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Defence & Aerospace

World air speed records for Rolls-Royce-led electric aircraft officially confirmed

By: Rebecca Campbell     20th January 2022 Renowned UK-based propulsion and technology systems group Rolls-Royce announced on Thursday that its ‘Spirit of Innovation’ technology demonstrator aircraft had been officially declared the world’s fastest all-electric aircraft. The international body responsible for controlling and certifying... 

French Navy patrol ship visiting Durban

By: Rebecca Campbell     19th January 2022 The French Navy offshore patrol vessel Champlain is currently in Durban harbour, the French Embassy in Pretoria has reported. The ship arrived on Monday and will sail on Friday. The vessel is based in the French overseas island territory of La Réunion (which is legally and constitutionally an... 

The B2M patrol ship Champlain
Photo by French navy
The B2M patrol ship Champlain

Airbus, NTT, Docomo and SKY Perfect JSAT jointly studying connectivity services

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     17th January 2022 Airbus, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT), NTT Docomo and SKY Perfect JSAT have jointly announced that they have begun studying the feasibility of collaborating on future high-altitude platform station- (Haps-) based connectivity services as part of a future space-based wireless... 

Southern African bloc extends Mozambique troop deployment

By: Reuters     12th January 2022 Southern African countries agreed at a summit on Wednesday to extend their troop deployment in Mozambique to help the government fight an Islamic State-linked insurgency, a communique said. The countries, linked in the Southern African Development Community, agreed in June to send troops to help... 

Airbus wins contract for first law enforcement version of its new helicopter

By: Rebecca Campbell     11th January 2022 France’s Gendarmerie Nationale has become the first police force to order Airbus Helicopters’ new-generation H160 multimission helicopter, the company has reported. The contract, for ten of the machines, was signed by the French Ministry of Defence’s Directorate General of Armaments, on behalf of... 

An H160 painted in Gendarmerie colours pictured with Gendarmerie special forces
Photo by Airbus
An H160 painted in Gendarmerie colours pictured with Gendarmerie special forces

Airbus reports hitting its 2021 airliner delivery target

By: Rebecca Campbell     11th January 2022 Europe-based global major aerospace group Airbus announced on Monday that it had achieved its 2021 target for deliveries of commercial aircraft. During the year, the company delivered 611 commercial aircraft to 88 customers. Commercial aircraft deliveries in 2020 had totalled 566. Of the aircraft... 

American group wins contract to upgrade Egyptian Air Force attack helicopters

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th January 2022 US-based global major aerospace and defence group Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $102-million contract to upgrade 25 of the Egyptian Air Force’s (EAF’s) Boeing AH-64D Apache attack helicopters to the latest AH-64E standard. Lockheed Martin will supply latest generation sensors which will be... 

Dassault reports aircraft order and backlog numbers for last year

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th January 2022 Renowned French aerospace group Dassault Aviation reported on Friday the number of new aircraft that it had delivered during last year and the (unaudited) size of its order backlog (as of December 31, 2021). The company manufactures the Falcon series of business jets and the Rafale multirole... 

A Rafale fighter of the Qatar Air Force
Photo by Dylan Agbagni/Public Domain
A Rafale fighter of the Qatar Air Force

Airbus unveils new manufacturing subsidiary

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th January 2022 Europe-based global major aerospace group Airbus announced on Monday that it had established a new and wholly-owned subsidiary, named Airbus Atlantic. Formally set up on January 1, it is focused on aerostructures. The new subsidiary has been created by combining the already existing Airbus... 

UK and Japan to jointly develop future fighter engine technology demonstrator

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd January 2022 Shortly before Christmas, on December 22, the UK and Japanese governments announced that the two countries were to jointly develop a jet engine technology demonstrator, as the precursor to a next generation propulsion system to power their respective future fighter aircraft, currently under... 

Competition Commission reaches settlements with two companies over air force tender

By: Rebecca Campbell     14th December 2021 The Competition Tribunal has announced that two separate settlement agreements have been concluded with two companies, regarding alleged collusion regarding a South African Air Force (SAAF) tender. The tender concerned the maintenance of ground command and control systems and intelligence system... 

Airbus boosts its hydrogen aviation research, innovation and development capabilities

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th December 2021 Europe-based global major aerospace group Airbus has announced that it is strengthening both its research capabilities regarding the future use of hydrogen in aviation and its innovation infrastructure in Spain. It was doing so by creating a new entity within its wholly-owned innovation... 

Parliamentary Committee calls for government to facilitate local defence industry exports

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th December 2021 South Africa’s Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Defence has affirmed that the government should give the country’s defence industry the support it needed to ensure its sustainability. The committee did so in a statement released on Friday, in which it reported that it had received the... 

First production example of new-generation Airbus helicopter delivered to Japanese client

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th December 2021 Airbus Helicopters has announced that it delivered the first production example of its new-generation H160 multimission civil helicopter to All Nippon Helicopter (ANH) in Japan on Friday. The aircraft was handed over at the Airbus Helicopters facility in Kobe, and will be employed in the... 

The first production H160 in its ANH livery
Photo by Airbus Helicopters
The first production H160 in its ANH livery

Hybrid-electric aero engine technology demonstrator passes megawatt milestone

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th December 2021 UK-based global major industrial technology group Rolls-Royce has reported that its hybrid-electric aero power and propulsion technology demonstrator, Power Generation System 1 (PGS1) had reached and passed the milestone of delivering more than 1 MW of power. This had been achieved only weeks... 

Study finds best method for drones to observe elephants with least impact

By: Donna Slater     6th December 2021 Researchers from Stellenbosch University (SU) have been involved in the first ever paper to be published containing practical guidelines and a suggested ethical protocol on how to cause as little disturbance as possible to elephants when flying over them with drones. The paper, in the journal... 

An image of elephants taken with a drone

Labour Court postpones deadline for Denel to comply with employee contractual obligations again

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd December 2021 Defence company Denel has again failed to comply with a Labour Court order, handed down on August 4, 2020, compelling the enterprise to honour all outstanding contractual obligations with Uasa members, the trade union said. Uasa spokesperson Abigail Moyo said the trade union was “disappointed”... 

Drone regulations stifling use of modern technology

By: Donna Slater     30th November 2021 Regulations governing the use of drones in South Africa and an inability by the Air Traffic Navigation Services (ATNS) to grant access to airspace were limiting service providers who want to use drones for short, but beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations, such as so-called “last mile”... 

Embraer signs MoU with Dutch aerospace research agency

By: Rebecca Campbell     24th November 2021 Brazil-based major aerospace group Embraer and the Royal Netherlands Aerospace Centre (Royal NLR) have deepened their relationship with the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Tuesday. This is focused on developing strategic collaboration in aerospace research, including... 

Rolls-Royce-led team smashes world electrically-powered aircraft speed records

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd November 2021 UK-based global major industrial technology and propulsion systems group Rolls-Royce announced on Friday that the ‘Spirit of Innovation’ aeroplane had set new world records for an all-electric aircraft. The new records have to be confirmed by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, the world... 

The ‘Spirit of Innovation’ in flight
Photo by Rolls-Royce
The ‘Spirit of Innovation’ in flight

New regional and smaller airliners market forecast to be worth $650bn over 20 years

By: Rebecca Campbell     16th November 2021 Brazil-based major aerospace group Embraer published its 20-year Market Outlook, for regional and smaller airliners with up to 150 seats, at the Dubai Air Show on Monday. The Outlook covered both turboprop and jet aircraft. The group expected that, following the Covid-19 pandemic, global air... 

Airbus announces two more orders for its strategic tanker-transport aircraft

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th November 2021 Airbus Defence and Space, a division of the Europe-based global major aerospace group Airbus, has announced two contracts for a total of five of its A330 Multirole Tanker Transport (MRTT) strategic air-to-air refuelling (AAR) and personnel and cargo transport aircraft. One order is from the... 

An Airbus A330 MRTT of the UAE AF
Photo by Airbus
An Airbus A330 MRTT of the UAE AF

SA soldiers not adequately armed to protect military bases, says defence force commission   

By: News24Wire      15th November 2021 Soldiers guarding South Africa's military bases are not adequately armed, and there is no control of who moves in and out of the facilities. Security fences within military bases and units and on the borders are falling apart while budget constraints hamper the upgrading, maintenance and repair... 

SANDF soldiers

No immediate Eskom debt solution, as Minister outlines ‘tough love’ stance on SOEs  

By: Terence Creamer     11th November 2021 Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana offered no new insight in his maiden address to lawmakers into how government intended approaching the issue of Eskom’s R400-billion debt burden, which has been labelled unsustainable by the utility, and also refrained from making any new provisions for... 

Eskom power lines

Airbus Helicopters makes first test flight with 100% green fuel

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th November 2021 Airbus Helicopters has for the first time flown a helicopter using 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to power one of its engines. The machine concerned was an Airbus H225, powered by two Safran Makila 2 powerplants. The civil version of the H225 is named the Super Puma, while the military... 

Embraer releases concept designs of a family of low- and zero-carbon emission aircraft

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th November 2021 Brazil-based major aerospace group Embraer has unveiled its latest initiative to help cut or eliminate carbon emissions from aviation. The group has announced a family of four concept aircraft, designated Energia and powered by different renewable energy propulsion systems. These concepts have... 

New UK joint venture to make ammonia credible as a zero-carbon aviation fuel

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th November 2021 British air-breathing rocket propulsion technology company Reaction Engines, UK state research and development organisation, the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), and venture capital enterprise, the IP Group, have combined to create a joint venture (JV) to advance the... 

Armscor signs three-year partnership to evaluate, configure ATNS programmes

By: Schalk Burger     5th November 2021 State-owned Armaments Corporation of South Africa (Armscor) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) that will see Armscor assist ATNS with evaluating and configuring projects or programmes and contract management in the communication,... 

Paramount Kazakhstan completes 25 000 km testing of Barys 8X8 ICV

By: Donna Slater     5th November 2021 Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering (KPE) reports that its flagship and next-generation Barys 8X8 infantry combat vehicle (ICV) has successfully completed a four-year series of trials conducted by the Ministry of Defence of Kazakhstan, bringing the vehicle a step closer to its first production... 

A photo of the Barys 8x8 infantry combat vehicle
The Barys 8x8 infantry combat vehicle

Updated precision bearings testing system available

5th November 2021 Precision testing expert Vibrac notes that its Bearing Inspector Model 3100 Series – an update of BRG-3000 –  is available. Vibrac  explains that Bearing Inspector Model 3100 bench top system is used to measure torque of anti-friction bearings and bearing assemblies. This is crucial, as the... 

An image of the Vibrac's bench top Bearing Inspector Model 3100 Series
BEARINGS INSPECTOR 3100 The system identifies bearing problems such as contamination, pitted raceways, and a variety of structural defects

Denel munitions plant safety questioned following explosion

By: News24Wire      2nd November 2021 Safety at the Rheinmetall Denel Munitions plant in Macassar, Somerset West, has been called into question after an explosion on the premises on Sunday night. Trade union UASA said it was "anxious about the safety of those employed by the state-owned weapons manufacturer". 

Airbus announces launch of French-led green aviation fuel test programme

By: Rebecca Campbell     2nd November 2021 A research campaign to test the suitably of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) as the energy source for single-aisle airliners has been launched at Toulouse in France. The campaign will involve both ground and flight tests and is being jointly conducted by aircraft groups Airbus and Dassault... 

Rolls-Royce promoting its marine propulsion technology to India, using British warship

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st October 2021 UK-based global major industrial technology group Rolls-Royce on Wednesday highlighted its eagerness and ability to help the Indian Navy adopt integrated full- electric propulsion (IFEP) for its future warships. The company is the only producer of marine gas turbines that are integrated into IFEP... 

A photo of the HMS Queen Elizabeth departing Yokosuka, Japan, in September 2021
Photo by Government of Japan
HMS Queen Elizabeth departing Yokosuka, Japan, last month

Paramount launches armour add-on to Mbombe 4 vehicle

By: Marleny Arnoldi     20th October 2021 Technology and aerospace company Paramount Group has developed a new add-on armour for its next-generation Mbombe 4 Infantry Fighting Vehicle. The add-on armour has resulted in some of the highest levels of protection that can be achieved globally by an armoured vehicle in its class, the... 

Mbombe 4 infantry fighting vehicle
Mbombe 4 infantry fighting vehicle

Rolls-Royce, Boeing & World Energy further demonstrate the viability of green aviation fuel

By: Rebecca Campbell     19th October 2021 UK-based industrial technology group and renowned aeroengine manufacturer Rolls-Royce announced on Tuesday that it had successfully test flown one of its Trent 1000 turbofan engines, using only 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The test flight was conducted in the US, with the assistance of... 

Brazilian and Dutch aerospace companies sign memorandum to allow cooperation

By: Rebecca Campbell     19th October 2021 Brazil-based major aerospace and defence group Embraer has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with two Netherlands-based aviation companies – maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade company Fokker Services and complex engineering, aircraft completion, conversion, refurbishment and... 

Inquiry into 2018 Rheinmetall Denel fatal incident to resume on October 19

By: Schalk Burger     18th October 2021 The Department of Employment and Labour's (DEL's) inquiry into the events that led to a fatal incident at Rheinmetall Denel Munition's facility in Macasser, in the Western Cape, in 2018, is set to resume from October 19 to 22. This is the second sitting since the 2018 explosion at the munitions... 

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