Suozzi: Aerospace firms must market themselves more effectively

Suozzi: Aerospace firms must market themselves more effectively
The Next Space Race
Robert Botticelli Looks to Boost LI’s aerospace and defense industries
U.S. Navy Awards BAE Systems $139 Million Contract to Upgrade USS Tortuga

NORFOLK, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–BAE Systems has received a $139.8 million contract from the U.S. Navy to modernize the dock landing ship USS Tortuga (LSD 46). The Tortuga will undergo 16 months of restorative work at the company’s shipyard in Norfolk, Virginia, the ship’s homeport. The contract includes options that, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value to $183.7 million.

BAE Systems will begin working aboard the 610-foot-long Whidbey Island-class ship in January 2018 and will perform a combination of maintenance, modernization, and repair. The availability is expected to be completed in May 2019 with the reactivation of the ship for operational service.

“Our employees and subcontractors look forward to working with the Navy to perform the deep modernization work to ensure the Tortuga remains a very capable amphibious combatant ship,” said Dave Thomas, vice president and general manager of BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair. “Our previous experience with the ship and the outstanding skills of our employees and subcontractors will help us to return the ship back to the fleet in great shape.”

The USS Tortuga was commissioned in November 1990. The ship has been part of the Navy’s LSD/CG-class modernization program since 2016, when the ship underwent several modernization industrial periods and obsolete and legacy equipment and structures were removed. BAE Systems’ Norfolk shipyard was awarded a $17.7 million contract in May 2016, at the start of Tortuga’s modernization process. The new contract will involve the installation of upgraded systems and other improvements aboard the ship to extend its service life beyond 40 years.

With receipt of the Tortuga contract and other smaller maintenance contracts, BAE Systems is expected to increase its workforce in Norfolk by nearly 100 full-time positions before the start of the Tortuga availability. The shipyard currently employs about 870 people.

BAE Systems is a leading provider of ship repair, maintenance, modernization, conversion, and overhaul services for the Navy, other government agencies, and select commercial customers. The company operates five full-service shipyards in Alabama, California, Florida, Hawaii, and Virginia, and offers a highly skilled, experienced workforce, eight dry docks, and significant pier space and ship support services.

LI Aerospace Firms Look for Share of Higher Defense Budget

The Trump administration’s plan to increase defense and security spending by $54 billion presents Long Island aerospace companies with an “opportunity we don’t want to miss,” a longtime executive said Tuesday.

To capitalize on the opening, Peter Rettaliata, former president and CEO of Hauppauge-based Air Industries Group, said the aerospace companies must press their agenda with the region’s politicians.

“Politics and promotion will be the most important things for us now,” he said. “Aerospace is a business seeped in politics.”

Rettaliata said that a unified effort by the Island’s defense companies is essential. He spoke at a meeting of the Aerospace and Defense Diversification Alliance in Peacetime Transition, or ADDAPT, a nonprofit that promotes regional defense and aerospace companies. The event was held at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City.

“You can speak much more powerfully as a group,” said Rettaliata, chairman emeritus of ADDAPT. “[You must] support incumbent office holders.”

Another speaker at the ADDAPT event, investment banker and consultant William Alderman of Danbury, Connecticut-based Alderman & Company, said that the expected “bump” in defense spending under Trump will come in the wake of a steady slide since 1950 when calculated as a percentage of gross domestic product.

In 1988 U.S. defense spending amounted to 5.6 percent of gross domestic product, according to data from the World Bank. That declined to 3.3 percent in 2015, according to the data. The world as a whole, by comparison, spent an average of 3.4 percent of countries’ gross domestic product in 1988 and 2.3 percent in 2015.

Rettaliata also proposed tighter integration among Long Island’s small defense and aerospace contractors as a way of offering prime contractors like Boeing Co. a suite of products and services that simplify the subcontracting process.

“This is a region,” he said. “That’s how these [prime manufacturers] think.”

From a political perspective, Rettaliata said, the aerospace industry is valuable as a generator of good jobs and as one of the few industries that produces a surplus in the U.S. balance of trade.

CPI Aero Awarded $15.8 Million Multi-Year Contract by Lockheed Martin for F-35 Canopy Drive Shaft Assemblies

Edgewood, NY — CPI Aerostructures, Inc. (“CPI Aero®”) (NYSE American:CVU) today announced that it has been awarded a $15.8 million multi-year contract by Lockheed Martin Company (NYSE: LMT) to manufacture canopy actuation drive shaft assemblies for the F-35 Lightning II, the world’s most advanced multirole fighter.

Under this new contract with Lockheed Martin’s Aeronautics division based in Fort Worth, TX, CPI Aero will provide four different drive shaft assemblies used within the actuation system that opens and closes the cockpit canopy of all three variants of the aircraft: the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant, the F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) variant, and the F-35C carrier variant (CV). Deliveries are expected to begin during the third quarter of 2018 and continue through December 31, 2022.

This is CPI Aero’s second contract with Lockheed Martin for structural assemblies on the F-35. In May 2017, CPI Aero made its first delivery of lock assemblies for the arresting gear door of the F-35A CTOL variant under a multi-year contract awarded in 2015 estimated at up to $10.6 million.

The F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole fighters designed to perform ground attack, aerial reconnaissance, and air defense missions. The US Department of Defense plans to acquire over 2,400 F-35’s by 2034 and eleven other countries also have plans to acquire the aircraft.

Douglas McCrosson, President and CEO of CPI Aero, stated, “This is an important win for CPI Aero as it increases CPI Aero content on the F-35, our nation’s largest military aircraft program, and further strengthens our ties to Lockheed, the largest defense prime contractor in the world. Coming on the heels of our first F-35 assembly delivery, I am confident that Lockheed Martin views us as having attributes that define successful defense contracting: quality, performance and affordability.”

About CPI Aero
CPI Aero is a U.S. manufacturer of structural assemblies and value-added kits for fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft in both the commercial aerospace and defense markets. CPI Aero also manufactures pod-based, airborne avionics systems for Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), Electronic Warfare (EW) and Radar end-markets. Within the global aerostructure supply chain, CPI Aero is either a Tier 1 supplier to aircraft OEMs or a Tier 2 subcontractor to major Tier 1 manufacturers. CPI also is a prime contractor to the U.S. Department of Defense, primarily the Air Force. In conjunction with its assembly operations, CPI Aero provides engineering, program management, supply chain management, and MRO services. CPI Aero is included in the Russell Microcap® Index.


Joseph Bryant, Precipart’s director of manufacturing, was quoted extensively in a Newsday special section discussing STEM Education, and the steps taken by leading business and educational institutions to avert a shortage of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) workers in the years ahead.

According to Newsday, 2.4 million new U.S.-based manufacturing workers will be needed to work in science and engineering industries in the next decade. Those workers possessing up to date computer skills will find themselves in demand. Currently, according to Mr. Bryant, “there is a greater need for programmers as we retire manual machines and replace them with Computer Numerical Control machines and robotics.”

Those workers with other (non-programming) STEM skills will also likely attract the continuing interest of employers. Mr. Bryant noted that “because we are growing rapidly, we find ourselves seeking support staff and interns with STEM degrees or credentials in information technology, accounting, digital marketing and film.”

The article highlights Precipart’s partnerships with local educational institutions on Long Island to identify and train future manufacturing workers. Such partnerships let the company find “employees in application software and computer science as well as the mechanical, industrial, biomedical, biomechanical and manufacturing engineering fields.” Partner institutions include the BOCES Eastern Long Island Academy of Applied Technology STEM high school in Patchogue, and Suffolk County Community College.


CHARLOTTE, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Curtiss-Wright Corporation (NYSE: CW) today announced that it has been awarded a contract valued in excess of $49 million to provide valves for the U.S. Navy’s Virginia-class submarines and Ford-class aircraft carriers. The award was received from Bechtel Plant Machinery, Inc. (BPMI) to support ship construction and spare parts procurement. The contract includes FY17 orders for two ship sets of submarine propulsion plant valves and a FY17 order for aircraft carrier propulsion plant valves.

“We are pleased to have been awarded this important naval defense contract, which reflects Curtiss-Wright’s long-standing relationships and continued support of these critical U.S. naval defense platforms,” said David C. Adams, Chairman and CEO of Curtiss-Wright Corporation. “Since the inception of nuclear powered ships, Curtiss-Wright’s commitment to providing the most advanced and reliable technologies has ensured our continued participation in these significant defense programs, which continue to receive strong Congressional support. Further, our innovative products and reliable solutions support the U.S. Navy’s cost and delivery targets, while reinforcing the fleet readiness commitments for both platforms.”

Curtiss-Wright is performing the work at its facility in East Farmingdale, N.Y., a business unit of Curtiss-Wright’s Industrial division within the Commercial/Industrial segment. Engineering and manufacturing has commenced and will continue through 2021.

For over 60 years, Curtiss-Wright has ensured safe, reliable operations by supplying innovative, high-performance products for every nuclear submarine and aircraft carrier commissioned by the U.S. Navy. In addition, Curtiss-Wright technologies, such as power-dense motors and enhanced valve designs, enable more efficient operations, reduce manpower and cost, and increase safety. For more information on Curtiss-Wright’s Industrial division products, please visit

About Curtiss-Wright Corporation

Curtiss-Wright Corporation (NYSE:CW) is a global innovative company that delivers highly engineered, critical function products and services to the commercial, industrial, defense and energy markets. Building on the heritage of Glenn Curtiss and the Wright brothers, Curtiss-Wright has a long tradition of providing reliable solutions through trusted customer relationships. The company employs approximately 8,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit

Frequency Electronics Inc. Announces 40th Anniversary of NASA Voyager Spacecraft Launch and Accelerated Development of Next Generation Space Timing System

MITCHEL FIELD, N.Y., Aug. 21, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Frequency Electronics, Inc. (NASDAQ:FEIM) celebrates the 40th anniversary of NASA’s launch, exactly 40 years ago yesterday, of the Voyager 2 spacecraft, hurtling through unexplored space, now almost 11 billion miles from Earth. Its precision timing system, designed and manufactured by Frequency Electronics, Inc. (FEI), is still keeping time so that NASA can communicate with the spacecraft and its sensitive electronics can continue to gather information about our universe. Joel Girsky, Chairman of the Board of Frequency Electronics said “Forty-four years ago, NASA approached FEI for state-of-the-art master timing clocks for the Voyager Satellites. Little did FEI know that they would be the heart of the longest operating and farthest reaching man-made objects in our solar system.”

Going back 55 years, since FEI’s first delivery of clocks for the NIMBUS and TIROS weather satellites in 1962, the company has delivered over 5000 complex assemblies for over 1000 satellites, consisting of Quartz and Atomic Clocks, Timing Systems, DC/DC Converters, Distribution Modules, Up/Down Converters, Microwave Sources, C and Ka Band Receivers and LNAs for US Government/DOD and Commercial end users. Our systems have visited all of our sun’s known planets, landed on the moon, aided in viewing the far reaches of our universe with the timing system for the Hubble, searched for new planets on the Kepler Observatory and assisted manned space exploration on Apollo, Space Shuttle and International Space Station.

FEI, known for its quartz crystal clocks, has been at the forefront of developing Rubidium (Rb) atomic clock timing systems as well. Besides its longest running quartz crystal clocks in space, FEI also has the longest running Rubidium clocks in space, used to aid our country’s warfighters since the mid 1990s.

FEI’s heritage technologies developed for space are being used for High Temperature Down-Hole oil platforms, Homeland Security, Cellular, Command/Control Secure Communications markets, GPS time and frequency satellite and terrestrial systems and other applications such as SAASM MPE-S GB-GRAM, SAASM Force 22E MRU, or C/A GPS-referenced designs. FEI’s performance is unparalleled and customers from all over the world come to FEI for its product innovation and reliability. New compensation technologies have been patented and delivered to our customers for “g” (acceleration) environments, where this has greatly enhanced the performance of timing systems for use in aerospace (UAV’s, space, enhanced performance of satellites, compensating for solar panel/reaction wheel/thruster micro-vibration) and all mobile platforms.

Continuing in FEI’s 55 year tradition of partnerships and outstanding leadership in space innovation, FEI announced today it is accelerating the development of a breakthrough technology, Optically Pumped Rubidium Atomic Clocks, for next generation timing systems in space. This new technology provides more than a 10 to 1 improvement in performance.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

About Frequency Electronics
Frequency Electronics, Inc. is a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of high precision timing, frequency control and synchronization products for space and terrestrial applications. Frequency’s products are used in satellite payloads and in other commercial, government and military systems including C4ISR markets, missiles, UAVs, aircraft, GPS, secure radios, energy exploration and wireline and wireless communication networks. Frequency has received over 100 awards of excellence for achievements in providing high performance electronic assemblies for over 150 space and DOD programs. The Company invests significant resources in research and development and strategic acquisitions world-wide to expand its capabilities and markets.

Telephonics Awarded ARPDD Retrofit Program

Telephonics Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Griffon Corporation (NYSE: GFF), announced today that it has been awarded year two of a multi-year, Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) production contract valued at approximately $37M from Lockheed Martin for AN/APS-153(V)1 radar retrofit kits with Automatic Radar Periscope Detection and Discrimination (ARPDD) capability. As part of the U.S. Navy’s ARPDD Retrofit Program – Phase Three, year two, this award is a follow-on phase to a previously awarded multi-year contract. Telephonics ARPDD systems will be installed on the U.S. Navy’s MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopters, providing advanced maritime and littoral surveillance.

The AN/APS-153(V)1 is the successor to the AN/APS-147 and in addition to ARPDD, provides other advanced search capabilities including small target detection, Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR) imaging and a fully integrated Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) interrogator. Initial deliveries of the retrofit kits begin in spring 2018 and kits include one Radar Data Processor (RDP), one Antenna Pedestal (AP) and one Receiver Transmitter (RT).

“Telephonics is extremely proud to continue our support of this critical naval program, providing a surveillance system designed to meet the demanding mission needs of U.S. Navy crews around the globe,” said Mr. Kevin McSweeney, President of Telephonics. “The AN/APS-153(V)1 will provide enhanced capabilities to the Navy, enabling increased maritime and littoral domain awareness in all types of weather conditions, both day and night.”

For more information about Telephonics and its surveillance technologies, please contact Lisa Ahrens at or visit
About Telephonics

Telephonics, founded in 1933, is recognized globally as a leading provider of highly sophisticated intelligence, surveillance and communications solutions that are deployed across a wide range of land, sea and air applications. Telephonics designs, develops, manufactures and provides logistical support and lifecycle sustainment services to defense, aerospace and commercial customers worldwide.