Connecting Aerospace Interests

Aerospace and Defense Leaders Pack Northwest Symposium

158 attendees from 104 companies packed the Northwest Aerospace and Defense Symposium at Joint Base Lewis-McChord to hear the latest news about military aircraft production, UAV trends and the growth of the Washington State space industry.   The event, co-hosted by PNAA and PNDC, featured 25 experts on topics ranging from UAVs to Cyber security.

Aerospace Analyst David Fitzpatrick kicked off the event with a global look at how innovation changes industries and what companies can do to be part of that change.  He noted, contrary to industry trends, “No one can cut their way to long term aerospace industry success.”  He said affordability is not what moves industry ahead.  “It’s innovation.”  

Fitzpatrick provided examples of how large companies with monopolistic attitudes lost market share to resourceful and innovative smaller companies with big dreams.  He discussed how SpaceX rose from obscurity to become one of the world’s leading space innovators by challenging the status quo.  During his presentation, he detailed the seven steps of successful innovators:
•    Recognizing opportunity
•    Challenging industry structure
•    Investing and persisting
•    Letting go of the past
•    Innovating while innovating
•    Having the right resources
•    Never stop innovating

DoD Budget 2016
Fitzpatrick was followed by Aerospace Analyst Ron Stearns who discussed Department of Defense Budget Themes as they related to Unmanned Systems, Space and Maritime Domain Awareness.  

StearnsIn particular, Stearns examined 2016 Army, Navy and Air Force programs and found that DoD opportunities are flowing back to traditional primes.  In addition, he noted that a number of programs have been reduced through sequestration or are nearing production sunsets.

In regard to Unmanned Aerial Systems, Stearns said that the interest and capital injected by non-traditional aerospace companies like could be short-lived if significant delays in National Airspace Integration (NAS) extend beyond 2015. Investment and market creation could be affected since investors and business dislike uncertainty.

In contrast to the UAV market, Stearns said that, “Space is more open than ever.”  Communications, Navigation and IR Signatures remain key spaceborne capabilities.  Beginning in 2016, it appears spending on Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles (EELV), GPS, Wide-band Satcom, and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) should see an increase in DoD spending.

The Poseidon Program and Military Surveillance Aircraft
DetwilerJD Detwiler, Director of Business Development Maritime Programs at Boeing Military Aircraft, reviewed Boeing’s Poseidon and MSA programs during lunch.  The Poseidon, he said, is the world’s most advanced anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare aircraft.  It includes an integrated weapons and communication systems and has been referred to as ‘The Game Changer.’  It is a militarized version of the Boeing 737-800 with 737-900 based wings.

The fuselage is similar, but longer and stronger than its commercial version.  While Boeing routinely builds one commercial aircraft in 10 days, the beefed up P-8 takes two months to complete.  Final assembly for the aircraft takes place in Renton.
The P-8 has an impressive production record.  According to Detwiler, all aircraft deliveries are on or ahead of schedule with 24 P-8As to US Navy and 6 P-8Is to India. 

At the Dubai Airshow in 2013, Boeing announced the Bombardier Challenger 605 business jet as the platform for its newest Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance program.  According to Boeing, Challenger 605 has the power, payload capacity, range, speed and endurance for MSA missions including anti-piracy, coastal and border security and long-range search and rescue.
•    1st flight of Demonstrator – Feb. 28, 2014
•    Mission systems and sensors installed at Boeing facility in Seattle
•    Debuted at Farnborough Air Show July 2014
•    Initial ground and flight testing complete
•    Customer visits and demonstration flights ongoing

Washington’s growing space business
Roger Myers, Executive Director of Advanced In-Space Programs at Aerojet Rocketdyne was noticeably proud of Washington State’s contributions to the space industry – noting that technology and parts from local companies “have been to every planet in the solar system.”

MyersThat’s quite an accomplishment and one that he would like to see continue.  According to estimates provided by the Governor’s Office of Aerospace, Washington’s small but growing  Space Industry will see a 13% increase in the coming years. 

Today, Washington State has almost 30 companies in the Space Business.  12 of those companies have deep roots in Space building rockets and satellites, or taking part in commercial crew transport and space tourism.  SpaceX, Boeing, Blue Origin, Vulcan, and Aerojet Rocketdyne quickly come to mind.

However, many smaller suppliers that traditionally have built parts for commercial and military aircraft have ventured into space and now have significant space programs with Global Positioning/Mapping (GPS), Earth Observations and Satellite communications.

Many of these businesses have come together to create the Washington State Space Coalition (WSSC) whose mission is to  build upon our state’s century-old legacy of aerospace innovation and excellence by creating a community in which Washington companies and other entities are engaged in the exploration and utilization of space.  WSSC meets three times a year at the Museum of Flight and hopes to influence industry support at the local, state and national levels as well as to assist the state to recruit new space-related companies to Washington. 

Some of recent events in Washington Space:
•    SpaceX moved into town
     o    Focused on small satellite development and manufacturing for the communications market
•    Planetary Resources launched its first satellites
     o    Its success will validate their design
•    Blue Origin launched to the edge of space
     o    Very successful flight to 58 miles
•    Andrews Space secured $17M in new funding
     o    Developing new small stage for small satellite deliveries
•    Aerojet Rocketdyne won two new development contracts and secured new production efforts
     o    In-space propulsion
•    At least 3 WA state companies had major roles in NASA’s Orion test flight last December

Military Transport Market will see production surges
Jones 2Katrina Jones of Aerospace Analytics wrapped up the first day with a forecast of the Military Transport Market through 2025.  Jones foresees a production surge with new entrants that will challenge C-130s in a hotly contested international market.  Aging fleets, she says, are ripe for recapitalization.

According to Jones, it’s a growth market. In the U.S. and abroad, military transport fleets will grow in size and funding unlike most other categories of aviation. Existing international transport user base and growing airlift responsibilities continue to drive the demand.

Competition, she says, is internationally-driven and will be hottest outside of the US, as any new-generation U.S. recapitalization continues to slide to the right.  USAF Tanker, F-35 and Bomber programs are insurmountable budget priorities.

New programs in the medium class segment will cause a major shuffle in market share over the next 10 years.  According to Jones, this is an opportunity for space suppliers. In addition, she said the heavy class segment will see great change, but it will be addressed solely by Ukrainian, Russian and Chinese entrants.

A panel discussion with Jones, Stearns and Fitzpatrick preceded a brief networking reception which closed the first day of the Symposium.

Click here for an index to the presentations


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2015 Defense Speakers


PNAA & PNDC will host this two-day symposium for aerospace and defense businesses, military, and government leaders to discuss new developments and business opportunities in aerospace, space, defense, and security.

The mission of the Northwest Aerospace & Defense Symposium is to enable attendees to share relevant information, identify critical issues, learn about regional military opportunities and increase awareness of current defense, aerospace and national security initiatives.

Don’t miss this once-a-year chance to get an inside take on the latest in defense and aerospace.  Take advantage of this exclusive opportunity to connect with the people you need to meet and learn what you need to know from the people in-the-know.

Instructions for Entering Joint Base Lewis-McChord
(McChord Club @ Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM) Fort Lewis, WA 98438)

Register Before April 30: PNAA & PNDC Members $295 • Non-Members $395
Register After April 30:PNAA & PNDC Members $345 • Non-Members $445


 Confirmed Speakers & Topics:

Address by David Fitzpatrick, Aerospace Industry Consultant

Address by U.S. Congressman Adam Smith (WA)
Ranking Member, House Armed Services Committee  

Updates and Priorities from Joint Base Lewis McChord:
Col. Scott McLaughlin, Commander, 446th Airlift Wing

Military Transport Market Snapshot: Ten Year Outlook for Major Programs Worldwide:
Katrina Jones - Director, Defense Market Analysis, Aerospace Analytics

What is Next in Military Spending and Priorities:
J.J. Gertler - Military Aviation Analyst at Congressional Research Service

U.S. Department of Defense  Budget Themes and Analysis:
Maritime Domain Awareness, Unmanned Aerial Systems and Military Space:
Ron Stearns - Research Director, Aerospace Analytics

Budget Updates from Inside the Department of Defense:
Jim Nam -Senior Advisor for International Affairs, Strategy and Planning at the United States Air Force

Space Footprint Growth in the Pacific Northwest:
Dr. Roger M. Myers -Executive Director, Advanced In-Space Programs Aerojet Rocketdyne

Industry Partnerships in High-Tech Research:
Anthony Waas - Boeing-Egtvedt Chair, Professor of Aerostructures at University of Washington

Cybersecurity Panel: Managing the Risk in the Airspace and Defense Industry

Research and Development Panel: Key educational institutions share what they are doing to support research and infrastructure in aerospace and defense

Primes Panel:
Hear about new opportunities and priorities from key prime contractors 

Procurement Officer Panel:
Updates, opportunities and priorities

Beyond Our Borders: Exporting Opportunities for Northwest Aerospace & Defense Companies

Beyond Defense: Domestic Sales Opportunities Outside of Department of Defense

 Who Should Attend:

The Northwest Aerospace and Defense Symposium is a must-attend event for C-Level executives, government and military leaders, strategic planners, program managers, and supply chain professionals.  The Symposium takes place in heart of the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Cluster and will combine the latest market intelligence with powerful networking opportunities.

A special thank you to PNAA Affiliate Members and other partners that help promote our events: British American Business Council PNW, Consulate General of Canada in Seattle, Economic Alliance Snohomish County, Greater Spokane, Impact Washington, INWAC, Joint Center for Aerospace Technology Innovation, Michigan Aerospace Manufacturing Association, Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle