UTC Aerospace Systems awarded aftermarket contracts to support U.S. Navy’s V-22 program — Press Release

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — UTC Aerospace Systems secured aftermarket contracts for Constant Frequency Generator (CFG) repairs and retrofits, and upgraded spares for the U.S. Navy’s V-22 program. The V-22 is flown by both the U.S. Navy/Marine Corps team and the U.S. Air Force. UTC Aerospace Systems is a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).

“UTC Aerospace Systems is delighted to support the U.S. Navy’s V-22 program,” said Steve Hilliard, general manager, Military Programs, Power, Controls & Sensing Systems, UTC Aerospace Systems. “The upgrades to our Constant Frequency Generator enhance our product while delivering a high return on investment for NAVSUP.”

UTC Aerospace Systems is the sole supplier on the CFG application for the V-22 program and its aftermarket contracts are valued at $70 million.

Under the initial contract awarded in September 2011, UTC Aerospace Systems began supplying kits to NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support Philadelphia in support of the V-22 CFG Loss of Lube retrofit with a period of performance of 20 months. In September 2012, UTC Aerospace Systems received a contract from the U.S. Navy for V-22 CFG repairs and upgrades over a five-year period of performance. Most recently, UTC Aerospace Systems received a contract award and delivery orders from Defense Logistics Agency, Philadelphia, for V-22 CFG spares for the U.S. Air Force and spares for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps team.

The V-22 CFG consists of three of UTC Aerospace Systems’ mainstay electric power products: a Constant Speed Drive, a Generator, and a Generator Control Unit, packaged into a single Line Replaceable Unit. This upgrade program is the culmination of four years of cooperative effort between NAVAIR, Boeing, Bell, NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support, and UTC Aerospace Systems to enhance the reliability of the CFG and by improving the overall operational readiness of the aircraft.

UTC Aerospace Systems designs, manufactures and services integrated systems and components for the aerospace and defense industries. UTC Aerospace Systems supports a global customer base with significant worldwide manufacturing and customer service facilities.

United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., is a diversified company that provides high-technology products and services to the aerospace and building industries.

www.utcaerospacesystems.com

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Update on Boeing’s (BA) Military Programs — Seeking Alpha

This is an exclusive post I wrote for Seeking Alpha on the current state of Boeing’s military aircraft programs.

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DoD Testers Express Concerns with KC-46A Schedule

One of the issues facing Boeing (BA) and the KC-46A new aerial tanker program is that it is already behind schedule. The Air Force originally planned to award a contract in 2001-2002 timeframe and have new tankers flying before 2010. The contract was not awarded until almost a decade later and the first aircraft will begin service in 2017. This was caused by three attempts to conduct the source selection with Boeing winning the third round from EADS North America, part of EADS (EADS:P).

This has meant the current initial development contract is very short. Boeing is planning on taking commercial B-767 aircraft off of their line, installing a new cockpit from the 787 as well as necessary military gear. They also need to demonstrate that the aircraft is able to meet the requirements of the Air Force and keep it all within cost as Boeing agreed to a fixed price development contract.

The Director, Operational Test & Evaluation (D,OT&E) which is an independent body within DoD responsible for evaluating programs performance as well as their overall test plans releases an annual report reviewing major defense programs and their test plans. They expressed concerns to Congress that the KC-46A is hoping to conduct a very aggressive test campaign. In their report, which may be found on their website here, they write that in their opinion “The DOT&E review of the post-Milestone B draft TEMP indicates the KC-46 test program is not executable.”

This is due for the following reasons:

 

  • The plan requires 42 hours of testing a month compared to an average of 30 on similar large aircraft military programs.
  • It assumes that only 15 percent of the tests would be repeated.  A higher repeat rate adds time to the overall testing program.
  • There is not time in the schedule to fix issues found in Developmental Testing (DT) prior to Operational Testing (OT).
  • There is not enough time allocated to test the fuel boom with Air Force and Navy aircraft.
  • The OT time is too short for the 750 flight hours planned to be flown and D,OT&E calculations estimate that 1,250 hours is the minimum required.

 

The organization recommends a new Test & Evaluation Master Plan (TEMP) be developed that includes a more realistic schedule for testing.

The Air Force, of course, disputes D,OT&E claims and believes the testing schedule is appropriate and executable. They feel that they have structured the program to support a proper OT decision and then into production and service.

The other pressure is on Boeing as an extension of the test program will cost them money. The fixed price contract has already reached a point where there is little slack or money left in it. More flight hours, more tests and more re-work will cost Boeing and reduce the potential for any profit on this contract. The Air Force recognizes this as they add in their defense of the program that they “structured the KC-46 development contract as a fixed price contract to protect the DoD and taxpayers from any cost growth on the program if the test program is not executed as planned.” So Boeing will pay for these issues if any.

D,OT&E can tend to be very conservative when it comes to these types of assessments but that does not mean they are right. One of the biggest issues affecting program development timelines is the need for more testing. Problems are discovered that were not necessarily anticipated and they take time to fix and then there is also time added to do the test again. The KC-46A is probably looking at a test program that will take some amount of time between their estimate and D,OT&E. Even if there is only a little growth it will affect Boeing’s cost and bottom line.

AAI Wins Sub-contract From Lockheed For eCASS Components

Lockheed Martin (LMT) is the prime contractor for the next generation of test equipment for U.S. Navy aircraft. The electronic Consolidated Automated Support System (eCASS) program will develop this for use on aircraft carriers and at land bases to support maintenance of key electronic systems on the F/A-18 and other Navy aircraft.

As part of the development and production of eCASS Lockheed gave AAI, a part of Textron Inc. (TXT), a contract to build radio frequency components. These mission equipment kits production is worth about $43 million if all options are exercised. AAI will provide over fifty of the units including two for depot use. As military programs become more-and-more complicated sophisticated test equipment aids in rapid diagnoses and fixes which minimized repair time and maximizes systems availability.

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Japanese Budget Thrown Into Disorder

December 29, 2009 by · Comment
Filed under: BNET, Syndicated Industry News 

Japan’s new liberal government is proposing the largest budget in the country’s history. At the same time some military programs are being…

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Boeing Confirms Use Of Wichita Facility If KC-X Won

Boeing’s (BA) Wichita, KS plant has supported may of their military programs over the years. In their last bid for the KC-X proposal the 767 aircraft would have been modified to become the new tanker there. In October the company would no longer make that commitment to using the Wichita plant. The company had discussed using a lower cost plant to do the work with an eye to lowering their overall cost. This obviously was a blow to the employees and the political supporters of the work being done there.

Now Boeing announced yesterday that at least some of the military conversion of the aircraft will be carried out in Wichita. This will gain them even further support from some key Senators and Congressmen as well as there unions. In many ways the company had no real choice. The Wichita plant has long been established, can do the work and needs it. The announcement makes sense at this time.n

Kansas Quietly Supports Boeing

The Boeing plant located in Wichita has a long and distinguished history of supporting that company’s military programs. It is safe to assume that if Boeing does win the KC-X contract that some of the work will be done there. That means that Kansas’ leaders are very interested in Boeing winning the deal. In the spirit of this it was reported that the Kansas Governor, Mark Parkinson, recently met with the Air Force Secretary. The former Governor of the state, Kathleen Sebelius, is now a cabinet secretary in the Obama Administration which certainly allows for some low key lobbying.

With the continued economic problems facing the country good manufacturing jobs are hard to come by and this means that mayors, governors and legislators will all be doing their part to support the different bidders in this process.

South Africa May Be The First A400M Casualty

The A400M is one of EADS most ambitious military programs. The new tactical transport would be developed and built in Europe for several different nations and provide a possible counterweight to the C-130 for overseas sales. The aircraft has faced development struggles that has led to a two year delay in the delivery of the test vehicles and caused the customers to rethink whether to continue. This would have been harsh for EADS as they would have to pay penalties to the countries that invested in them.

In July it was decided to renegotiate the contract to allow EADS time to restructure it and meet its obligations. The A400M has also attracted some foriegn customers and now South Africa is considering canceling their order for eight aircraft due to a price increase of over 150 percent. If the contract was not canceled by the end of the month the nation must continue on with the program and pay the new price. This would be about $6.4 billion compared to the original estimate of $2.6 billion in current exchange rates.

Defense acquisition programs that run late or over budget are nothing new. Normally when an overseas sale occurs of this kind of system it is after it has been in production for a few years and the price stablized. In this case South Africa gambled that the A400M would be completed on time and cost without any serious issues. This has turned out not to be true and they are facing a price increase of starting over. The aircraft are considered key to their peace keeping capability.

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ManTech Names Robert P. Frisbie as Senior Vice President in Its Mission, Cyber and Technology Solutions Group

FAIRFAX, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ManTech International Corporation (Nasdaq: MANT) has named Robert P. Frisbie as Senior Vice President in its Mission, Cyber and Technology Solutions group. Mr. Frisbie will be responsible for the security support and special military programs business areas, and for business development efforts in Afghanistan. Prior to joining ManTech Mr. Frisbie was the Senior Vice President, Defense Sector, STG Inc. responsible for defense and intelligence programs including thos

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