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Defence & Aerospace

Drone Council asks regulator to loosen laws

By: Donna Slater     Updated 6 hours ago The South African drones sector needs to unite to achieve four key objectives to ensure it remains current, relevant and sustainable, drone affiliation organisation Drone Council of South Africa chairperson Irvin Phenyane said on June 24. In the opening address of the Drone and Unmanned Aviation... 

Local defence company calls for collaborative approach to maritime security in the region

By: Rebecca Campbell     Updated 6 hours ago Local defence company Hensoldt South Africa has highlighted a recent speech by its Executive Manager: Strategic Affairs, Sihle Mayisela. His topic was the need for complimentary and innovative solutions to address threats to coastal and maritime security in Southern Africa.  He spoke at the... 

Africa in position to further global nuclear nonproliferation, but competing interests hamper efforts

By: Schalk Burger     24th June 2021 Africa can further the pursuit of global nuclear nonproliferation, but competing interests and objectives are hampering efforts to drive this goal on the international stage. University of South Africa department of political science professor Jo-Ansie van Wyk noted during a June 23 webinar that... 

Rolls-Royce announces net zero emissions plans

By: Donna Slater     17th June 2021 Power and propulsion engineering company Rolls-Royce has announced its plans to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, at the latest. The company’s actions and the development of new low-carbon technologies will enable the users of such products to, in turn, lower their carbon emissions,... 

Paramount relocates technical aviation academy to Wonderboom airport

By: Donna Slater     17th June 2021 Paramount Aerospace Systems, a subsidiary of aerospace and technology company Paramount Group, has moved its technical aviation academy to Wonderboom National Airport, adjacent to the company’s advanced aircraft manufacturing facility. Paramount Group originally launched its technical aviation... 

Paramount relocates technical aviation academy to Wonderboom airport
A aviation technical student examines one of Paramount's Dassault Mirage jets

Paramount, partners enter final phase of US Armed Overwatch programme

By: Donna Slater     15th June 2021 A team from US-based defence engineering company Leidos, in partnership with South African aerospace and defence company Paramount Group, has been selected to enter the final phase of the US Special Operations Command’s (Socom’s) Armed Overwatch aircraft prototype programme. Leidos, Paramount US... 

Paramount, partners enter final phase of US Armed Overwatch programme
Paramount US's Bronco II aircraft

UAE ratifies extradition treaty as South Africa pursues Guptas

By: Bloomberg     9th June 2021 The United Arab Emirates Embassy in South Africa said it has ratified an extradition treaty with the African country. The treaty was signed on April 11, the embassy said in a statement on Wednesday. Clayson Monyela, a spokesman for the South African Department of International Relations and... 

Boeing, US Navy conduct first ever UAV aerial refuelling test

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th June 2021 US aerospace and defence industry giant Boeing and the US Navy (USN) have jointly made history with the first ever air-to-air refuelling (AAR) by an uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) of another aircraft. The test flight during which this was achieved took place on June 4, but the news was only... 

Boeing, US Navy conduct first ever UAV aerial refuelling test
Photo by Boeing
The MQ-25 (left) refuels the Super Hornet.

Denel seeking to negotiate with Saab Grintek Defence over liquidation application

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th June 2021 Financially-embattled State-owned defence industrial group Denel issued, on Tuesday, a short statement regarding the threat of court action against it, aimed at forcing its liquidation. This action has been initiated in the high court in Pretoria by private-sector South African defence company... 

Uasa reassures its members at Denel as group faces liquidation threat 

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th June 2021 Trade union Uasa has assured its members who are employed by the State-owned defence industrial group Denel of its support for them, as the tale of the financially-beleaguered company took another turn for the worse. Private-sector South African defence company Saab Grintek Defence... 

US airline United signs supersonic airliners and net-zero carbon fuel agreement

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th June 2021 Leading US carrier United Airlines announced on Thursday that it had signed a commercial agreement with US startup aerospace company Boom Supersonic to both purchase aircraft and implement a cooperative initiative to increase commercial aviation’s sustainability by accelerating and increasing the... 

US airline United signs supersonic airliners and net-zero carbon fuel agreement
Photo by United Airlines
An artist’s impression of the Boom Supersonic Overture flying in United Airlines livery

NUM threatens legal action over nonpayment of Denel Land Systems employees' salaries

By: Schalk Burger     31st May 2021 Trade union the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) says it strongly condemns the ongoing failure by State-owned defence equipment manufacturer Denel Land Systems to pay the salaries of workers. It has sent a demand letter for Denel to pay the outstanding salaries within 14 days or face legal... 

South Africa may need to save indebted State firms, Finance Minister says

By: Bloomberg     27th May 2021 South Africa’s cash-strapped State companies may struggle to refinance their debts, requiring the government to provide support, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said. The ten most-indebted State firms have an estimated R289.9-billion in loans maturing by the end of March 2025, Mboweni said in a... 

South Africa may need to save indebted State firms, Finance Minister says
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni

Union blasts government for paying Cubans while Denel employees aren’t paid 

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th May 2021 The Uasa trade union has blasted the South African government for spending a significant sum of taxpayers’ money on employing Cuban ‘service providers’ over the last few years, instead of using it to save the jobs of South African engineers. In its statement, the union said it was “infuriated”... 

Airbus delivers one-hundredth A400M, airframes surpass 100 000 flight-hours

By: Donna Slater     25th May 2021 Aircraft manufacturer Airbus has delivered its one-hundredth A400M aircraft with airframe number MSN111 to Zaragoza, where the Spanish Air Force houses its fleet of A400M’s. The Spanish Air Force has now taken delivery of ten A400M aircraft.  

Airbus delivers one-hundredth A400M, airframes surpass 100 000 flight-hours
Airbus' A400M

Defence cuts affecting the SANDF, says Minister 

By: Rebecca Campbell     19th May 2021 Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has warned that defence cuts are severely affecting the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), while security within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region has deteriorated. She was addressing the House of... 

Defence Minister warns Parliament about crisis in local defence industry, especially Denel  

By: Rebecca Campbell     19th May 2021 In her address to the National Assembly on Tuesday, introducing the debate for her 2021 budget vote, Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula warned the assembled parliamentarians that defence cuts were endangering the country’s defence industry. The State-owned defence... 

Defence Minister warns Parliament about crisis in local defence industry, especially Denel
Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula

Three European Union countries agree to demonstration phase of new fighter project

By: Rebecca Campbell     18th May 2021 On Monday, the Defence Ministers of France, Germany and Spain jointly announced the start of the next two phases in the three countries’ joint Future Combat Air System (FCAS) New Generation Fighter (NGF) programme. (FCAS, also known by its French name of Système de Combat Aérien du Futur, has two... 

Three European Union countries agree to demonstration phase of new fighter project
Photo by Airbus
An artist’s impression of the New Generation Fighter, with new generation uncrewed combat air vehicles

Parliamentary Committee receives reports on arms control and financial control

By: Rebecca Campbell     14th May 2021 Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Defence has welcomed confirmation of South Africa’s continuing compliance with its international arms control commitments. It did so in a statement released on Friday. The statement followed the Committee’s reception of the latest reports from the National... 

Digital technology greatly speeds assembly of new Boeing military jet

By: Rebecca Campbell     14th May 2021 Digital technology greatly speeds assembly of new Boeing military jet US aerospace and defence giant Boeing has announced the successful joining of the front and aft sections of the first engineering and manufacturing development test example of the T-7A Red Hawk advanced trainer for the US Air... 

Digital technology greatly speeds assembly of new Boeing military jet
Photo by Boeing
The Boeing Saab T-X prototype for the T-7A Red Hawk

Sensing market recovery, Airbus restarts work on a new A320 family final assembly line

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th May 2021 Europe-based global major aerospace group Airbus has announced that it is restarting work on establishing a new final assembly line (FAL) for its A320 family single-aisle airliners, and in particular the A321neo version, at its complex at Toulouse in France. The A321 is the largest version of the... 

Sensing market recovery, Airbus restarts work on a new A320 family final assembly line
Photo by Airbus
An Airbus A321neo

Trade unions call for wider government support for Denel turnaround plan

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th May 2021 Trade unions Uasa (which no longer uses its original full name) and the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa), to which Uasa is affiliated, have urged the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) to seek help from other government departments to find funds to save financially-embattled... 

Dassault reveals new generation ultra-long-range business jet with new Rolls-Royce engines

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th May 2021 Renowned French aerospace group Dassault Aviation on Thursday announced its latest aircraft design, the Falcon 10X business (or executive) jet. Dassault specialises in advanced fighter aircraft (its current production type is the Rafale multirole fighter) and business jets, but is also active in... 

Dassault reveals new generation ultra-long-range business jet with new Rolls-Royce engines
Photo by Dassault Aviation
An artist’s impression of the Falcon 10X

Nasa’s Ingenuity helicopter makes aviation history on Mars

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th May 2021 The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (Nasa’s) Ingenuity drone helicopter successfully made its first flight on Mars on April 19. The flight took place at about noon, South African time. The flight lasted a total of 39.1 seconds and the machine reached a preprogrammed maximum... 

The UK and India agree wide-ranging new strategic partnership

By: Rebecca Campbell     5th May 2021 On Tuesday, the Prime Ministers (PMs) of India and the UK agreed to create a ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ between the two countries. Indian PM Narendra Modi and UK PM Boris Johnson approved the partnership during a virtual bilateral summit. The UK is the first European country with which... 

Denel explosion: Health and safety procedures at plant in spotlight

By: News24Wire      5th May 2021 Health and safety procedures at Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) have been called into question during the second day of the public inquiry into the 2018 explosion that rocked the plant in Macassar near Somerset West. The inquiry heard staff members had received training every year in the form of... 

Fast-paced innovation driving the space industry to new heights – KSAT

By: Donna Slater     4th May 2021 A much faster pace of innovation currently taking place in the space industry is driving a “new space revolution”, Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT) executive VP Arnulf Kjeldsen has said. Speaking during the 2021 SpaceOps Conference, on the topic of Commercial Ground Stations: New Space and... 

Airbus demonstrates ground control of airborne mission system

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th May 2021 Airbus Defence and Space, part of the Europe-based global major aerospace group Airbus, has announced that it has successfully completed a flight test programme which has proven a new capability for its C295 FITS mission system. This new development is the ability for ground-based personnel to... 

Denel explosion: First witness takes stand as public inquiry into blast that killed 8 kicks off

By: News24Wire      4th May 2021 More questions than answers have surfaced surrounding the 2018 blast at the Rheinmetall Denel munitions plant in Somerset West in the Western Cape, which killed eight people. The first day of the public inquiry heard testimony from a former worker who revealed there was an urgency to mix... 

South African, African space industries set for large-scale growth – Sansa 

By: Donna Slater     3rd May 2021 The South African National Space Agency (Sansa) is set to grow by 100 times over what it is normally used to over the next two years as Africa expands its “Space Agenda” and space ambitions, Sansa CEO Dr Val Munsami has said. He gave the keynote address at the 2021 SpaceOps Conference, which... 

South African, African space industries set for large-scale growth – Sansa
Sansa CEO Dr Val Munsami

Airbus wins French and Egyptian defence contracts

By: Rebecca Campbell     30th April 2021 The French Ministry of Defence has ordered eight more H225M helicopters and a second VSR700 uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) from Airbus Helicopters. The order is part of the French government’s national aeronautical industry stimulus plan, announced last year, to help the sector weather the adverse... 

SADC pushes for deployment of 3 000-strong military force in northern Mozambique 

By: News24Wire      28th April 2021 Regional heads of state will be asked to consider the immediate deployment of almost 3 000 personnel, comprising of more than 2 000 ground troops, to help the Mozambican military "combat threat of terrorism and acts of violent extremism" in the northern Cabo Delgado province, alongside air and... 

SADC pushes for deployment of 3 000-strong military force in northern Mozambique

EOH clarifies SIU statement, says started repaying State funds in October

By: Schalk Burger     23rd April 2021 Information technology services company EOH on April 23 clarified that it had entered into an acknowledgement of debt (AoD) with the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) at the end of September 2020 and that it had started monthly payments in terms of the AoD from October 5, 2020. It also highlighted... 

The development of electrically powered aircraft is accelerating

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd April 2021 Although air transport accounts for only 2% of human-produced carbon dioxide, the aerospace industry is not complacent. In October 2016, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) adopted the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (Corsia), which aims to cut... 

The development of electrically powered aircraft is accelerating

Trade union attacks Denel plan to cut retrenchment benefits

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd April 2021 Trade union Uasa has demanded that financially-embattled State-owned defence industrial group Denel reconsider the changes the company plans to make to its retrenchment policy. “Policy changes regarding workers’ rights should not happen to the detriment of our members and other workers employed... 

CDC, Sansa sign MoU to drive mutual benefits

By: Donna Slater     19th April 2021 Following an expression of interest entered into between the South African National Space Agency (Sansa) and the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) to identify opportunities for collaboration this year, Sansa recently hosted the CDC at its Space Operations facility, in Hartebeesthoek, near... 

Airbus A400M completes helicopter air-to-air refuelling certification

By: Donna Slater     19th April 2021 Aircraft manufacturer Airbus has successfully conducted a major helicopter air-to-air refuelling certification campaign using its A400M new-generation airlifter, thereby also completing the majority of its development and certification objectives. Airbus’ Defence and Space division aims to... 

Airbus A400M completes helicopter air-to-air refuelling certification
An Airbus A400M refueling two French Air Force H225M helicopters mid-air
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