Monthly Archives: October 2010

Atlas Air Flies First 747-400 Freighter into New Dubai World Central-Al Maktoum International Airport

Atlas Air confirmed the successful operation on October 14 of the first scheduled freighter service into the new Dubai World Central (DWC)-Al Maktoum International Airport on behalf of its long-standing ACMI customer, Panalpina Group.

Atlas Air’s Boeing 747-400 freighter flight initiates a new controlled airfreight service by Panalpina. The service will include two weekly flights into Dubai as part of a round-the-world rotation connecting Luxembourg, Dubai, South Africa, Hong Kong, North America and Latin America.

In addition, a second Atlas Air 747-400 freighter is helping Panalpina inaugurate new express service between Huntsville, Ala., and São Paulo, Brazil, enhancing connections between Asia, North America and Latin America.

“We are proud to support our long-term customer and facilitate Panalpina’s growth,” said Michael Steen, Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of AAWW. “Our industry-leading service enables Panalpina to offer its customers a unique and highly flexible solution for time-definite airfreight.”

According to Claus Schmidt, Panalpina’s Middle East Area Manager, “Our DWC service is a milestone in Panalpina’s growth plans in the region. It links our new Middle East distribution center at DWC with our network in Europe, Africa, Asia and North America. It also allows us to offer our customers fast turnaround times from cargo arrival to delivery.”

A new multi-year ACMI service agreement between Panalpina and Atlas Air, under which Atlas Air operates two 747-400 freighter aircraft for Panalpina, was announced on September 15, 2010, at the 20th anniversary party of Panalpina’s “Dixie Jet” freighter service connecting Huntsville, Ala., with Europe.

B/E Aerospace First to Offer AmSafe Seatbelt Airbag on Business Jets

AmSafe announced that B/E Aerospace will offer side-facing divans equipped with the AmSafe Seatbelt Airbag to the business jet market. Current cabin interior arrangements for business jets do not allow full occupancy of the side-facing divans for take-off and landing when a monument is installed forward of the divan. At least one seat position must remain vacant for occupant head protection and body contact avoidance. These divans are installed on a large number of mid- and large-sized business aircraft. B/E Aerospace and AmSafe jointly performed developmental tests on side-facing divans equipped with the AmSafe Seatbelt Airbag. This testing proved that the use of the airbag minimized occupant injury in the event of a survivable accident with all divan positions occupied.

“The Seatbelt Airbag is the most practical and cost-effective solution to reduce neck loading and provide head and body-to-body contact protection for side-facing divan occupants. It allows for more flexibility in cabin layouts and demonstrates our proactive commitment to address side-facing occupant protection,” says Chuck Barresi, vice president / general manager, B/E Aerospace, Business Jet Group.

“By equipping side-facing divans with the AmSafe Seatbelt Airbag, business jet passengers will enjoy an additional level of protection that is offered on nearly 50,000 seats on commercial and general aviation aircraft around the world,” said Bill Hagan, president of AmSafe Industries. “The AmSafe Seatbelt Airbag enables all positions on the divan to be occupied for take-off and landing. With every major manufacturer offering aircraft models that include side-facing divans, we anticipate a rapid adoption industry-wide.”

In service since 2001, the AmSafe Seatbelt Airbag is a self-contained, modular restraint system designed to protect occupants from serious head-impact injury and enhance one’s ability to exit an aircraft following a survivable accident. Integrated into the shoulder harness for side-facing seats and the lap belt portion of the seatbelt for many forward-facing applications, the AmSafe Seatbelt Airbag inflates in less than 90 milliseconds and, unlike automotive airbags, safely deploys up and away from the occupant, ensuring safety for passengers of all ages.

In general aviation applications, AmSafe Seatbelt Airbags have saved lives and prevented serious injuries. The increased protection afforded to passengers is made possible through mature technology adopted from the automotive industry. The Seatbelt Airbag system is now standard equipment on 80 percent of new single engine general aviation aircraft and available as an aftermarket option for many models.

Nextant Aerospace Announces 40 Aircraft Sale

Nextant Aerospace announced that they have secured an order for 40 400XT aircraft from Flight Options. These aircraft will be delivered over the next 5 years and include Nextant’s comprehensive Power by the Hour Engine and Tip to Tail Aircraft Maintenance warranty.

“We are excited to announce our first large fleet purchase of the 400XT aircraft that is valued at over $150 Million over the next five years. The delivery schedule includes 8 confirmed aircraft to be delivered throughout 2011 which books all production slots for the year. While our certification is progressing on schedule, we continue to be impressed with how the aircraft is performing. We see the 400XT as being a perfect fit in both the fractional and card program market,” said James Miller, President of Nextant Aerospace.

The Nextant Aerospace 400XT significantly improves the extremely popular Hawker Beechjet 400A/XP by extending its range more than 50% to over 2,000 nautical miles (4 PAX NBAA IFR) while reducing operating costs by 30%. The 400XT is equipped with a Pro Line 21 upgrade that seamlessly manages the Williams FJ44-3AP Full Authority Digital Engine control (FADEC) and enables future NEXTGEN avionics equipage requirements. Nextant provides service and support for the 400XT Power by the Hour Engine and Tip to Tail Aircraft warranty program through their dedicated service center network with locations at Cleveland, Birmingham, Teterboro, West Palm Beach and Las Vegas.

CSC Wins Missile Defense Agency Operations Support Contract

CSC announced that it is one of three companies awarded the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) operations support indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract. The contract, which was awarded during CSC’s fiscal 2011 second quarter, has a five-year period of performance and an estimated total value of $270 million for all firms.

Under the terms of the contract, CSC will compete for task orders to provide administrative advisory and assistance services through the Office of the Chief of Staff, MDA, for the Ballistic Missile Defense System. Work under these contracts will be performed in Huntsville, Ala.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Dahlgren, Va.; the National Capital Region; and other locations.

“We look forward to playing a key role in the Missile Defense Agency’s goal of delivering unified and integrated engineering and support services for the Ballistic Missile Defense System,” said Austin Yerks, president of CSC’s North American Public Sector Defense Group.

This contract falls under the Missile Defense Agency Engineering and Support Services initiative, which aims to consolidate resources, enhance the sharing of expertise and knowledge, centralize the acquisition of support services manpower in a more efficient manner and reduce overhead costs enterprise-wide. In addition to this operations support contract, CSC also recently won an IDIQ contract for MDA infrastructure and deployment services.

BAE Systems to Modernize Defense Intelligence Agency Workstations

Last week BAE Systems announced the award of an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) which will modernize the Agency’s Department of Defense Intelligence Information System trusted computer workstations by creating a worldwide virtualized desktop infrastructure for DIA users and intelligence analysts. The contract has a $300 million ordering ceiling over a five-year period, including option years.

As the prime contractor for the Next Generation Desktop Environment (NGDE), BAE Systems will create a multiple security level, multi-intelligence analyst environment that maintains DIA’s compliance with DoD standards for intelligence systems and applications.

“BAE Systems is proud to provide the tools necessary to help DIA further its goal of making military intelligence analysts even more productive,” said Rick Schieffelin, vice president and general manager of Mission Solutions for BAE Systems. “It is our hope that BAE Systems’ Next Generation Desktop Environment will also set the stage for other members of the intelligence community to have access to a secure, flexible and affordable solution.”

The upgraded workstations created by BAE Systems are intended to provide analysts with high-performance access to critical applications requiring less maintenance and offering greater control over software licenses, versions and updates. In order to achieve these benefits, complex 3D graphics, computationally demanding software tools, and software — such as streaming video — will be accessed through a server rather than maintaining software on individual desktops. Additionally, NGDE workstations also leverage Trusted Computing Solution’s SecureOffice® Trusted Thin Client® cross-domain solution, allowing users to access appropriate applications and data from different security levels.

This five-year contract is an extension of the NGDE pilot phase conducted earlier in 2010 that successfully deployed and evaluated a number of workstations worldwide in a fully operational environment.

TSI Wins $5.5 Million NASA Contract

The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) has awarded Techno-Sciences a five-year, $5.5 million multiple-award, IDIQ (indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity) contract to provide technical support, maintenance, and upgrades for the Distress Alerting Satellite System (DASS) ground processor station at the Search And Rescue Center at GSFC.

The NASA DASS ground processor system installed at GSFC, a product of TSi, is the world’s first and only operational satellite based ground station system capable of providing accurate locations of emergency distress radio beacons within the first second of transmission. The DASS design utilizes simultaneous data received from multiple GPS satellites to pinpoint beacon locations immediately after activation. This unprecedented speed to locate dramatically reduces the delay in starting a rescue operation and significantly improves the probability that a life will be saved. Other current distress beacon localization systems available on the market require substantially more time, sometimes as much as hours, to process received data and produce accurate beacon location estimates. Given this leap-ahead performance, it is expected that this DASS technology will revolutionize the Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking (SARSAT) market.

All work under this contract effort will be performed at GSFC in Greenbelt or at TSi offices in Beltsville, MD. “We are honored to provide our SARSAT services and expertise to GSFC”, said Chris LaVigna, President, Techno-Sciences, Inc. “This award demonstrates our capabilities and understanding of what it takes to execute life-cycle support processes and to manage and perform advanced system design programs. For almost 30 years, TSi has been providing industry leading technically advanced ground station equipment, support and maintenance services to a global customer base. These TSi systems have saved over 14,000 lives worldwide over the past 27 years.

U.S. Navy, Department of Interior, and U.S. Marshals Service Select FedBid for Reverse Auction Services

FedBid announced that U.S. Navy, U.S. Department of the Interior, and U.S. Marshals Service all have awarded multi-year contracts to the company to provide reverse auction services in support of the agencies’ acquisition efforts.

FedBid has worked with the Navy for several years. Both the U.S. Marshals Service and the Department of the Interior are new FedBid customers that recently completed pilots to determine the efficacy of using the online marketplace in support of organizational procurement. The contracts will enable FedBid to provide comprehensive reverse auction services through the FedBid online marketplace, providing valuable process efficiencies, transparency and cost savings for commodity and simple services buys.

“The Navy, Interior Department and U.S. Marshals Service have very different missions, but they share a common goal in acquisition management: to be prudent and effective stewards of the taxpayers’ money,” said Glenn Richardson, FedBid President. “FedBid’s online reverse auction marketplace helps government agencies reduce procurement costs while improving operational efficiencies. Whether an agency is outfitting Navy sailors, park rangers, or Federal law enforcement officers, FedBid gives federal acquisition managers access to tens of thousands of suppliers competing to meet their agency’s needs. The range of support services we provide before, during and after the reverse auction process greatly simplifies the buying process and enables procurement professionals to spend more time applying their expertise to mission critical work.”

U.S. Army selects ITT for $1.4 billion Kuwait facilities operations contract

ITT has been awarded a contract by the U.S. Army Rock Island Contracting Center to provide comprehensive support services for all U.S. Army facilities in Kuwait. The award is for one year with four one-year options and is worth an estimated $1.4 billion with all options exercised.

Under the Kuwait Base Operations & Security Support Services contract, ITT will provide the full spectrum of logistics, security, transportation, life support and facilities services at Camp Arifjan, Camp Buehring, Camp Virginia and a number of other critical military installations in the Kuwait area of responsibility. This represents the fourth major facilities operations contract awarded to ITT in 2010 and solidifies the company’s role as a premier provider of base operations services in the Middle East.

“We understand the criticality of the U.S. military mission in Kuwait and appreciate the Army’s acknowledgement that ITT is the best company to handle its complex needs in the region,” said Michael Gulino, president and general manager of ITT Systems. “We have a reputation for providing world-class facilities operations support around the globe, and that is exactly what our customers in Kuwait can expect from us going forward.”

Work will be performed by ITT’s Systems business unit, based in Colorado Springs, Colo., a global leader in providing maintenance, sustainment and operations support for U.S. government facilities, vehicles, equipment, ranges, communication networks and information systems.

iRobot Receives $14 Million Order from the U.S. Army

iRobot announced this past week that it has received a $14 million order from the U.S. Army TACOM Contracting Center in Warren, Mich. The order calls for the delivery of iRobot Aware 2 robot intelligence software and spare parts for iRobot PackBot tactical mobile robots. This order will allow the Army to upgrade its existing iRobot 510 FasTac fleet to the iRobot 510 PackBot multi-mission robot.

This is the 20th order under the $286 million Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) xBot contract. The current total contract value now stands at approximately $143 million.

The iRobot 510 PackBot multi-mission robot performs bomb disposal and other dangerous missions for warfighters and is being used in Iraq and Afghanistan. Powered by iRobot Aware 2 robot intelligence software, 510 PackBot is a highly adaptable robot. The robot’s modular digital architecture accommodates a wide variety of interchangeable payloads that enable a wide variety of missions. 510 PackBot can be reconfigured quickly, based on the needs of the mission and the operator’s preferences. iRobot Aware 2 software also allows for the implementation of assistive autonomous operations, reducing operator workload and providing increased situational awareness.

“We are pleased to be providing these important software upgrades and spares to the Army,” said Robert Moses, president of iRobot’s Government and Industrial Robots division. “This will allow a more standardized fleet of robots that can accept additional upgrades in the future as new payloads are developed and autonomous capabilities increase. The order also ensures that these robots are properly maintained and ready to be deployed on the battlefield where they are saving lives every day.”

iRobot has delivered more than 3,500 unmanned ground vehicles to the military and civil defense forces worldwide.

Space Shuttle Flag Flies Atop Space Needle in Seattle

We have some fun Friday news for you today. The Museum of Flight and representatives from the Washington state tourism industry raised a specially created Space Shuttle flag to the top of the Space Needle to demonstrate statewide tourism support for bringing one of the three retiring NASA Space Shuttles to Washington state.

Joining Interim Museum of Flight President Mike Hallman and retired astronaut and Wings Over Washington Executive Director Dr. Bonnie J. Dunbar at the flag raising event were representatives from Washington State Tourism and the Convention and Visitors Bureaus of Bellingham, Kitsap Peninsula, Seattle, Seattle Southside, Spokane Valley, Tacoma and Yakima Valley.

In the news conference held just before the flag was raised, Dr. Dunbar, who is leading the effort to bring a Space Shuttle to Washington state, spoke about the importance of the Shuttle exhibit as a symbol of Washington state’s position as a worldwide leader in aerospace education and engineering innovation.

“A Space Shuttle at the Museum of Flight will help to educate the public about why and how we explore the worlds around us, will encourage the current generation of engineers as they design and build new spacecraft for that exploration, and will inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers to continue exploring the frontiers of space. The Space Shuttle, housed in its new Space Gallery, and co-located with the new Aviation High School will be a one of a kind lighthouse for STEM education. Exploration is part of human nature, and has always paved the way for new and significant scientific discoveries,” said Dr. Dunbar. “But education will be the engine to enable it.”

During the news conference, representatives from the Washington state tourism bureau explained how a Space Shuttle would not only give Washington state a one-of-a-kind educational tool, but that it would also boost tourism and the economy statewide.

“In addition to inspiring our youth and growing our future workforce, bringing a Space Shuttle to Washington state will offer a major boost to the state economy,” said Tom Norwalk, president and CEO of Seattle’s Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We are proud to help promote this through our tourism bureaus statewide.”

“The excitement generated by the acquisition of a Space Shuttle would attract many more visitors, of all ages, from all over the world and would increase revenue for hotels, restaurants and other businesses throughout Washington,” said John Cooper, president and CEO of the Yakima Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau and current president of the Washington State Destination Marketing Organization (WSDMO). “We are very excited to be part of this effort.”

In June, the Museum of Flight broke ground on the first phase of its new 15,500-square-foot “Human Space Flight Gallery.” The Space Gallery, costing approximately $12 million, will be located on the west side of East Marginal Way, across the street from the main museum campus. The State legislature earlier approved $3 million in capital support to build the Gallery, with the remaining funds coming from private foundations and individual donations. While a decision has not yet been made on where these Shuttles will retire, having a climate-controlled building in place for the Space Shuttle is among the requirements that NASA established in its 2008 and 2009 Requests for Information (RFI) to the public.

The final decision from NASA on which museums around the nation will be awarded a Shuttle is dependent on several criteria in addition to having a climate-controlled building. NASA’s principle focus is on K-12 education and inspiration to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) careers. Other requirements for the applying institutions include a commitment to educate the public through demonstrated experience in exhibit and display development, a sufficiently long enough runway on which to land the 747 that will carry the Shuttles to their ultimate destinations, and being located near a large metropolitan area. “We believe we are uniquely qualified in all of these areas,” Dunbar said.