2014-08-29 The F-35 enterprise involves building new hangars as well as building out a new fleet.
In part, it has been a long time since the US actually built out a new fleet of a large number of aircraft; and even longer when it has built a set of new hangars and infrastructure for the air fleet.
The most recent contract worth a total of $240 million, was awarded by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command.
In an article by Richard Tomkins of UPI published on August 27, 2014:
The U.S. Navy has given five companies indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity awards for hanger construction work related to the F-35 aircraft.
The hanger project, worth a total of $240 million, was awarded by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command.
Work will involve general building type projects — new construction, renovation, alteration, demolition and repair work — for hangar, aircraft traffic control, infrastructure, administrative, training, dormitory and community support facilities.
Recipients of the three-year contract: Carothers Construction Inc. of Mississippi, Archer Western Construction of llinois, Brasfield and Gorrie General Contractors of Alabama Florida’s Hensel Phelps Construction Co., and M.A. Mortenson Construction Co. of Minnesota.
The Navy said Carothers Construction has been awarded the initial task order of the contract for the design and construction of an aircraft maintenance hangar at the Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort, S.C. The order is worth $34.4 million.
“The new hangar is designed to support and accommodate the F-35’s unique operational and maintenance requirements,” said Troy Ward, MCAS Beaufort Site Activation Task Force program manager.
“The existing hangars were designed and built to accommodate legacy aircraft, almost 60 years ago.
They have reached the end of their useful life and renovating or expanding the existing hangars would not be cost effective.”
Earlier we published one of the few pieces on the F-35 hangar process.
In that article published in the Fall of 2012 we discussed the hangar program with Phil Klendworth, head of site activation for the F-35 at Lockheed Martin.
SLD: Could you discuss the advantage of getting a common design when you come to construction and how that saves money and increase efficiency realistically? What’s the real advantage?
Klendworth: Savings and advantages are recognized in many different ways. Design packages take less time to build, the design inspection goes faster because the basic requirements are being electronically brought over and the construction cost can be lower when you have actual cost from like facilities to challenge with. For the squadron person he or she can walk into any JSF hangar and find common services (power, air, ALIS), shops and offices that are similar to their own facilities and operations.
It also allows for industry to compete on JSF projects across the United States much easier and capitalize on economy of scale.
Having a basic design makes it easy to estimate around the country and globe because there is standard labor and material cost factor that can be applied based on regional areas to give you a rough order of magnitude cost estimate for long range financial budget planning.
SLD: Have you already seen cost savings from the replication process?
Klendworth: It has already been realized at Yuma.
The cost estimate for the second hangar was less than the first. The span time to construct has been reduced significantly and we have been able to capture functionality improvements from the Lesson Learned database in the second hangar design.
SLD: My understanding is that a lot of the legacy equipment used in a hanger to support an aircraft has been eliminated by the F-35. Is that correct?
Klendworth: That has been the JSF approach. It’s more cost effective to put permanent installed systems that are support three or four stations compared to having three or four replicated sets of support equipment in a hangar.
SLD: The next USMC F-35 facility will be built on the East Coast, at Beaufort Air Station. Have you seen cross learning between Yuma and Beaufort?
Klendworth: The facility infrastructure at Beaufort is very similar to the construction of the facilities in Yuma. The hangar that is being constructed at Beaufort right now has a mission planning area that is very similar to Yuma and other basing locations.
We took the basic common solution set for Yuma, laid it into Beaufort and we’re also laying it into a third location for the Marine Corps.
In general, we’ve established the core knowledge base for building the infrastructure and we are exchanging that information with our government counterparts at the Joint Program Office and so we have a collaborative team of both government and contractor personnel that take these designs and advertise and implement them at multiple basing locations throughout the world.
We currently have 22 different basing locations spread throughout the world that are using the basic core set of designs for hangars, training facilities, and off aircraft shop type of support.