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DynCorp to Maintain Navy’s Test Aircraft at NAS Patuxent River

by: Matthew Potter
August 12, 2011

Category: Boeing, Business Line, Companies, Contract Additions, Contract Awards, Department of Defense, Dyncorp, Events, Lockheed Martin, logistics, Military Aviation, Restructuring, Services, training, U.S. Navy | RSS 2.0

DynCorp International(DI) will continue to support the U.S. Navy efforts at NAS Patuxent River in Maryland. The company has worked on Navy aircraft providing maintenance support since the 1960’s. They won another five year contract to continue to do that this week. The value of the contract if all options are exercised is almost $500 million.

NAS Patuxent River is where the Navy manages its aircraft acquisition as well as does testing and trains test pilots. They have a varied fleet of training and test support aircraft. Also any new aircraft getting ready to enter service is tested at Pax River. Currently systems like the Boeing’s (BA) new maritime patrol aircraft, the P-8, and Lockheed Martin’s (LMT) Joint Strike Fighter are undergoing tests there.

The contract will require DynCorp to maintain all of the aircraft assigned to Pax River including unmanned ones as well as any that are temporarily based there. They will also support environmental clean up actions related to the aircraft and recovery operations.

The military has been using contractors to provide maintenance for selected aircraft for years. In the Nineties as part of the downsizing of the Defense Department many depots for aircraft were closed or converted from government run to contractor facilities. With the recent discussion of in-sourcing the U.S. Air Force and some of the other services had discussed bringing this capability back into the government. It is not clear how much work will actually be taken back yet.

For a fleet of very mixed aircraft like at Pax River it makes sense for a contractor to perform the maintenance. It would require less personnel then the government most likely would need with subsequent cost savings.

As the defense budget decreases the discussion about what mix of organic and Contractor Logistics Support (CLS) will increase as the military looks to save money on this type of work. Based on what cost analysts discover the Government may increase or decrease the use of CLS depending on the potential cost savings.

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