Northrop Grumman, 11/07/06)

Stennis event marks beginning of new space era
STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – NASA will conduct a ceremony Thursday marking the
handover of the center’s A-1 Test Stand from the Space Shuttle Program to the
Constellation Program. That program is developing the next generation of spacecraft. The A-
1 Test Stand is being converted for testing the J-2X engine, which will be used for the rocket
that will carry America’s new spacecraft, Orion. The event will include a press conference
with NASA Space Shuttle and Constellation Program managers from NASA Headquarters,
Johnson Space Center and Marshall Space Flight Center. The A-1 Test Stand and its sister
A-2 Test Stand were built in the 1960s to test the stages of the Apollo Program’s rocket
engines to go to the moon. They were modified in the 1970s to test all main engines for
NASA's space shuttle fleet. SSC will continue testing shuttle main engines on the A-2 Test
Stand through the end of the Space Shuttle Program in 2010. SSC will test the propulsion
systems for the new spacecraft beginning in 2007. (
Source: NASA, 11/06/06)

Mobile Aerospace wins contract
MOBILE, Ala. – Airbus awarded a $635 million contract to Singapore Technologies
Aerospace Ltd., parent company of Mobile's ST Mobile Aerospace Engineering Inc., to
service up to 66, A320 planes. The work will be done at MAE’s facilities at the Brookley
Industrial Complex. Work will start in the first quarter of next year and span 12 years,
providing maintenance, engineering and technical support for an unnamed United States
airline with an Airbus fleet. An aircraft maintenance and repair provider, MAE has around
1,200 workers and is the city of Mobile’s largest private employer. (
Source: Mobile Press-
Register, 11/03/06)

Baldwin pressed for EADS funding
BAY MINETTE, Ala. – Some Baldwin County commissioners said a state request for them to
pay a lump sum of $5 million instead of spending that money over 20 years to support an
aircraft-assembly project anticipated in the area could be a strain. The state is proposing
that Baldwin have the same funding cycle as Mobile, said State Director of Finance Jim
Main. Baldwin would be the first to be reimbursed if the companies don’t reach promised
employment levels. In June, the Baldwin County Commission announced its intention to
spend up to $5 million over the next 20 years to support Northrop Grumman Corp. and
EADS North America if the team brings an aircraft assembly plant to the Brookley Field
Industrial Complex in Mobile and meets other parameters. (
Source: Mobile Press-Register,
11/03/06)

Vertex lands contract
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – L3 Communications Vertex Aerospace of Madison, Miss.,
was awarded a $42 million firm-fixed-price contract modification. This action is exercising
FY07 option for logistics support of the T-1A Aircraft at Vance, Columbia, Randolph, and
Laughlin Air Force Base and Pensacola Naval Air Station. Also included are over and
above, on-equipment maintenance, data and field representatives. This work will be
complete September 2007. (
Source: DefenseLink, 11/03/06)

Micro air vehicles take to the skies
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – Real fighter jets take a back seat to tiny miniature airplanes
during an international micro air vehicle competition at Eglin Air Force Base. Eight teams
from North America and Europe bring miniature airplanes that could be no longer than 17
inches and weigh no more than one pound. The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems
International and Eglin's Munitions Directorate organizes the competition. The tiny airplanes
at the competition are guided by GPS receivers. Their sensors are video cameras. Each
team is graded on their vehicle’s ability to find three waypoints and identify a distinguishing
mark on each, hitting targets with paint balls, and take-offs and landings. The chief scientist
for Eglin’s munitions directorate says the microplanes could be key to military surveillance.
(
Source: AP, 11/01/06)

Aerospace job fair canceled
MOBILE, Ala. – Lack of financial support for a three-day aerospace job fair tentatively
scheduled for March has been canceled. When it was announced in August, the fair was
slated to include flight simulators, video games and rides. The Mobile Airport Authority said it
was counting on aerospace companies with a local presence to pitch in $10,000 to $30,000
each to cover the estimated $250,000 cost. Now, with the Nov. 1 deadline for contributions
here, planner David Yarbrough said the Airport Authority has gotten zero financial support.
The job fair was based at least in part of plans by EADS and Northrop to build facilities in
Mobile. Now the thinking is the job fair will still occur, but at some future date. (
Source: The
Mobile Press-Register, 11/01/06)


OCTOBER 2006

Mobile group meets to discuss Paris Air Show
MOBILE, Ala. – A group of invited guests gathered at Riverview Plaza today to discuss
Mobile’s plans to participate in the Paris Air Show in June 2007. The air show, the world’s
oldest and largest aviation industry event, draws about 2,000 exhibits and a half-million
visitors. The luncheon was designed to get the Mobile business community involved and to
ask them to participate in the air show. Two participants, Bob Higgins of the Baldwin County
Economic Development Alliance and George Freeland of Mississippi's Jackson County
Economic Development Foundation, talked about the need for a regional approach. Higgins
pointed out that when dealing with European companies like EADS, they understand
regionalism to be continent-wide. Freeland added to that by pointing out that the region
between New Orleans and Northwest Florida has a lot of aerospace activities, from federal
and university aerospace research to some of the biggest names in the industry. (
Source:
Tcp, 10/31/06)

GAO rejects helicopter contract protest
The Government Accountability Office denied two losing contractors’ protests of the Army's
decision to award a $2.2 billion helicopter contract to EADS North America Defense. The
Army on June 30 chose an EADS-led team for the work of building 322 light-utility
helicopters. But Mesa, Ariz.-based MD Helicopters Inc. and AgustaWestland, a unit of  Italy's
Finmeccanica SpA, filed protests that were ultimately rejected. The helicopter deal is the first
major U.S. defense contract for EADS, which will assemble the helicopters in Columbus,
Miss., at a plant operated by its American Eurocopter subsidiary. The 92,000-square-foot
plant employs about 125 workers, but EADS has said it planned to triple the plant's size and
work force because of the contract award. The contract included an initial $43.1 million to
acquire eight helicopters, and EADS is believed to be on track to deliver the first of the UH-
145s by year’s end. EADS, along with Northrop Grumman, also hopes to build refueling
tankers for the Air Force at the Brookley Field Industrial Complex in Mobile, Ala. In another
project, EADS has joined with Raytheon Corp. on a bid to build cargo planes for the Army
and Air Force, with that production slated for a site at the Mobile Regional Airport. (
Source:
Mobile Press-Register, 10/25/06)

Boeing releases finding of Alabama impact
Boeing Co. on Wednesday released an academic study showing that it is a powerful
economic force in Alabama, contributing $1.5 billion to the state’s economy last year and
creating more than 10,000 direct and indirect jobs. Chicago-based Boeing ranks as the
largest aerospace employer in Alabama, according to the University of Alabama's Center for
Business and Economic Research. Boeing directly employed 3,349 workers in 2005, nearly
all of them in a 19-county region surrounding Huntsville and Decatur in north Alabama. The
company paid an average salary of $70,900, more than double the state's average wage of
$33,416, the study said. Boeing currently employs about 2,700 workers in Huntsville, most
devoted to missile defense work, and about 630 workers in Decatur, where it produces
satellite-launch rockets. Boeing is the chief rival to a team led by Northrop Grumman Corp.
that is competing for a contract to build aerial refueling tankers for the U.S. Air Force. The
Northrop team has said that if its bid is successful it will build its tankers in Mobile, creating
1,000 jobs. Statewide, more than 300 aerospace companies employ about 73,000 workers
with an annual payroll of more than $3 billion. The average annual salary for an aerospace
worker in Alabama is $59,124, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. (
Source:
Mobile Press-Register, 10/19/06)

Life-saving planes may be built in Mobile
MOBILE, Ala. – The U.S. military has a big problem with roadside bombs, the No. 1 killer of
American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. An aircraft that could be assembled in Mobile may
become part of the solution. Raytheon Corp. and EADS CASA North America Inc. are one of
two teams competing for a contract to build a new fleet of light cargo planes for the Army
and Air Force. The team would assemble its C-295 cargo plane in a new plant at Mobile
Regional Airport if its bid for the so-called Joint Cargo Aircraft is successful. The Army, which
is managing the competition, has a pressing need for the planes to replace its aging fleet of
C-23 Sherpas and C-12 Hurons, a pair of small turboprop planes used to ferry troops and
equipment to hard-to-reach areas, often at the front lines of combat. (
Source: The Mobile
Press-Register, 10/17/06)

Tanker competition moves forward
MOBILE, Ala. – The two teams bidding to build a new fleet of airborne tankers for the U.S.
Air Force said Monday that each had submitted its response to the Pentagon's draft request
for bids ahead of the deadline. The high-profile contest pits Boeing Co. against a team led
by Northrop Grumman Corp. and EADS North America Inc. for a contract that could
approach $200 billion for more than 500 planes. The Northrop-EADS team has said it will
assemble its KC-30 tanker in Mobile if it can win a share of the work. (
Source: The Mobile
Press-Register, 10/17/06)

Welcome mat out at Michoud
NEW ORLEANS, La. – As Lockheed Martin Corp. officials work to attract new tenants to the
Michoud Assembly Facility, they’re starting by telling their neighbors about the place. On
Thursday, officials at the eastern New Orleans plant welcomed a busload of supporters from
the Partnership for Stennis, a non-profit advocacy group whose members work at or
otherwise serve the Stennis Space Center located across the Mississippi state line from
Slidell. They came as part of a two-state summit organized by the Louisiana Department of
Economic Development that is working to market the underutilized Michoud facility. Michoud
hosted the day-long event, which included a tour of the 43-acre plant where the shuttle fuel
tank is built, and of the state of the art equipment that Lockheed Martin used to win a
contract to build the next generation space exploration vehicle. NASA picked Lockheed
Martin to design, develop and build the new spacecraft, called Orion. The vehicles will
consist of four modules, including a reusable cone-shaped crew module. Lockheed picked
the Michoud plant to build the crew exploration vehicle, or CEV, as well as the service
module needed to launch the orbiter. NASA has also decided Michoud will be the site to
build the Ares 1 and Ares 5 rockets that are needed to propel the spacecraft. Finally,
Lockheed Martin is in partnership with another firm to build K-1 vehicles, used to deliver
cargo to space, at Michoud under the Commercial Off-the-Shelf technology program.
Thomas Cremins, associate administrator for Strategic Integration and Management and
head the exploration systems mission directorate at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.
C, said the NASA facilities in Louisiana and Mississippi region are important to those efforts
because of they can build large rockets and testing them in the same area. "So there is a lot
more coming," Cremins said. (
Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 10/13/06)

F-15s Begin Dropping Small Diameter Bombs
Two F-15E Strike Eagle fighters carried the Small Diameter Bomb into Iraq Oct. 5, marking
the first time the smart munition has been deployed during combat operations.
The Air Force jets based at Royal Air Base Lakenheath, in the United Kingdom, provided
close air support for ground troops, according to the U.S. Central Command Air Forces. The
munition is capable of raining pinpoint precision explosives on enemy targets from up to 60
miles away. Each of the 250-pound, Global Positioning System-guided munitions can be
independently targeted. A proximity sensor in the nose of the bomb also allows it to detonate
at a preprogrammed distance from its target. Members of the Air Armament Center's 681st
Armament Systems Squadron at Eglin Air Force Base, FL, took part in the Iraq operation to
provide expert advice as the bomb and aircraft were integrated for combat operations,
according to U.S. Central Command. Lawmakers have shown support for the smart munition.
House and Senate conferees fully funded Air Force procurement of the Small Diameter
Bomb in the fiscal year 2007 Defense Appropriations Act and in the FY-07 defense
authorization bill. (
Source: InsideDefense.com, 10/06/06)

NASA SSC taps four innovative small business projects
STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – NASA has selected 120 proposals with a value of $72
million for negotiation of Phase II contract awards in the Small Business Innovation Research
program. The contracts will be awarded to 103 small high-technology firms in 27 states.
Four proposals will develop technologies for NASA Stennis Space Center under the
management of the Innovative Partnership Program: “Automated Extraction of Crop Area
Statistics from Medium-Resolution Imagery,” by GDA Corp. of State College, Pa.; “Wireless
Integrated Microelectronic Vacuum Sensor System,” by Invocon Inc. of Conroe, Texas;
“Virtual Sensor Test Instrumentation,” by Mobitrum Corp. of Silver Spring, Md.; and
“Automated Feature Extraction from Hyperspectral Imagery,” by Visual Learning Systems
Inc. of Missoula, Mont. Contractors submitted 280 Phase II proposals. (
Source: NASA
Stennis Space Center, 10/06/06)

Microsoft cancels meetings because of flight problems
NEW ORLEANS, La. – Microsoft Corp. canceled three meetings in New Orleans next year
because of inadequate flight service to the city, the company said Thursday. The meetings,
two of which were scheduled to draw 14,000 attendees from around the world, and a third
for about 2,000 people, were Microsoft's first gatherings in New Orleans since Hurricane
Katrina and its only future dates in the city. Microsoft spokeswoman Robyn Kratzer said the
company worked closely with New Orleans to try to keep the meetings in town to support the
city’s recovery, but the Redmond, Wash., company ultimately concluded it would be too
difficult for its employees and business associates to travel to New Orleans. Microsoft has
been an important customer for the city in recent years and has held four meetings in New
Orleans since 2002, several of them worldwide events attracting 14,000 people. New
Orleans now has 61 percent of its pre-Katrina airline service operating from the Louis
Armstrong International Airport. (Source: New Orleans Times Picayune, 10/06/06)

Louisiana, Mississippi slate summit
BATON ROUGE, La. – The state Department of Economic Development said Thursday it will
host a two-state summit with its counterparts in Mississippi on Oct. 12 to discuss the future
of NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans and the Stennis Space Center in
nearby Mississippi. The event, which also is sponsored by the Louisiana Technology
Transfer Office, will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Michoud plant. It includes a
tour, lunch and briefing from state and NASA officials. Organizers said the event is free but
reservations must be made through the Partners for Stennis office in Bay St. Louis, Miss.
(
Source: Baton Rouge Advocate, 10/05/06)

Eglin to get F-35s
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Air Force Wednesday announced the first six bases that will
receive the newest fighter aircraft. The first operational F-35 Lightning II squadrons will be
established at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Kadena Air Base, Japan, and Shaw AFB/McEntire
Air National Guard Base, S.C. The F-35 will go to Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. for primary
maintenance and flight training. It will be flight-tested at Nellis AFB, Nev. and Edwards AFB,
Calif. The Air Force expects to begin receiving F-35s in 2009, with deliveries continuing
through 2025. It is meant to replace the F-16. The F-35 is a tri-service program. The Navy is
developing a carrier-based variant to replace the F-14 and A-6, and the Marine Corps is
developing a short-takeoff vertical landing aircraft to replace the AV-8B jet. Lockheed Martin
is the prime contractor on the aircraft. (
Source: UPI, 10/04/06)

Boeing, Lockheed space launch business merger OKd
Federal regulators cleared the way for Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp. to merge
their space launch business. Called the United Launch Alliance, the combined operation
would perform most of its engineering work in Denver, while shifting Lockheed's Atlas V
rocket manufacturing from Colorado to the Boeing rocket plant in Decatur, Ala. The
company would make the Atlas V and Boeing's Delta II and Delta IV rockets in Decatur,
under the proposal which was first announced in May 2005. The ULA will become the
employer for the rocket manufacturing employees, but details of how that process will work
have not been disclosed publicly. Boeing employs about 660 people at the Decatur plant.
Lockheed has about 1,000 employees engaged in engineering and manufacturing work on
the Atlas V in Colorado. The companies have said they expect to save between $100 million
and $150 million annually through efficiency and elimination of "redundancies." The FTC
said the ULA must give consideration to competitors in the future, essentially Northrop
Grumman, in the satellite business. There is no set date for when the ULA will formally take
over the launch business, Boeing and Lockheed officials said. (
Source: Huntsville Times,
10/04/06)

Airbus confirms delay of A380
PARIS – Airbus parent EADS said Tuesday that the flagship A380 superjumbo jet will be
delayed for another year, and Virgin Atlantic and Emirates -- the plane's biggest customer --
hinted that the new setbacks could lead to order cancellations. In a statement issued after
its second board meeting in four days, EADS said the latest delays will cut an extra $3.6
billion off operating profit and announced a restructuring plan to cut costs and boost
productivity at Airbus. Airbus sees “'no significant signs” that cancellations are likely from
any of its A380 customers, CEO Christian Streiff said during a conference call with reporters
and analysts. But Dubai-based Emirates signaled that its bumper 45-plane order, worth
more than $13 billion at list prices, could be in doubt after suffering a further delay of 10
months. EADS has operations in Mississippi and Mobile. (
Source: Associated Press,
10/04/06)

Stennis Space Center getting new deputy director
STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – NASA has named Arthur E. (Gene) Goldman as the new
deputy center director at NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center effective mid-
October. As deputy director, Goldman will support SSC Center Director Rick Gilbrech in
managing all of NASA’s rocket propulsion test capabilities, Stennis’ roles in NASA’s applied
science programs and managing SSC. Goldman replaces David Throckmorton who
announced he will retire in February 2007, after more than 40 years of federal service with
NASA. Throckmorton will serve as a special assistant to NASA Associate Administrator Rex
Geveden until his retirement. Goldman most recently served in management positions for
space shuttle main engine project at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.;
first as deputy project manager from 1998 through 2004, and then as project manager from
March 2004 until his appointment to the new position at Stennis. He is a native of Russell,
Miss. (
Source: NASA, 10/02/06)


SEPTEMBER 2006

Florida aero company to open facility in Alabama
ALBERTVILLE, Ala. – An aerospace company that equips military helicopters for special ops
missions is building a new plant at the Albertville Municipal Airport that will initially bring 300
jobs. Aerospace Integration Corp., of Mary Esther, Fla., will invest $20 million for a 100,000-
square-foot aircraft completion center at the airport. George Gonzalez, chief executive of
AIC, said construction is to be completed in 18 months. The company has a plant in
Crestview, Fla., Huntsville, Ala., and five other states. The company modifies helicopters with
special equipment, including communications and navigation electronics. Among the aircraft
the Albertville plant could work on are the Army's CH-47 Chinook and AH-64 Apache
helicopters, and the Air Force's MH-60 special operations helicopter, Gonzalez said. The
plant also will be capable of working on military airplanes such as the C-27 transport plane,
he said. Most of AIC's work has been with the Air Force, but Gonzalez said he expects its
Army work to grow. Among the reasons for selecting the Albertville airport for the new plant
was its proximity to the Army Aviation and Missile Command at Redstone Arsenal in
Huntsville and the airport's 6,117-foot-long runway that can accommodate large aircraft,
Gonzalez said. (
Source: Birmingham News, 09/27/06)

Boeing shows off new, larger tanker
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Boeing Co., one of two teams competing for a contract to replace the
Air Force’s refueling tankers, unveiled a tanker version of its 777 aircraft but did not say
whether it would enter the plane in the Air Force competition. Chicago-based Boeing said
the proposed KC-777 tanker would be a larger alternative to the KC-767. Los Angeles-
based Northrop Grumman Corp., Boeing's top rival for the tanker contract, is offering the KC-
30 tanker, which is based on an Airbus A330 jet. The KC-30 would be assembled in Mobile if
Northrop can win at least a share of the work. Both the KC-30 and the KC-767 are
considered medium-size tankers, but the Northrop plane can carry about 25 percent more
fuel, 80 more passengers and 13 more cargo pallets. The Air Force has said it would prefer
a medium-sized plane to replace its existing fleet of KC-135s. Under terms of a draft request
for bids released Monday, the Air Force said it expects to award a single contract to replace
about a third of the KC-135 fleet. About 15 to 20 tankers would be produced each year,
according to the draft. Responses to the draft bid request are due Oct. 16, and the Air
Force is expected to release a final request for bids by mid-December. A winner could be
selected by late spring. (
Source: Mobile Press-Register, 09/27/06)

Test wing to stay at Eglin
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - A Defense Appropriations bill conference report for fiscal
year 2007 includes language that prohibits funds from being used to transfer test and
evaluation programs from Eglin Air Force Base. “This language makes it crystal clear that
Congress does not want the Air Force Test and Evaluation Mission to be compromised,”
said Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., in making the announcement Tuesday. “This is a Northwest
Florida issue, but it is also a national security issue. Once we educated other members of
Congress to this fact, it became easier to get the language in the bill.” The FY 2007
Defense Appropriations bill must still be given a final vote by the House and Senate before
being sent to the White House for signature. The House is expected to take up the $447.6
Billion measure this week. (
Source: EmeraldCoast.com, 09/26/06)

Goodrich Aerospace to expand in Foley
FOLEY, Ala. – Goodrich Aerospace chose its Foley operation for an expansion that will
create about 160 jobs in the next three years. Goodrich Aerospace Group President Curtis
Reusser said in a letter to local officials that the Foley site had been chosen for the $10.9
million project. The first new employees should be hired in October. The new jobs are
expected to pay an average of $13.50 an hour. Foley Mayor Tim Russell said local officials
and company representatives have been working about two years to win the expansion. On
Sept. 11, the Foley Industrial Development Board voted to not charge city sales and use
taxes for building materials and equipment needed to expand the plant. It also will not
charge city property taxes, except those for schools, on the new facility for the next 10
years. Goodrich will save an estimated $682,822 from the tax abatements. The construction
and new jobs are expected to generate $1.8 million in tax revenue over the next decade,
according to officials at the meeting. Goodrich Aerospace now has two divisions, which make
aviation parts and repair aircraft, at the Foley plant. The facility has 575 employees and
342,000 square feet of manufacturing space. (
Source: Mobile Press-Register, 09/21/06)

Money for cargo plane put back in budget
MOBILE, Ala. – Money for a military cargo plane that could be assembled at Mobile Regional
Airport will be included in the 2007 defense spending bill, according to Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-
Mobile.  Sessions said that $109 million in funding for the Joint Cargo Aircraft was restored
by a committee of House and Senate conferees. The money was approved by the House in
its version of the bill last spring, but cut by the Senate in its original legislation. A team led by
Raytheon Corp. and EADS CASA North America Inc. is competing for the $5 billion cargo
plane contract and has said it would build its C-295 planes at Mobile Regional if it wins. The
rival is a team led by L-3 Communications, Alenia Aeronautica and Boeing Co., which is
offering the C-27J Spartan. That team has said that plane would be assembled in
Jacksonville, Fla., but Crestview Aerospace Corp. officials have said some of the support
work could be done at its Fairhope plant. Crestview was recently acquired by L-3. (Source:
Mobile Press-Register, 09/20/06)

BAE in Fort Walton awarded contract
FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. – BAE Systems Technical Services, Inc., Fort Walton Beach,
Fla., is being awarded a firm fixed price with cost reimbursable line items contract in the
amount of $7.4 million for operation and maintenance support for facilities operating under
Naval computer and telecommunications area Master Station Pacific, Hawaii. This contract
includes one 11-month base period and four option periods, which if exercised, bring the
total estimated value of the contract to $37.9 million. Work will be performed in Oahu,
Hawaii, and is expected to be completed by September 2011. (
Source: DefenseLink,
09/19/06)

Funds provided for CV-22 site at Hurlburt
FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. – Bell-Boeing Joint Program Office, Amarillo, Texas, has been
awarded a $6.8 million modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee contract
to stand up an additional site at Hurlburt Field for developmental and operational testing of
the CV-22 aircraft. This modification provides for sustainment support for five additional CV-
22 aircraft. Work will be performed at Hurlburt Field, and is expected to be completed in
December 2006. (
Source: DefenseLink, 09/15/06)


JULY 2006

Mississippi has interests in air cargo competition
FARNBOROUGH, England - One of the teams seeking to win the Joint Cargo Aircraft
competition laid its political cards on the table at the Farnborough International Air Show.
The team headed by L-3 Communications Integrated Systems announced it planned to build
planes in Florida and do much of the other work in Mississippi if it wins the contract. That
gives the L-3 team, which includes Italian aircraft manufacturer Alenia Aeronautica and
Boeing, a couple of aces to play as it seeks to offset the clout of competitor Lockheed Martin
and its political allies in Texas and Georgia. The competition will pit Lockheed against two
teams headed by U.S. companies that have courted the Army for years in hopes of selling U.
S. made versions of foreign-designed and partly-foreign produced aircraft. Politics was one
reason the L-3 team picked Florida as a site to build the C-27J aircraft, conceded company
President Bob Drewes. The political aspects of the competition were heightened when the
Pentagon ordered the Air Force to join with the Army and come up with a plan to select one
cargo aircraft to buy. The Army for several years had been planning to buy a light, twin-
engine craft to haul small loads of cargo and troops into areas near frontline combat zones.
For several years, Lockheed had been planning to team with Alenia and act as prime
contractor for the C-27J. But with the Air Force in the program opening up the possibility of a
much larger aircraft buy, Lockheed decided to join the fray on its own and pitch a version of
its C-130J aircraft. A third team, made of Raytheon and European-owned EADS North
America, is also a likely bidder for the project and is expected to offer a version of a twin-
engine aircraft produced by CASA, Spain’s aerospace company that is part of the European
Aeronautic Defence and Space consortium. L-3 would perform finish work and paint the C-
27J in Waco, Texas. A sister company, Link Simulation and Training in Arlington, would
supply the flight simulators and crew training materials. The decision to build planes in
Florida and base the training, service and maintenance in Mississippi made practical sense,
said Drewes. Boeing, which will assemble the airplanes from U.S. and foreign-produced
parts, already has a facility at the Cecil Field site in Jacksonville. L-3 Vertex, a subsidiary of
Drewes’ company, operates major military repair and maintenance operations from its base
at Madison, Miss. And, said Drewes, L-3 “has been getting superb assistance from the
leaders of those states.” (
Source: Fort Worth Star Telegram, 07/20/06)

Testing of surveillance radar under way
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Northrop Grumman received a $90 million Air Force contract, to be
completed in September 2009, to integrate a new airborne surveillance radar on the Global
Hawk UAV. It’s designed to provide unprecedented situational awareness to battlefield
commanders. Northrop Grumman and Raytheon Company are jointly developing and
producing the radar under the Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-
RTIP). MP-RTIP is an advanced air-to-surface/air-to-air radar that will deliver long-range,
very high-resolution synthetic aperture radar, ground moving-target indicator capabilities
and air target-tracking capabilities. Northrop Grumman also is the prime contractor MP-
RTIP. Testing of the pod that will house the radar has already begun. The pod was flown on
the high-altitude Proteus test aircraft April 27 to test the aerodynamic effects of adding the
pod to the aircraft. The pod contained mass simulators to replicate the weight and
characteristics of the radar. First flight with the actual radar is expected this fall aboard the
Proteus. (
Source: Northrop Grumman, 07/18/06) Regional note: Northrop Grumman
builds Global Hawks in Moss Point, MS.

Plastic aircraft wave of the future
Aircraft of the future will be made from plastic. That’s according to Boeing. Alan Mulally,
president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. He said the company is looking to
replace existing 737 models with models made from composites. A composite is formed
when two or more materials with very different properties are combined. Boeing's new 787 is
built from composites and will set a precedent for future Boeing models, Britain's Press
Association reported. The 787 is made from a combination of non-metal carbon fiber
composite materials, which reduces the weight of the aircraft and leads to better fuel
efficiency. "All future planes will be made out of composites because it doesn't fatigue and it
doesn't corrode," Mulally said, adding that composite material would be used to build up to
50 percent of each aircraft and would significantly reduce the cost of building and
maintaining them. Mulally predicted that the technology needed to build the new Boeing
737s would not be ready until the middle of the next decade. (
Source: CNN, 07/17/06)
Regional note
: Gulfport, MS has a composites cluster.

Air Force eyeing additional tankers
The Air Force hasn’t made an official announcement, but apparently it wants 189 tankers
rather than the initial announced buy of 100. The higher figure was disclosed Saturday by
Ralph Crosby, chairman and chief executive of EADS North America, which is teamed with
Northrop Grumman in the tanker competition. Crosby said the 189 figure came out when the
Air Force briefed the Northrop-EADS team about a week ago. Crosby's comments came
during a series of media briefings by various European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co.
executives about the company before the opening Monday of the Farnborough International
Airshow near London, the aerospace industry's biggest event of the year. The EADS-
Northrop team plans to compete with Boeing on the aerial refueling tanker deal. The Air
Force wants to replace its fleet of 500 KC-135 tankers. The Air Force’s request for
proposals is expected to be released in January. The EADS-Northrop team is offering a
version of the Airbus A330. If that team wins, the KC-30 would be assembled at two plants to
be built by EADS and Northrop Grumman in Mobile, Ala. Boeing is expected to offer the 767,
but it’s possible the 777 could be offered. Both are built in Everett, Wash. (
Source: Seattle
Post-Intelligencer, 07/17/06)

Dutch firm buys AIRINC
FAIRHOPE, AL – A European aircraft-support company is purchasing an aircraft repair
station in Baldwin County. Fokker Services, owned by Netherlands-based Stork Aerospace,
signed final papers last week to acquire AIRINC for an undisclosed price, said Brad Caban,
general manager of the Fairhope-based company. AIRINC, with a 26,000-square-foot
facility, overhauls, repairs and maintains airplanes, including Airbus and Boeing aircraft.
AIRINC specializes in work on hydraulic, pneumatic and avionic components. AIRINC will
maintain its current service lines and grow to include maintenance of regional airlines,
Caban said. Stork, a publicly traded company, did $1.8 billion in sales last year, with more
than a quarter of those sales through Fokker Services, Caban said. Fokker Services has
locations in the Netherlands, Singapore and Atlanta. (
Source: Mobile Press-Register,
07/14/06)

Moss Point to deliver first Global Hawk fuselage in early 2007
MOSS POINT, Miss. – The first Mississippi-built Global Hawk fuselage is slated to be shipped
from Moss Point to the primary Global Hawk manufacturing center in Palmdale, Calif., in
early 2007 for final assembly and testing. Just two years after breaking ground on its
Unmanned Systems Center, Northrop Grumman installed Global Hawk tooling just in time for
the facility's grand opening in April this year. Despite destruction caused by Hurricane
Katrina, construction remained on schedule and on June 6, the Unmanned Systems Center
crew began loading parts into the assembly jig for the 17th Global Hawk to enter production
since the program began in 1995. Global Hawk's fuselage consists of three pieces: forward-
section, mid-section and aft-section. Those metallic sections will be built and mated in Moss
Point. Some of the equipment provisions and the smaller composite part installations will
also be completed at the Unmanned Systems Center. “This assembly plant reduces overall
cost on the programs and brings many jobs to the area,” said Gary Ervin, sector vice
president of Northrop Grumman’s Integrated Systems Western Region. Currently, a dozen
people support the Global Hawk program in Moss Point, joining more than 20 others now
supporting the Navy and Army MQ-8B Fire Scout programs. At full-production rate, the plant
will be able to support the build of three Global Hawk fuselages at one time. The production
capacity can be expanded according to customer demand. (
Source: PrimeZone, 07/12/06)

Eglin could lose test wing
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - Eglin Air Force Base, the big winner during last year's Base
Realignment and Closure Commission hearings, may lose the 46th Test Wing and its 3,400
military and civilian jobs to Edwards AFB in California. Rick Harper, director of the Haas
Center for Business Research and Economic Development at the University of West Florida
in Pensacola, said that if the move were to occur it could fundamentally transform Eglin's
overall mission from cutting-edge research and development of smart weaponry to primarily
a training facility. The 46th Test Wing uses aircraft that include F-16s, F-15s and A-10s.
The wing also operates Eglin's climatic laboratory. Eglin's Air Armament Center is
headquarters to three other weapons research and development facilities that have not
been mentioned as part of the possible move to Edwards AFB. News of the possible move
comes nearly a year after BRAC members decided to move the Army's 7th Special Forces
Group from Fort Bragg, N.C., and a fighter training wing to Eglin. The number of military
personnel, contractors and civilians relocating to Eglin because of the BRAC commission's
decision is estimated at between 12,000 and 20,000. (
Source: Pensacola News Journal,
07/11/06)


JUNE 2006

Global Hawk, Fire Scout listed in defense bill
South Mississippi aerospace projects are listed in the fiscal year 2007 defense authorization
bill passed Thursday, according to Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss. The bill outlines what projects
Congress intends to fund next fiscal year, and to what extent. The bill includes $493.2 million
for procurement of five Global Hawk UAVs. Global Hawks will be assembled at Northrop
Grumman’s Unmanned System Center in Moss Point. The bill also includes $116 million for
testing and integration of Fire Scout UAVs for the Navy. Fire Scouts are built at the Northrop
facility in Moss Point. Other aviation-related projects included in the bill: $8.2 million to
upgrade Special Operations Forces Combatant Craft Systems at United States Marine in
Gulfport; $3 million for aircraft carrier propellers built by Rolls-Royce Naval Marine in
Pascagoula; $1.3 million for 13 C-130 aircraft for the Navy and Air Force. The fuselages are
built by Lockheed Martin in Meridian. Also included is $20 million for Miltec in Iuka and
Oxford for continued research into integration of the advanced hypersonic weapons vehicle.
(
Source: release, Sen. Trent Lott, 06/23/06)

EADS buys software firm
EADS North America has acquired a small software development firm experienced in doing
business with the military. Terms of the deal for Dynamic Process Solutions Inc., military
training and software development company in Texas, were not disclosed. DPSI has
between 60 and 70 employees and had about $10 million in sales in its most recent fiscal
year, EADS said. DPSI's primary customer is the U.S. Air Force. (
Source: Mobile Press-
Register, 06/20/06)

GO Zone funds put aside for EADS, Northrop
MOBILE, Ala. – Gov. Bob Riley has reserved $255 million in tax-exempt financing, part of a
federal program designed to revitalize the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast, for construction of
an aircraft assembly center in Mobile. Bonds would be issued through the Mobile Airport
Authority, which manages the Brookley Field Industrial Complex where two defense
companies hope to build large tanker aircraft for the U.S. Air Force. The allotment for the
airport authority - $105 million for Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. and $150 million for
EADS North America and its affiliates – is the largest approval thus far and represents 12
percent of the financing available to Alabama, according to figures provided by the
governor's office. That share concerns some taxpayer watchdog groups, who say that
priority should be given to hurricane-related projects. But other eligible projects won't be
pushed out by the airport authority's allocation, a spokesman in the governor's office said
Monday. The airport authority won't issue the bonds unless the EADS/Northrop team beats
two rivals for the Air Force contract, according to authority Executive Director Bay Haas. The
Gulf Opportunity Zone Act, approved by Congress in late 2005, provides a wide range of tax
incentives intended to spur economic recovery in the counties and parishes hit hardest by
Hurricane Katrina, including $14.8 billion in tax-free bonds across three states. (
Source:
Mobile Press-Register, 06/13/06)

BAE awarded contract modification
BAE Systems Applied Technologies, Inc, Rockville, Md., is being awarded a $7.5 million
modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to exercise an option for
technical and engineering support services for the development, procurement, integration,
testing, installation and certification of shipboard communication systems; the development
and integration of like systems at shore sites associated with the deployment of, or fleet
support to, surface combatants; and the development, testing and integration of mobile and
airborne communication systems designed to interface with the command, control,
communication, computers and intelligence architecture of surface combatants. The
estimated level of effort for this option is 125,300 man-hours. Work will be performed in
Maryland, Maine and Pascagoula and is expected to be completed in December June 2007.
(
Source: DefenseLink, 06/08/06)

External tank safe for flight
NASA certified shuttle Discovery’s modified external tank as safe to fly. The only hurdles
remaining: three weeks of routine work at Kennedy Space Center’s launch pad 39B, a
launch-day dress rehearsal, a traditional flight readiness review and a standard three-day
countdown. The safety certification was issued at a meeting during which managers
reviewed changes made to external tanks since one of them shed a piece of foam insulation
during Discovery’s launch last July. The one-pound chunk nearly struck Discovery’s right
wing, prompting NASA to ground its shuttle fleet. The debris came from a 38-foot-long
wedge of insulation designed to provide a windshield for fuel pressurization lines and
electrical cabling along the outside of the tank. NASA managers decided to remove the
Protuberance Air Load ramp from tanks and then conduct wind tunnel tests to make certain
it would be safe to fly without it. The tanks are produced at Michoud in New Orleans.
(
Source: Florida Today, 06/07/06)

Bids submitted in cargo plane competition
WASHINGTON - Raytheon Co. and partner the European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co.,
submitted two separate bids for a new cargo plane program. The bids will compete against
Lockheed Martin Corp. and a team led by L-3 Communications. Lockheed plans to offer a
short version of its C-130J transport now in production as a Marine Corps tanker. The Army
and Air Force Joint Cargo Aircraft program could be worth as much as $6 billion. Bids were
due Wednesday. Raytheon/EADS offered the CN-235 and larger C-295. The companies
plan to open a manufacturing facility in Mobile. The Pentagon would like to pick a winner
next year. (
Source: Associated Press, 06/07/06)

Pratt & Whitney awarded $50 million NASA contract
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne was awarded a $50 million NASA contract to start development
of an engine NASA wants to use on two new rockets that will lift astronauts and payloads on
missions to the moon and Mars. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne of Canoga Park, Calif., will
build the J-2X, an upgraded version of the engine that powered the second and third stages
of the Saturn 5 rockets. NASA intends to use the J2X to power the second stage of a new
Crew Launch Vehicle that will be built to launch Apollo-style capsules. The J-2X also will be
used as the propulsion system for the second stage of a Cargo Launch Vehicle for large
payloads needed for human expeditions. The money will be used to start conceptual design
of the engine and procure long lead items. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne has an operation at
Stennis Space Center. (
Source: Florida Today, 06/06/06)

Mississippi lands GE jet engine parts plant
JACKSON, Miss. – General Electric plans to build a jet engine parts manufacturing plant in
Mississippi, creating 200 high-paying jobs. A site has not yet been chosen, but construction
should be complete in late 2007 or early 2008. The company will partner with Mississippi
State University's College of Engineering to design the plant and train workers. Dave
Calhoun, GE's vice chairman, said the company will manufacture composite fan blade
platforms for next-generation jet engines. Composites are used in the new Boeing 777's
engine, as well as in some military aircraft. Deb Case, spokeswoman at GE Aviation's
Cincinnati headquarters, said was too early to speculate on a possible construction cost and
size of a building. Sites likely in the running are in Tupelo, Columbus-Starkeville, a site near
Stennis Space Cener and Meridian. Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis is where Rolls-
Royce recently broke ground on a jet-engine testing facility. Gray Swoope, deputy director
of the Mississippi Development Authority, said an incentive package will be part of the deal
to lure GE here. Calhoun said MSU's engineering expertise was a big factor in the
company's decision to locate its new plant in Mississippi. "I don't think this was doable
without the role of Mississippi State," he said. "This is the future of our technology. It's the
future of jet aviation, and we couldn't be more pleased than to do it right here." MSU is home
of Raspet Flight Research Laboratory. (
Source: Clarion Ledger, 06/03/06)


MAY 2006

Mobile eyes international cargo shipments
MOBILE, Ala. – The Mobile Airport Authority is designing a 48,000-square-foot air cargo
facility that officials say would be a key step in turning the downtown airport at Brookley into
a gateway for international shipments. Currently, the downtown airport only handles
domestic cargo. The authority, which manages the property, has already found one tenant
for the new facility and is courting an international air cargo operator, according to Larry
Cook, the authority's director of real estate. The new building at the Brookley Field Industrial
Complex will have space to allow the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the
Department of Agriculture to inspect foreign goods and plants, he said. The new tenant is
Denver-based Integrated Airline Services Inc., or IAS Air. The company expects to employ
about 30 part-time workers to sort mail for the U.S. Postal Service, one of its largest
customers. The 365-acre industrial park and 1,300-acre airport, just south of downtown
Mobile, has about 80 tenants, but there is room for more. The authority's strategic plan calls
for developing the site's air cargo facilities, as well as enticing aircraft maintenance
companies and production facilities, he said. IAS Air officials say they plan to move in and
begin operating May 29. IAS Air will lease an existing building at Brookley until the new
facility is completed later this year. (
Source: Mobile Press-Register, 05/16/06)

Leaders discuss changes to Berry Amendment
ARLINGTON, Va. – Senior leaders of the Defense Department and the aerospace industry
met last week to discuss changes to the specialty metals provisions of the Berry
Amendment. They agreed in principal on changes that will protect the specialty metals
producers while also protecting the thousands of small businesses that support the Defense
Department. The Berry Amendment restricts the Defense Department from acquiring a
number of items, including food, clothing, fabrics, and certain tools that are not produced in
the United States. The aerospace and defense industry is impacted by provisions that apply
to specialty metals. (
Source: AIA press release, 05/10/06)

Mississippi's Vertex gets contract
MADISON, Miss. – L3 Communications Vertex Aerospace, LLC, Madison, Miss., was
awarded a $5.6 million firm-fixed-price contract modification. This action provides for
Electronic Flight Instrument Systems B-Kits for the C-12 C/D aircraft. Work will be complete
January 2007. (
Source: DefenseLink, 05/12/06)

Sverdrup awarded $50 million contract for Eglin work
Sverdrup Technologies Inc., Tullahoma, Tenn., was awarded a $50 million contract
modification to provide a wide range of diverse engineering, technical and acquisition
management support. This is required in the acquisition, development, production, and
support of various equipment and weapon systems within the Air Armament Center and
other organizations at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. This is an option exercise to extend the
term of the contract, June 11 through Dec. 10, 2006. The Air Force can issue delivery
orders totaling up to the maximum amount indicated above, though requirements may
necessitate less than the amount indicated above. This work will be complete December
2006. Headquarters Air Armament Center, Eglin Air Force Base is the contracting activity.
(
Source: DefenseLink, 05/12/06)

DoD may buy up to 20 tankers a year
The Defense Department may buy 15 to 20 aerial refueling tankers a year over two
decades, possibly from more than one manufacturer, the Pentagon’s top acquisition official
said. The comments by Kenneth Krieg, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition,
Technology and Logistics, suggest the likely scope of a high-profile competition expected to
pit Boeing Co. against a team made up of Northrop Grumman Corp. and EADS, 80 percent
owner of European jetmaker Airbus. Last month the Pentagon launched the contest with a
request for information from companies that want to build the next-generation tanker, which
could be derived from the Boeing 767, the Airbus A-330 or another medium to heavy
airliner. The plane will replace the KC-135. The Air Force has said it expects to award a
contract in the summer of 2007. (
Source: Reuters, 05/09/09)

Four companies awarded contracts for early work on new booster
Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Northrop Grumman Corp., Virginia’s Orbital Sciences
Corp. and Seattle-based Andrews Space Inc. were awarded "studies and analysis" contracts
to develop a new booster rocket for the Air Force that would boast a reusable first stage.
The hybrid launch vehicle would be capable of deploying satellites into orbit with as little as
24 to 48 hours notice and at a fraction of the cost of existing Atlas and Delta boosters. The
HLV would blast off vertically, with the winged first stage climbing to an elevation of about 28
miles. The unmanned vehicle would then release the upper stages and return to Earth for
an airplane-like landing at the launch site. Because the first stage would be reusable, the
HLV could be called into service quickly. The HLV could be used to boost a satellite into
space quickly, such as a military communications satellite ordered by a commander during
battle. Or it could deliver a conventional weapon to a distant target. The awards represent
the first stage of a competition in which the Air Force ultimately will pick a winner. The Air
Force is expected to narrow the field to two competitors by fiscal year 2007. The HLV is
expected to be in operation by 2018. (
Source: Rocky Mountain News, 05/09/06)

Northrop awarded $60.6 million for RQ-4B Global Hawk procurements
Northrop Grumman Systems Integrated Systems is being awarded a $60.6 million contract to
provide for long lead parts/advance procurement for the low rate initial production of six RQ-
4B Global Hawks, three mission control elements, three launch recovery elements; support
segment-support equipment and initial spares. This work will be completed March 2007. The
Headquarters Aeronautical Systems Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the
contracting activity. (
Source: DefenseLink, 05/08/06)

Mother of All Bombs gets big relative
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – Remember MOAB, the 21,600-pound Massive Ordnance
Air Blast Bomb that was dubbed the Mother of All Bombs? It was pretty heavily publicized in
2003 as part of a psychological warfare against then-president Saddam Hussein, and was
test dropped eight days before the war against Iraq began. Well now engineers at the Air
Force Research Laboratory Munitions Directorate and defense contractors are working on
the 30,000-pound MOP – Massive Ordnance Penetrator. It’s not getting nearly as much
publicity. The new bomb has no publicly announced nickname yet. The bomb designers
hope to drop the first of five MOPs from a B-52 in mid-2007 at White Sands Missile Range in
New Mexico. The penetrator is designed to exceed the speed of sound while heading for the
target. Robert Hastie of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency says the goal is to
demonstrate the upper limit of conventional weapons to defeat hard targets. Among the
challenges is building a case that would permit MOP to burrow far into the ground, rock or
concrete before detonating. The bomb, steered by fins and guided by GPS receivers, will be
about 20 feet long and 30 inches in diameter. DTRA is paying the $11.5 million tab.
(
Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 05/06/06)

Rolls-Royce to supply engines for Alienia cargo plane
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Alienia Aeronautica and Rolls-Royce have signed an agreement worth
more than $200 million under which Rolls-Royce will supply 42 propulsion systems for C-27J
tactical military transport aircraft. The C-27J is a candidate for the Joint Cargo Aircraft
program for the U.S. Army and Air Force. The agreement includes up to 84 AE 2100-D2
engines manufactured by Rolls-Royce in Indianapolis. Rolls-Royce is the world's leading
producer of engines for military transport aircraft. The agreement also includes six-bladed
Dowty R-391 propellers and technical support. C-27J Spartan aircraft are in use by the
Hellenic air force and being delivered to the Italian and Bulgarian air forces. The Rolls-
Royce AE 2100 engines also power C-130J aircraft. The AE "common core" engine line also
includes the AE 1107C-Liberty used in the V-22 Osprey and the AE 3007, which power the
Global Hawk and corporate and regional jets aircraft, such as Embraer 135/145. Rolls-
Royce operates in four global markets: civil aerospace, defense aerospace, marine and
energy. It employs 36,000 people, of which 40 percent are based outside the UK. Including
nearly 8,000 in North America. The company has a foundry in Pascagoula and plans to
begin testing the huge Trent engines at Stennis Space Center. (
Source: Rolls-Royce,
05/03/06)

Kennedy Space Center director to retire in January
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – NASA will name its ninth director of Kennedy Space Center later
this year, replacing the retiring manager who led the spaceport through the tumultuous
times that followed the 2003 Columbia accident. Jim Kennedy will retire Jan. 1 after more
than 35 years of government service. NASA Administrator Mike Griffin will select a
replacement later this year, probably around November, Kennedy said. Kennedy Space
Center’s current deputy director is Bill Parsons, who served twice as director of Stennis
Space Center in Bay St. Louis, Miss. (
Source: Florida Today, 05/02/06)

Airbus-Boeing trade dispute expected to be discussed
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President George W. Bush may discuss the trade
dispute between Airbus and Boeing when they meet this week, a senior German government
official said. Merkel travels to Washington Wednesday and meets for talks and dinner with
Bush. The unnamed official said there were signals from one of the camps that progress
was being made toward settling the dispute, which is due to go before the World Trade
Organization. Both sides accuse each other of granting billions of dollars in illegal state aid.
The dispute was brought to the WTO in May 2005 and the global trade body was due to
begin probing the affair in June, but an EU diplomat said last month that hearings had been
delayed. (
Source: Reuters, 05/02/06)


APRIL 2006

Northrop Grumman officially opens new UAV center
MOSS POINT, Miss. – Northrop Grumman’s new multimillion-dollar unmanned aerial vehicle
center is an expression of the company’s commitment to Jackson County, Mississippi and
the Gulf Coast region, the top Northrop Grumman official said today during the ribbon
cutting for the Moss Point facility. The 100,000 square-foot Northrop Grumman Integrated
Systems Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Center will perform final assembly for the Fire Scout
helicopter drone and fuselage work for the largest version of the fixed wing Global Hawk.
The center is providing high tech jobs for about 60 people, but the number is expected to
rise sharply as the military turns to using more UAVs for everything from surveillance to
combat. Northrop Grumman CEO Ron Sugar noted that his company has been part of the
community by legacy since 1938, when the Ingalls shipyard, now owned by Northrop,
opened in Pascagoula. "That facility offered this region some of the highest technology jobs
of its day," he said. Now the same thing is happening at this center, which Sugar said "will be
on the leading edge of electronics, aerospace and engineering ... the kinds of jobs that won’
t be outsourced to other nations." Sugar said the jobs at the center will be "the newest jobs
associated with the growing Gulf Coast aerospace corridor" that stretches from South
Mississippi to Northwest Florida. (
Source: Gulf Coast Sci-Tech Digest, 04/18/06)

FAST concept tested at Eglin
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – The Air Force, in conjunction with BAE Systems and SRA
International, has successfully flown the Flexible Access Secure Transfer (FAST) Internet
Protocol waveform. The successful concept demonstration flights took place March 29 at
Eglin. The flights demonstrated the ability to add high-speed Internet Protocol connectivity to
the Multifunction Information Distribution Systems (MIDS) Fighter Data Link. The
demonstrations were performed with an F-15, a Beechcraft King Air, and two ground
stations. The modifications enabled the terminals to simultaneously transmit and receive
Link 16 and FAST waveform functions. FAST supports missions that require free flow of
data without pre-mission planning. BAE Systems is under contract with the Air Force to
develop and demonstrate the FAST concept, which improves tactical communications and
adds mobile ad hoc networking on existing Link 16 Terminals while waiting for future
technologies. (
Source: Business Wire, 04/11/06)

Three Northrop Grumman weapons programs singled out
WASHINGTON – Three Northrop Grumman Corp. weapons programs were singled out
Friday for dramatic cost increases in a new Pentagon report on defense acquisition costs.
The Pentagon said 40 programs have exceed their initial cost estimates enough to trigger
notice under defense budget laws. Overall, the Defense Department's estimate of total costs
for 85 big weapons programs rose $39.7 billion to $1.58 trillion. Four programs experienced
big cost increases compared with their current baseline cost estimates: a Lockheed Martin
Corp. (LMT) Army rocket system, a Northrop Grumman combat drone, a Northrop Grumman
weather satellite program and a canceled special operations submarine project. Another 36
programs were caught under a new budget law that looks at cost growth compared with
original program estimates instead of updated program projections. The 36 programs are all
at least 30 percent over original cost estimates. Affected programs include the F-35 Joint
Strike Fighter, the Virginia-class submarine, and the Army's Future Combat Systems
modernization program. The Pentagon said the new report reflects changes in technology
and war planning that inevitably alter weapons buying projections. (
Source: MarketWatch,
04/10/06)

Airbus begins hiring process in Mobile
MOBILE, Ala. - Airbus is in the process of hiring staff for its new aircraft engineering center
under construction at Mobile's Brookley Field Industrial Complex. The center, scheduled to
open in January 2007, eventually will employ 150 engineers doing design work on the A350
commercial jet. With site preparation work under way in Mobile, the company is busy
recruiting top engineering talent from around the globe. So far, the company has hired 25
engineers and expects to hire another 25 by June. The jobs pay an average salary of about
$75,000. The Airbus project is unusual, state officials said, because it means airplanes will
be designed in Alabama before they're ever built. That's different from the state's
experience with the auto industry. Airbus said it has had no trouble finding qualified
applicants so far, despite a nationwide crunch for aerospace engineers. (
Source: Mobile
Press-Register, 04/09/06)

U.S spending on UAVs expected to increase dramatically
WASHINGTON – By next year the U.S. could be spending nearly seven times more on
unmanned aerial vehicles than it did before the 9/11 attacks. Spending on the planes is
expected to total at least $12 billion over the next five years. The spike in annual spending –
from $300 million in 2001 to perhaps $2 billion next year – will pay for at least 132 UAVs,
including a new version for the Navy, beefed up models for the Army and a major effort to
solve technical problems. At least 700 unmanned aerial vehicles of all shapes and sizes are
being used in Iraq. The Army controls about 600 of them, mostly the smaller Ravens that
soldiers can carry in backpacks and fling into the air for surveillance. At least five times in
December, the larger unmanned Air Force Predators flown remotely by airmen sitting at
consoles in a Nevada Air Force base bombed insurgent strongholds in western Anbar
province. The government buys many different unmanned systems for the military services,
and the intelligence community also buys its own. The Army's Raven weighs less than 5
pounds and can be carried in a backpack. The Air Force's Predators, which can launch
missiles, are 27 feet long and flown remotely by airmen sitting far away in the United States.
The larger Global Hawk surveillance aircraft can reach an altitude of 65,000 feet and send
back high-resolution imagery. The Navy has been spending comparatively little on
unmanned vehicles, but it is preparing to buy a new helicopter-UAV called the Fire Scout
that can take off and land vertically on ships. (
Source: Associated Press, 04/08/06)

DaimlerChrystler agrees to sell piece of its EADS stake
DaimlerChrysler AG said Tuesday it has agreed to sell a 7.5 percent piece of its stake in the
European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. in a deal valued at $2.4 billion. The
automaker said the move, which will have no impact on its net income in 2006, will allow it to
put greater focus on its automotive business. EADS, the parent company of Airbus, is
Europe's largest aerospace firm. The company is part of a team led by Northrop Grumman
Corp. that is competing for a contract to build aerial refueling tankers for the U.S. Air Force.
If successful, the companies have said they plan to assemble the planes in Mobile. (
Source:
Mobile Press-Register, 04/05/06)

Raytheon, EADS CASA team pick Mobile
MOBILE, Ala. – A team of Raytheon and EADS CASA North America has chosen Mobile
Regional Airport as the final assembly and delivery site for its CN-235/C-295 cargo aircraft.
The team is proposing the plan for the Joint Cargo Aircraft for the Army and Air Force. In
addition, EADS CASA North America will establish at MRA a new final delivery center for CN-
235 and C-295 transport aircraft to be sold into the North American market. The new co-
located facility will create more than 150 jobs at full-production rate if Raytheon and EADS
are chosen. EADS CASA North America began operations in 2005 at its 13,000 square foot
customer service and training facility at MRA. It was built to support the U.S. Coast Guard's
new CN-235 maritime patrol aircraft, designated HC-235A, as well as the more than 40
EADS CASA transport aircraft currently operated by 14 U.S. customers. Regardless of the
outcome of the JCA competition, EADS CASA North America has designated the MRA facility
as the new completion and delivery center for CN-235s and C-295s in North America.
Construction on the new delivery center will begin during the second quarter of 2006.
Selection of the Team JCA aircraft would lead to further growth of the Mobile aircraft center
to include final assembly for the airlifters, along with associated training and logistics
support. Raytheon, as Team JCA prime, will establish a joint program office at the site.
(
Source: Raytheon Co., 04/03/06)


MARCH 2006

Topic: Simulators
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Computer Sciences Corp., Falls Church, Va., is being awarded a $54
million modification to a previously awarded contract to exercise an option to design,
develop, integrate, test, produce, install, manage, operate, and maintain a simulation
training capability that performs and operates in accordance with the requirements of Flight
School XXI Simulation Services for the United States Army Aviation Center at Fort Rucker,
Ala. Work will be performed in Fort Rucker and is expected to be completed in March 2007.
(
Source: DefenseLink, 03/30/06)

Field: Flight test
TUCSON, Ariz. – The NetFires Limited Liability Company, composed of Raytheon Missile
Systems and Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, successfully conducted a ballistic
test vehicle flight test for the Non Line-of-Sight-Launch System (NLOS-LS) Precision Attack
Missile (PAM) at the Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., test range Feb. 16. NLOS-LS PAM and
Container Launch Unit (CLU) have been selected as a surface warfare weapon for the
Littoral Combat Ship, the Navy's next-generation multi-mission ship. The PAM missile was
vertically launched from the NLOS-LS CLU that was integrated onto a motion simulator able
to replicate a range of sea conditions that the LCS is likely to encounter. The Navy selected
NLOS-LS PAM and CLU as the premier engagement capability against surface warfare
threats for the Littoral Combat Ship. The Navy expects to build more than 50 LCSs with the
first ships commissioned in fiscal year 2008. PAM is a direct-attack missile that is effective
against moving and stationary targets on land and sea at ranges from zero to 21 nautical
miles and is effective against hard and soft targets. (
Source: Raytheon Co., 03/28/06)

Topic: Competition
ORLANDO, Fla., - Lockheed Martin submitted its final proposal revision for the U.S.
government's Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System II (APKWS II) system design and
development program. Lockheed Martin is competing with Raytheon and a BAE
Systems/General Dynamics team to provide a new 2.75-inch guided rocket that will enable U.
S. Army Apache and U.S. Marine Corps Cobra attack helicopters and other platforms to
precisely engage non-armored targets with minimal collateral damage. The government is
expected to announce the winner of the competition in mid- to late April. Lockheed Martin
previously announced a successful guided test flight on Feb. 28 at Eglin Air Force Base, FL.
Lockheed Martin plans to produce the APKWS II seeker at its plant in Ocala, FL, with final
rocket assembly at its facility in Troy, AL. (
Source: Lockheed Martin, 03/28/06)

Topic: Possible sale
PARIS – European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. has proposed the sale of its Astrium
space technology unit to French defense electronics company Thales SA, French financial
daily La Tribune reported in its online edition. The paper said the plan had been presented
to the French government and to Thales as a way of consolidating the satellite industry in
France. Noel Forgeard, one of two EADS chief executives, has said he favors a tie-up with
Thales, which is one-third owned by the French government. But earlier attempts to broker a
deal foundered on objections from DaimlerChrysler AG, which owns 30 percent of EADS.
French defense-to-media group Lagardere SCA owns 15 percent and the French
government a further 15 percent. EADS in turn owns 80 percent of European aircraft maker
Airbus; Britain's BAE Systems PLC holds the remaining 20 percent. (
Source: Associated
Press, 03/27/06)

Topic: Cargo planes
CHARLESTON, S.C. – An executive with an aircraft manufacturer says a site at Charleston
International Airport is competing for a $200 million plant that would build cargo planes for
the Air Force and Army. That plant could create a couple of hundred of skilled jobs,
although no specific estimate is now available. Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Pennsylvania,
Texas and one other unidentified state also are vying for the project, The Post and Courier
of Charleston reported. The Army and the Air Force want a light-cargo aircraft for war-zone
transport missions and other short-range flights. GMAS, a joint venture between Alenia
North America and L-3 Communications Holdings Inc., is pitching the C-27J Spartan Airlifter,
a twin-engine turboprop. An overseas affiliate of Alenia North America helped develop that
aircraft. Competition for the estimated $2.7 billion contract launched last week. A decision on
is expected early next year with deliveries starting in 2008. There are no guarantees GMAS,
formerly known as Global Military Aircraft Systems, will get the work after the May 17 bid
deadline. By mid-May, Giordo says, the company will chose a preferred site. GMAS will
weigh labor pool quality, transportation capabilities, political support and economic
development incentives as it decides where a plant would be built, Giordo said. A Boeing
787 part plant takes up 382 acres at the 500-acre Charleston International Commerce Park.
That leaves room for a second sizable aircraft manufacturer near Interstate 26 and
Charleston's port and rail facilities. (
Source: AP, 03/26/06)

Topic: UAV strategic vision
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Air Force recently completed a vision document to provide high-
level guidance to service development and integration of unmanned aircraft for the next 25
years. While the Air Force has been experimenting with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles since
1962, the technology has only recently evolved to a point to provide truly transformational
capabilities to the joint commander, said Brig. Gen. Stanley Clarke, deputy director of the Air
Force strategic planning directorate. Air Force UAVs bring persistence to the fight and also
have the ability to work in hazardous environments, said Col. Gail Wojtowicz, chief of the Air
Force’s future concepts and transformation division. The Air Force produced the UAV
strategic vision document, entitled "The U.S. Air Force Remotely Piloted Aircraft and
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Strategic Vision," primarily in response to recommendations by the
2004 Air Force Futures Game, which was a guided strategic discussion about the Air Force’
s future capabilities. The new Air Force strategic vision is consistent with the Office of the
Secretary of Defense Unmanned Aircraft System Roadmap released in October, as well as
the recently completed Quadrennial Defense Review. (
Source: Air Force News, 03/24/06)

Topic: Plane rolls off line
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The first U.S. Coast Guard HC-235A maritime patrol plane rolled off
an assembly line in Spain Thursday. The debut production airframe produced by EADS
CASA in Seville is the first plane produced for the Coast Guard's Integrated Deepwater
System (IDS) program, which calls for 36 such planes to be delivered through 2017. The
medium-range aircraft is a military version of EADS CASA 235-300M and is designed to
carry out a variety of patrol, surveillance and rescue missions. The plane is part of an
extensive modernization program for the Coast Guard, which has been tasked to maintain a
tighter control on the U.S. coastline since Sept. 11, 2001. It is powered by twin turbo-prop
engines, includes a rear cargo door and has a fully loaded range of more than 1,000 miles.
Its surveillance payload includes radar and forward-looking infrared (FLIR). The IDS
program aims to update virtually the entire Coast Guard fleet of aircraft and surface vessels
with better electronics and other equipment, and linking them with other agencies through
improved communications systems. (
Source: UPI, 03/23/06)

Topic: Cargo planes
MOBILE, Ala. – The Department of Defense is moving forward with plans to purchase a new
fleet of military cargo planes, a project that could bring an aircraft assembly plant to the
Mobile Regional Airport. The Pentagon on Friday formally opened a competition to build
light cargo airplanes for the Army and Air Force, inviting bids on a contract that is initially
expected to be worth about $3 billion and include at least 145 planes. So far, two bidders
have expressed an interest in the winner-take-all contract. One of them, led by the
Raytheon Co. and EADS CASA, a Spanish subsidiary of the European Aeronautic Defence
and Space Co., has said it will assemble the planes in Mobile if it is selected for the contract,
potentially creating 200 jobs. The second team is led by L-3 Communications Holdings Inc.
and Finmeccanica SpA, an Italian aircraft manufacturer. The Army and Air Force, which
each had been pursuing its own light aircraft to ferry cargo and troops on short-range
missions, signed an agreement in January to collaborate on a single aircraft that could be
used by both services. The plane, known within the military as the Joint Cargo Aircraft, would
replace aging C-23 Sherpas used by the Army and serve as a smaller-sized complement to
the Air Force's fleet of C-130s. Responses to the request are due by May 17. A contract
award is expected by the end of the year, with the first planes delivered in 2008. The
Raytheon team is expected to offer one of two planes currently manufactured by EADS
CASA in Spain – either the CN-235 or the larger-sized C-295. EADS CASA said last year it
intended to assemble the planes in Mobile if either plane was chosen by the military. The
proposed assembly plant would employ about 200 workers, according to the company.
EADS CASA already has about 30 workers at a $1 million aircraft maintenance and training
complex at Mobile Regional. The complex serves CN-235 aircraft currently used by the U.S.
Coast Guard. L-3, which is offering a version of the Alenia C-27J, has yet to announce a site
for its assembly plant. An Alenia spokesman said Tuesday the company was considering
locations in seven states, including Alabama. (
Source: Mobile Register, 03/22/06)

Topic: Stennis impact
STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - The most recent figures on the economic impact of
Stennis Space Center show it has a direct impact of $503 million on the area within a 50-mile
radius. The figures, compiled annually by Mississippi State University, show that if Stennis
Space Center had not been in operation in 2005, considering both direct and indirect
effects, a conservative estimate of reduction in employment for the area would have been
19,706 jobs. A similar conservative estimate indicates personal income would have been
reduced by more than $818.7 million. Retail sales would have been reduced by $327.5
million if the space center ceased to operate. It is estimated that SSC has an impact on local
tax revenues of $88.4 million. The study noted Stennis Space Center had a direct impact on
the global economy totaling $691 million. Stennis Space Center, best known for propulsion
testing, is home to NASA and 30 other resident agencies that form a federal and commercial
city. The largest agency is the Department of Defense. The total number of employees is
4,588. (
Source: Biloxi Sun Herald, 03/26/06)

Topic: Airborne munitions
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – The Air Force’s newest precision-guided munition is a small-
diameter bomb just 5.9 feet long and 285 pounds. The size increases the number of
weapons an aircraft can carry, and thus the amount of targets it can kill in one sortie.
Because of its size and precision, it also reduces collateral damage. Complementing the
weapon is a smart miniature munitions carriage system. This system can carry four small
diameter bombs, enabling an aircraft to quadruple its load out. The carriage system
functions similar to an aircraft stores management system by communicating with and
controlling up to four weapons. A small diameter bomb can be used in adverse weather and
has a standoff range of more than 60 nautical miles. The weapon uses its inertial navigation
and an anti-jam Global Positioning System to fly to the target. Its guidance is further
augmented by a differential GPS system, which provides corrections to enhance accuracy.
The small diameter bomb is the fastest major acquisition program in Eglin Air Force Base
history. The weapon is scheduled to be in the hands of the warfighter for the first time in
September 2006. The weapon was born as the small smart bomb through an advanced
technology demonstration at Eglin's Air Force Research Laboratory Munitions Directorate. A
team of engineers wanted to demonstrate weapon technologies that increased aircraft
loadout and allowed multiple targets to be attacked in a single combat sortie. The small
diameter bomb program office picked two contractors to design and test their prototype
weapon system. Over two years the program office evaluated the two contractor's different
designs. Boeing was selected in 2003 to complete the system development and
demonstration phase and produce the small diameter bomb. During its developmental
testing program, the small diameter bomb completed 35 out of 37 flight tests successfully. In
2005, 19 months after the weapon was awarded to Boeing, it was ready to enter operational
testing. The weapon is scheduled to complete operational testing in May. The small
diameter bomb will first be integrated on the F-15E, then the F-22A Raptor. Upgrades are
already being explored. One is replacing the steel casing which has a fragmentation effoce
of 2,000 feet or more, with a composite casing and new explosive fill. But not all the steel
warheads will be replaced. The Air Force plans to purchase 24,000 small diameter bombs
through 2017 at less than $30,000 a weapon. (
Source: Transformation, Department of
Defense, 03/24/06)

Topic: Cruise missile test
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - The USS Boise, a Los Angeles-class submarine under way
in the Gulf of Mexico, launched a Navy Tomahawk cruise missile across both of Eglin Air
Force Base’s water and land test ranges last month. The missile flew a fully guided 613-
nautical mile test flight to the base's land test range where it executed a simulated
programmed warhead detonation followed by a parachute recovery. Seconds after launch,
the Tomahawk transitioned to cruise flight. Total flight time to target was one hour and 27
minutes. The Tomahawk cruise missile is a long range, subsonic cruise missile used for land
attack warfare, launched from surface ships and submarines. It is designed to fly at
extremely low altitudes at high subsonic speeds, and can be flown over evasive routes by
several mission tailored guidance systems. For safety purposes, the Tomahawk could have
been guided by commands from safety chase aircraft provided by the 46th Test Wing.
(
Source: EmeraldCoast.com, 03/03/06)


FEBRUARY 2006

Topic: Michoud
NEW ORLEANS, LA. – NASA’s spacecraft plant in eastern New Orleans will build 17 more
fuel tanks for the space shuttle, fewer than half the number that had been planned prior to
the Columbia shuttle accident, but enough to keep the factory's 2,000 workers busy for
several more years. The number of tanks needed by NASA is tied to the number of shuttle
missions planned by the agency through 2010, when the orbiters are set to retire. Before
the Columbia accident, NASA had been planning for at least 35 more shuttle trips. As
recently as a year ago, that number had fallen to 28, but agency Administrator Michael
Griffin said Monday that only 17 more flights will be needed, 16 to complete assembly of the
International Space Station and one to work on the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope. About
2,000 local workers build the mammoth fuel tanks at the Michoud Assembly Facility. The
plant is operated by aerospace contractor Lockheed Martin Space Systems. NASA last
month called on Lockheed and a team from Boeing and Northrop Grumman Corp. to have
competing versions of the CEV ready for testing in 2008 and prepared to fly in 2012, two
years earlier than originally planned. NASA has been under pressure to accelerate the
CEV's development from some members of Congress, who worry that a slower timetable will
create a painful gap between the end of space shuttle production and the beginning of CEV
work for the aerospace contractors that build the vehicles. The Michoud plant is in line to
build portions of the CEV and a cargo-carrying version of the new spacecraft that will be
launched several years later. (
Source: New Orleans Times Picayune, 02/07/06)


JANUARY 2006

Topic: Groundbreaking
MOBILE, Ala. – Formal construction of an Airbus aircraft engineering center began Monday
in Mobile, a ceremonial first step on a path that state and local officials said could transform
the historic port city into one of the world's premier aerospace centers. The Airbus "center of
excellence" at the Brookley Field Industrial Complex is expected to employ 150 aerospace
engineers. Scheduled to open in January 2007, the center initially will be assigned to
perform design work on the A350 commercial jet. The engineering center could be
expanded to include a 1,000-worker aircraft assembly plant if Northrop Grumman Corp. and
the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co, which owns 80 percent of Airbus, can win
a competition to build aerial refueling tankers for the U.S. Air Force. They are competing
against Boeing. State and local governments are contributing $14.4 million worth of
incentives to help build and staff the center, which will be owned by the Mobile Airport
Authority and leased to Airbus at $1 per year for the first 10 years. Airbus wants its
engineers in Mobile to handle design of A350 cabin interiors, crew rest compartments,
lavatories and galleys. Sen. Richard Shelby compared Monday's event with the arrival in
Huntsville of a group of rocket scientists led by Wernher Von Braun in 1950. Huntsville, once
a sleepy cotton market, today is a thriving, high-tech research and development center for
missiles, rockets and space aviation. (
Source: Mobile Register, 01/31/06)

Topic: Helicopter contract
FAIRHOPE, Ala. – An eight-year contract to produce bodies for the UH-1Y "Huey" helicopter
will add about 60 employees to Crestview Aerospace Corp.'s Fairhope plant and will be
worth up to $100 million, a company statement said. Crestview received a contract with Bell
Helicopter Textron to build airframes for the helicopter starting this month. Workers will
assemble the helicopters using components from the company's corporate headquarters in
Crestview. The aircraft bodies will be shipped to the Bell plant in Amarillo, Texas, for
completion, where engines, tail assemblies and other components will be added. Officials
expect production to reach 15 helicopter frames a year by 2008. Crestview Aerospace
acquired the 123,000-square-foot Fairhope plant in May 2005. The building at the H.L.
"Sonny" Callahan Airport was an aircraft repair facility operated by Goodrich until 2002.
(
Source: Mobile Register, 01/24/06)

Topic: Laser gunship
ST. LOUIS, Mo. – A C-130H Hercules that’s being modified to shoot a laser beam able to
damage or disable targets was handed over to Boeing Missile Defense Systems this month
for installation of laser equipment. Boeing will equip it to carry a high-energy chemical laser
and battle management and beam control subsystems. The laser, which can produce lethal
and non-lethal effects, is being built in Albuquerque, N.M. It can destroy, damage or disable
targets with little to no collateral damage. The C-130H, which belongs to the 46th Test Wing
at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is scheduled to test fire the laser in 2007. The laser system
has been in development since 2002. The project, known as the Advanced Tactical Laser, is
a smaller version of the Airborne Laser, which Boeing is developing for the U.S. Missile
Defense Agency. Mounted inside a Boeing 747, it’s intended to shoot down inter-continental
missiles during the boost phase. While the 747 will fire its beam from a nose-mounted turret,
the C-130H will use a turret mounted in the Hercules’ belly. The U.S. Special Operations
Command is funding much of the laser gunship’s cost as an Advanced Concept Technology
Demonstration. The development project has a price tag of about $200 million. Boeing's
industry team includes L-3 Communications/Brasher and HYTEC Inc. (
Source: Air Force
Times, Boeing, 01/23/06)

Topic: Sensor fuzed weapons
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – The Air Force has awarded Textron Systems Corp. of
Wilmington, Mass., a $108 million, three-year contract modification. The contract calls for
Textron to produce 332 Sensor Fuzed Weapons in support of the F-16 aircraft. The SFW is
an unpowered, top attack, wide area, cluster guided bomb, designed to achieve multiple kills
per aircraft pass against enemy armor and support vehicles. The contract, awarded by the
Air Armament Center, is expected to be completed by March 2008. It follows on the heels of
a four-year, $115 million contract awarded in 2003. (
Source: Mass High Tech, DefenseLink,
01/23/06)

Topic: Test flight
The first fully automated landings of the Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicle aboard a
moving ship took place Jan. 16 and 17. Two RQ-8A Fire Scouts flying from Naval Air Station
Patuxent, Md., carried out nine landings and takeoffs from the amphibious transport dock
Nashville while the ship was steaming in the lower Chesapeake Bay. Earlier shipboard tests
were manually controlled, said Tim Paynter, a spokesman for Northrop Grumman Integrated
Systems, El Segundo, Calif. Northrop is developing the Fire Scout for the U.S. Navy and
Army. Twelve MQ-8B Fire Scouts, an improved model with a four-blade rotor replacing the
three-blade rotor of the RQ-8A, are being built, four for the Navy and eight for the Army.
Northrop is assembling the aircraft at its plant in Moss Point, Miss., from airframes built by
Schweizer Aircraft at Horseheads, N.Y. Schweizer delivered the first airframe on Jan. 3. The
first shipboard tests of the MQ-8B are scheduled for 2007. The Navy plans to operate the
Fire Scout from Littoral Combat Ships and DD(X) destroyers. The Fire Scout can carry a
variety of surveillance sensors and has demonstrated the ability to fire 2.75-inch rockets.
The B model will have a 600-pound payload, Paynter said, enabling it to carry supplies to
Army Special Forces teams operating in dangerous areas. The RQ-8B was redesignated
MQ-8B in June 2005, reflecting its multimission status. (
Source: DefenseNews.com,
01/18/06)

Topic: Technology park
HANCOCK COUNTY, Miss. - A technology park outside Stennis Space Center is beginning
to take shape, and interest has been great enough that the developer has approved
construction of two more buildings. Robbie Maxwell, a consultant for the Mobile developers,
says he gets calls every day, and didn’t expect it to be like this. Stennis Technology Park,
which has room to develop into 700 acres, is being built in phases based on market
conditions. It will provide a home to fledgling technology companies and other businesses
with links to Stennis Space Center. The $3.75 million building now under construction is
30,000 square feet, and two prospective tenants have expressed interest in using the entire
building, said Maxwell. Now the developer has committed to a second building of 10,000
square feet and a third of 30,000 square feet. The developer is also now exploring building
single-family and townhouses on land south of Interstate 10 for those who eventually work at
the technology park. Maxwell said the development would fit in with some of the New Urban
ideas that were discussed during the Mississippi Renewal Forum in October. The technology
park is designed to appeal to operations that are in the same fields as Stennis Space
Center, including geospatial and aerospace. (
Source: Biloxi Sun Herald, 01/07/06)

Topic: Helicopter arrives
MOSS POINT, Miss. – A helicopter that will be converted into a military drone has arrived in
town, marking Jackson County's entry into the high-growth military drone field. The
Unmanned Systems Center near Trent Lott International Airport, north of Interstate 10, is the
newest plant in this heavily industrialized county. The gray Schweizer Model 333 is a
manned helicopter that's being converted by Northrop Grumman into an unmanned craft.
Don Gaw, site manager for the center, said the aircraft arrived on an 18-wheeler Tuesday
and workers have already begun modifications. Workers over the next few months will install
wiring, avionics and the fluid systems designed to allow the aircraft to fly without a pilot. It will
take about seven months to finish the conversion. The Fire Scout can operate from any
aviation-capable warship, remain aloft more than six hours. It has optical and infrared
sensors and a laser designator to pinpoint targets for strike aircraft. The Moss Point facility
is building four RQ-8Bs for the Navy and 8 for the Army. When finished, it will be trucked to
another site for flight tests, but Gaw said that ultimately those tests will be done here. As
many as 340 Fire Scouts could be built over five years. Beginning this summer, the
Unmanned Systems Center will also assemble the fuselage for the Global Hawk. The
Unmanned Systems Center is the first tenant of a 300-acre airpark being developed in
Jackson County along the interstate. (
Source: Biloxi Sun Herald, 01/05/06)
Gulf Coast aerospace