Monthly Archives: December 2008

Happy New Year from UIAGC!

Here is to a prosperous and successful 2009 from the entire UIAGC team!

happy-new-year

Southwest Airlines Awards GE $40 Million Large Area Display System Contract

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GE Aviation has been awarded a $40 million contract from Southwest Airlines to provide the new SDS-6000 large area display suite for Boeing 737 Classic aircraft. First production deliveries will take place in early 2011. The systems will be installed on up to 150 aircraft.

Integrated with the flight management system upgrade awarded to GE by Southwest last year, the combined system will provide the full benefit of flying the most efficient Required Navigation Performance (RNP) operations available. Southwest will be well equipped to lead the way in the expansive use of these approved routes realizing fuel, emission and noise reductions.

Patricia O’Connell, president, Civil Business unit for GE Aviation Systems, said, “Southwest Airlines is the launch customer for this new large area display suite. This integrated display system, coupled with our flight management system, enables operators to fly advanced navigation procedures and reduce operator costs from less fuel, less emissions and less through life costs.”

The GE solution comprises a complete integrated cockpit display solution, including primary flight displays, standby instrument and control panels. The primary flight displays, which have been designed to mimic the appearance of the B737 Next Generation cockpit, feature new 15.4” widescreen displays with innovative dual-channel display architecture, which is patent pending and offers unprecedented levels of display availability. The displays feature integral signal and video processing and graphics generation, eliminating the need for a separate symbol generator. The suite includes GE’s Integrated Standby Instrument System (ISIS), which provides a single box solution for standby instrumentation. Southwest has selected Boeing Commercial Airplanes as the integrator of the system into the fleet of Boeing 737 Classic aircraft.

Army Deal Worth Up to $932 Million

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Agility Defense & Government Services (DGS) announced that it has won a contract to supply and deliver repair parts for communications and electronics equipment at the Tobyhanna Army Depot in Pennsylvania.  The agreement, known as an Industrial Product-Support Vendor (IPV) contract, was awarded by the Defense Supply Center Columbus, one of three inventory control points in the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA).

The contract covers four years with two additional two-year options for a potential span of eight years. The contract base is $223 million with a maximum contract value of $932 million over the eight years.

Agility DGS is the prime contractor and will work with subcontractors IBM, W.W. Williams, Herndon Products and Blue Chip Manufacturing. The agreement is one in a series of DLA initiatives designed to capitalize on the strengths of commercial logistics specialists to improve the availability and reliability of parts at Army depots.

“With our cutting-edge transportation and supply chain solutions, we can monitor product flow to identify even the smallest deviations and ensure that the Army’s repair parts are delivered in an effective and timely manner,” said Dan Mongeon, president and CEO of Agility DGS.

Navy Completes F-5N Adversary Flight Test

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Interface Displays & Controls commenced production deliveries of its newly developed Radar/Navigation Control Display Unit (CDU) to the US Navy F-5N Program. Interface’s touch-screen color AMLCD CDU will act as the radar target information display, as well as the bus controller, for Northrop Grumman’s LN-260 fiber optic gyro inertial navigation (INU) system.

The CDU and INU utilize new technology that significantly improves performance and reliability to increase F-5N aircraft mission availability, while considerably reducing maintenance costs.

“This important milestone recognizes Interface as a leader in cockpit control and display technology, and marks our continued support of the Department of Defense (DoD) and international weapons systems,” said Bill Lang, President & CEO of Interface.

“The US Navy stated that this new maintenance cost-avoidance program will save an estimated $20 million dollars over the life of the F-5N program. Interface’s newly designed radar/CDU will guarantee the F-5N Adversary program seamless functionality, while increasing mission training performance and situation-awareness safety. Our selection by the US Navy broadens Interface’s experience with repair-cost avoidance, reliability, and performance improvements to legacy aircraft avionics’ systems,” added Brent Barker, VP of Sales & Marketing.

Continuous Global In-Transit Visibility

ARINC and Impeva Labs announced today that the U.S. Army Logistics Innovation Agency (LIA) has awarded the companies a contract to install and demonstrate their satellite-based Next Generation Wireless Communications (NGWC) tracking, security, and monitoring capability on containerized shipments of Arms, Ammunition, and Explosives (AA&E).

The NGWC capability protects shipments by continuously monitoring their locations and cargo conditions, and reporting as necessary over a satellite network (e.g. Iridium) from any point on Earth.

This advanced capability is designed to provide real-time, end-to-end visibility of shipments moving throughout the distribution pipeline. The initial demonstration of this capability will track an outbound shipment originating from a depot in the western United States during the next 30 days. A follow-on demonstration of this capability will track shipments outbound to their final destinations in theater, and will also track retrograde shipments returning from in-theater ammunition supply points back to depots in the U.S.

“This demonstration marks the first time a Department of Defense (DoD) rail shipment has been continuously monitored in real time, by satellite, from origin to destination,” stated Monty Montero, ARINC Vice President, Defense Systems Engineering. “In addition, the ARINC-Impeva NGWC capability is the first continuous satellite tracking solution that is both Hazards of Electromagnetic Radiation to Ordnance (HERO) certified and operates completely within the DoD environment.”

Munitions Services

The Shaw Group announced its Environmental & Infrastructure Group has been awarded a military munitions services contract by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District. Shaw is one of five companies selected for the indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract to support the Department of Defense (DoD) Military Munitions Response Program (MMRP). If all options are exercised, the total program for all contractors will approximate $180 million. The value of Shaw’s contract, which will be included in the company’s first quarter fiscal 2009 backlog of unfilled orders, was not disclosed.

Under its contract, Shaw will perform removal or remedial actions, munitions response and other environmental- and munitions-related services at formerly used defense sites, DoD base realignment and closure sites, active DoD installations and properties adjoining installations. For more than 20 years, Shaw has provided munitions response solutions to the DoD at locations in the U.S., Afghanistan, Iraq, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and Guam.

“Shaw is bringing its strong portfolio of environmental experience and Munitions and Explosives of Concern (MEC) expertise to continue supporting the DoD MMRP,” said George P. Bevan, president of Shaw’s Environmental & Infrastructure Group. “This contract further validates our growth in the MEC marketplace and ability to successfully provide turnkey environmental and MEC solutions to federal clients, while maintaining industry leading safety and quality performance standards.”

Airline Pilots Allow Safety Program to Lapse

The US Airline Pilots Association (USAPA) today announced it has allowed the FAA’s Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) to expire.  The ASAP was established to allow employees to voluntarily report safety problems and incidents without penalty, with certain exceptions including the involvement of alcohol, substance abuse or criminal activities. It was the FAA’s goal that this information-sharing program could help prevent airline accidents by encouraging employees to voluntarily report safety issues without fear of retribution and with immunity. Although immunity provisions are a safety industry standard adopted by such lauded programs as the NASA Safety Reporting System, USAPA believes US Airways’ insistence on diluting these provisions has rendered them effectively useless. The program was originally scheduled to lapse in early 2008 but had been extended repeatedly by USAPA in an attempt to reconcile disagreements regarding the diluted immunity provision.

Earlier this month, the Allied Pilots Association (representing the American Airlines Pilots) and the Air Line Pilots Association (representing Delta and Comair Pilots) also allowed their participation in the ASAP to expire on similar grounds, concerned that their respective airlines were using the program to discipline pilots for inadvertent and minor safety infringements. Those unions too requested that stronger measures be built in to the program to protect the integrity of this important safety program.

“We are extremely disappointed that our patient attempts with Management to protect the integrity of this valuable safety program have failed to produce cooperation. We are left with no choice but to allow the program to lapse. USAPA is committed to a proactive safety mindset. As a component of that effort, we cannot tolerate a dilution of the essential protective provisions that other effective safety reporting programs incorporate,” said Steve Bradford, President of USAPA. “We are troubled by the deteriorating state of labor/management relations that failed to produce any movement on these issues despite repeated extensions of the agreement meant to provide opportunity for teamwork.”

Military Orders the World’s Highest-Resolution Microdisplay

Kopin released that the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC), the U.S. Army’s RDECOM CERDEC Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate (NVESD), and the U.S. Army’s Product Manager Soldier Sensors and Lasers (PM-SSL) have jointly awarded a 3-year, $3.1 million program to Kopin for the development of the world’s highest-resolution microdisplays for use in future vision systems, including integrated day-night weapon sights and solid state image intensifiers.

“The U.S. Government is again relying on Kopin to expand the boundaries of microdisplay resolution and performance by developing an active matrix liquid crystal display (AMLCD) with a 2048 x 2048 monochrome pixel resolution in a 0.99-inch-diagonal form factor,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. John C. C. Fan. “This new display will reflect the strategic research and development initiatives we have undertaken over many years, efforts that have resulted in important innovations including low-voltage architecture, integral heaters, small pixel geometry, and specialized and ruggedized LCD processes. The new 8-inch processing line Kopin developed in partnership with the U.S. Government will be critical in the fabrication of such a high-resolution display.”

“Kopin has a solid history in the development of microdisplay for the U.S. Army’s night vision systems and is a major display supplier for thermal weapon sights and advanced night vision goggles,” the U.S. Army said in a prepared statement. “The new high-resolution display will meet the aggressive imaging system requirements of advanced weapon sight and digital image-intensified vision systems which will be tailored for urban and network battlefield environments.”

$71M Army Task Order

STG announced this week that it has won the Information Assurance (IA) Services for Army Directorates of Information Management (DOIM) Area Processing Center (APC) Installation, Processing Node Migrations Support Task Order. Under this three-year, performance-based task order, which is valued up to $71M, STG will perform IA services for: DoD IA Certification and Accreditation Process (DIACAP), current operations and installations, new operational requirements as they emerge and IA migration services supporting the Army’s consolidated information technology (IT) services for APCs. The task order falls under the Army’s Total Integration and Engineering Services (TEIS) contract.

“Our knowledge of Army engineering initiatives has prepared us to fully understand the customer requirements and design and develop the winning solution,” said Paul Fernandes, STG Chief Operating Officer. “Our TEIS team in Sierra Vista, Arizona, has proven insight into the customer, and we will be building on a capability already proven at NETCOM, ARL and ATEC.”

This effort will consist of IA migration services for the Fort Huachuca, Arizona installation DOIM and many other installation DOIMs across the United States. Work will be performed at posts, camps and stations around the country. To date, this is STG’s largest win under the TEIS contract.

“This win enables us to expand our role in the IA arena and establishes STG as a leader in the forefront of this highly demanding area,” said Simon Lee, STG President and CEO. “Our proven Army experience and past success cements STG’s position as a high-value, low-risk provider of IA services.”

SSAB Reduces Costs and Personnel

The economic downturn appears to be affecting the aerospace market in more ways than sales.  Vendors are now having to cut costs and labor in order to survive.  One industry hit heavily by the recession is the steel sector.  As a consequence of the severe downturn in the steel market and the uncertain prospects for 2009, SSAB is undertaking a cost savings program that is estimated to reduce operating costs by at least SEK 1 billion per year. As part of the program, SSAB intends to reduce its workforce by 1,300. The savings program will be implemented in 2009 and the full impact is expected to be felt in 2010.

“I regret that we must announce this reduction in personnel. But demand for steel has fallen sharply in the autumn and we must adapt our costs to the new conditions,” says SSAB’s CEO, Olof Faxander. “We are doing this to strengthen SSAB’s future competitiveness and will continue to develop the company’s successful niche strategy.” Our expectations regarding prices for the fourth quarter, as stated in the interim report for the third quarter, have not changed. But, as SSAB previously announced (November 19, 2008), demand for steel has fallen rapidly. Demand has fallen in all geographic markets and in all customer segments. This is particularly the case with regard to the transportation, building and infrastructure sectors. It is against this background that SSAB is now implementing measures which are intended to strengthen profitability and cash flow.

The cut-back in personnel affects in total 1,300 people throughout all divisions and subsidiaries . It is intended that the reduction will take place primarily through a reduction in the number of consultants and contractors and a reduction of approximately 1,100 employees in the Group.

In the Strip Products Division this affects approximately 450 persons and in the Plate Division approximately 350.

Operations in the North American Division are in part conducted using third party contractors, and a reduction will take place through a cut-back in the use of approximately 140 such contractors.