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Defence & Aerospace

Airbus launches new jet trainer concept in Spain

By: Rebecca Campbell     20th October 2020 Europe-based global major aerospace and defence group Airbus has divulged, to the Spanish media, its vision of a future training and light attack aircraft, aimed initially at the future requirements of the Spanish Air Force. However, the new type’s designation is in English; it is called the... 

Airbus sets up partnership with fuel cell company to apply the technology to aviation

By: Rebecca Campbell     16th October 2020 Europe-based global major aerospace group Airbus announced on Thursday that it had entered into a strategic partnership with German hydrogen fuel cell developer and manufacturer ElringKlinger. This was part of Airbus’ zero-carbon emission aviation initiative. ElringKlinger has been active in the... 

Airbus sets up partnership with fuel cell company to apply the technology to aviation

Major UK groups highlight advanced technologies they are developing for future fighter

By: Rebecca Campbell     16th October 2020 Major British aerospace, defence and industrial technology companies BAE Systems (BAES), Leonardo UK (part of Italian-based global aerospace and defence group Leonardo SpA), MBDA UK (part of the pan-European MBDA missile group) and Rolls-Royce have reported on some of the advanced technologies... 

Major UK groups highlight advanced technologies they are developing for future fighter
Photo by UK MoD
An artist’s impression of a future fighter derived from the tempest programme

Paramount to expand air adversary offering in the US

By: Donna Slater     14th October 2020 Aerospace systems company Paramount Aerospace Systems USA (PAS USA) reports that it will “significantly expand” its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services and training support for the Mirage F1 fighter jet fleet operated by US military contractors that provide adversary training for the... 

Paramount to expand air adversary offering in the US
Some of the Mirage F1's employed in the US in air adversary roles for war game's training

Boeing’s latest communications satellite passes key design review

By: Rebecca Campbell     9th October 2020 US aerospace and defence giant Boeing has reported that its latest defence communications satellite design, WGS-11+, has passed its first key engineering design review. (WGS stands for Wideband Global Satcom.) This design review was conducted by Boeing and its customer, the US Space Force (USSF).... 

Denel seeks R3.8bn in State support

By: Reuters     9th October 2020 State-owned defence company Denel has asked for R3.8-billion in State financial support over the next three fiscal years, the National Treasury told Reuters on Friday. Denel, which makes military equipment for South Africa's armed forces and export, has struggled to pay salaries this year amid a... 

US revelation about first new-generation combat aircraft surprises aerospace world

By: Rebecca Campbell     9th October 2020 The US Air Force (USAF) has stunned the aerospace world by secretly building and flying the first-ever sixth-generation jet fighter prototype. The news was revealed by Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Dr Will Roper to highly-respected “Defense News”... 

Airbus unveils hydrogen-powered airliner concept designs

By: Rebecca Campbell     9th October 2020 Europe-based global major aerospace group Airbus has released three concept designs for hydrogen-powered zero-carbon-emissions commercial aircraft. It was examining these designs in a programme it called ZEROe, which was the precursor to the group’s recently announced plan to develop and... 

Iata calls for preflight Covid-19 testing of air passengers

By: Rebecca Campbell     9th October 2020 The International Air Transport Association (Iata), which is the global representative body of the airline industry, is calling for the testing of all air passengers for Covid-19 before they embark on their flights. It is urging “the development and deployment of rapid, accurate, affordable,... 

Number of A400M operators increases to seven with latest Airbus delivery

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th October 2020 Airbus Defence and Space, part of the global major aerospace group Airbus, announced on Wednesday that it had delivered the one and only A400M military airlift aircraft ordered by the tiny European country of Luxembourg. The aircraft was handed over to the Luxembourg Armed Forces at Seville in... 

Number of A400M operators increases to seven with latest Airbus delivery
Photo by Airbus
Luxembourg’s A400M, photographed on its maiden flight

Non-proliferation council’s online registration and permit system now live

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th October 2020 The South African Council for the Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction announced on Thursday that its new Online Registration and Permit System is now live. The council is a statutory body, which falls under the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition.  From now on, applications... 

Boeing signs deal with Queensland, Australia, over production of UAVs.

By: Rebecca Campbell     5th October 2020 The government of the Australian state of Queensland and the giant US aerospace and defence group Boeing have signed a deal that will make the state the home for the production of the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF’s) future unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), currently known as Loyal Wingman. The... 

Boeing signs deal with Queensland, Australia, over production of UAVs.
Photo by Boeing
The prototype Loyal Wingman UAV 

Airbus, partners sign agreements to develop aircraft fuel-saving concept

By: Rebecca Campbell     2nd October 2020 Europe-based global major aerospace group Airbus has signed agreements with two airlines and three air navigation service providers (ANSPs) to determine the operational feasibility of the manufacturer’s ‘fello’fly’ aviation emissions reduction demonstration project. The airlines are French low... 

Business rescue plan for Comair approved

By: Rebecca Campbell     2nd October 2020 The proposed business rescue plan for private-sector airline group Comair was approved by a decisive majority of creditors and shareholders in a vote late last month. Comair operates the British Airways in South Africa and Kulula low-cost carrier brands. The preferred investment consortium for... 

Defence industry should band together during tough times − Armscor

By: Donna Slater     29th September 2020 The defence industry, especially in South Africa, faces troubling times, which have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic; but there is hope and measures that can be taken to improve the industry, says Armscor business assurance executive Advocate Boitshoko Senne. He spoke during the virtual... 

Covid-19 highlights critical requirement for a robust defence force

By: Donna Slater     29th September 2020 Key to South Africa’s combatting of the Covid-19 pandemic has been the efforts of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), which has been at the “eye of the storm”, having been heavily engaged with combatting the spread of the disease, says National Defence Industry Council director... 

Airbus receives firm order from Nato

By: Simone Liedtke     28th September 2020 Airbus has received a firm order for an Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) from European organisation, Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR), for the management of cooperative armament programmes.   The order, which OCCAR has placed on behalf of North Atlantic Treaty... 

Airbus receives firm order from Nato

Significant step forward in clean aviation with hydrogen-powered flight in the UK

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th September 2020 Anglo-US company ZeroAvia has successfully carried out the world’s first flight of a ‘commercial-grade’ aircraft powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. The aircraft is a modified Piper Malibu, a single-engined six-seater (comprising, usually, one pilot and five passengers). The flight took place at... 

Significant step forward in clean aviation with hydrogen-powered flight in the UK
Photo by ZerpAvia
ZeroAvia’s hydrogen fuel cell-powered Pipe Malibu takes off on its first flight. Note the specially-assigned and symbolic registration of G-HYZA

Iata calls for planning to start for distribution of Covid-19 vaccines

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th September 2020 The International Air Transport Association (Iata) – the representative body of the global airline industry – has urged governments to start planning now for the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, when they become available. This planning should include the air transport sector as well as other... 

Airbus unveils zero-emissions airliner concept designs

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd September 2020 Europe-based global major aerospace group Airbus has released three concept designs for hydrogen-powered zero carbon-emission commercial aircraft. It was examining these designs in a programme it called ZEROe, which was the precursor to the group’s recently announced plan to develop and... 

Airbus unveils zero-emissions airliner concept designs
Photo by Airbus
An artist’s impression of the three ZEROe concept designs, with the BWB in the lead, the turbofan design in the rear and the turboprop design in front

TIPS Tracker: The economy and the pandemic

21st September 2020 Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies' (TIPS's) 'Tracker: The economy and the pandemic' highlights important trends in the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa and how they affect the economy. Since August 18, when the country moved to Level 2 of the lockdown, the number of cases has plateaued at... 

Nasa successfully ground-tests improved rocket booster and flight-certified spacecraft

By: Rebecca Campbell     18th September 2020 The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) has successfully tested what could be described as the ‘Mark 2’ version of the booster rocket for its heavy Space Launch System (SLS). The SLS boosters are the most powerful booster rockets ever built for flight operations and their... 

Initiative to accelerate technology strategies amid aerospace industry decline

By: Mamaili Mamaila     18th September 2020 The Aerospace Industry Support Initiative (AISI) plans to continue building technology strategies with industry for long-term implementation amid the industry’s decline of late. 

Initiative to accelerate technology strategies amid aerospace industry decline
EVEN ODDS Although there are “pockets of excellence”, the local aerospace industry is very small and focuses almost exclusively on exports

Surprise US announcement reveals that the first new-generation combat aircraft has flown

By: Rebecca Campbell     16th September 2020 The US Air Force (USAF) has stunned the aerospace world by secretly building and flying the first ever sixth-generation jet fighter prototype. The news was revealed by Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Dr Will Roper to highly-respected “Defense News”... 

Airbus signs agreements with partners to develop aircraft fuel-saving concept

By: Rebecca Campbell     11th September 2020 Europe-based global major aerospace group Airbus has signed agreements with two airlines and three air navigation service providers (ANSPs) to determine the operational feasibility of the manufacturer’s ‘fello’fly’ aviation emissions reduction demonstration project. The airlines are French low... 

Airbus signs agreements with partners to develop aircraft fuel-saving concept

Dube-Ncube to inspect Margate Airport renovations

By: Sane Dhlamini     11th September 2020 KwaZulu-Natal Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube will visit Margate on Saturday to inspect R10-million worth of renovations at the Margate Airport as the country observes Tourism Month. Dube-Ncube will be accompanied by KwaZulu-Natal Transport, Community... 

Dube-Ncube to inspect Margate Airport renovations
KZN MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Nomusa Dube-Ncube

Covid-hit civil aerospace unit drags down Rolls-Royce

By: Rebecca Campbell     11th September 2020 UK-based global major industrial technology group Rolls-Royce has unveiled its results for the first half (H1) of 2020. It reported that the Covid-19 pandemic had had a significant impact on its performance so far this year. For example, underlying revenues came to £5.6-billion, a drop of 24% in... 

Airline body seeks the restoration of international connectivity

By: Rebecca Campbell     11th September 2020 The International Air Transport Association (Iata) has urged governments around the world to work together to reopen borders and restore global connectivity. The association, which is the representative body for the global airline industry, also called on governments to continue to support... 

Industry’s wings seemingly clipped

By: Mamaili Mamaila     11th September 2020 South Africa’s economy is hanging by a thread and this has presented massive challenges for the local aerospace industry, says aircraft design organisation Aerodesigns Africa director Murray Spoelstra. 

Industry’s wings seemingly clipped
GLOBAL SIGHTS SET Similar to the local automotive industry that is manufacturing for European countries, so must there be opportunities to manufacture aircraft under licence for foreign companies

Level playing field key to moving industry forward

By: Mamaili Mamaila     11th September 2020 Transformation should be a top priority among the issues that need to be addressed in manufacturing for the aviation industry, says maintenance solutions provider Dynamic Aerotech technical operation and research director Mulalo Neluheni. 

Level playing field key to moving industry forward
OPEN UP THE INDUSTRY While there is scope for black people with potential to thrive in this space, this needs to take into account the whole value chain in the aerospace industry

Association laments sector decline

By: Mamaili Mamaila     11th September 2020 The aerospace manufacturing sector is in a “freefall” and there does not appear to be any parachute in sight, says industry body Commercial Aerospace Manufacturing Association of South Africa (Camasa) co-chairperson Themba September. 

Association laments sector decline
AIRING IT OUT In its efforts to ensure that the sector returns to its former glory, Camasa has participated in the process of drafting a sector masterplan

Parliamentary Committee calls for national debate on the future of the SANDF 

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th September 2020 Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Defence has called for continuing dialogue on the nature of the defence force that the country wanted and needed. This had to be decided in relation to the budget required to maintain the desired force. This statement was issued following a mini-symposium... 

Parliamentary Committee calls for national debate on the future of the SANDF
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
SANDF demonstration: a Ratel 90 fire support vehicle in the foreground, with a Rooivalk combat support helicopter overhead and a Rooikat armoured car in the background

Brazilian aerospace group announces job cuts, in part because of Covid-19

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th September 2020 Brazilian-based major aerospace group Embraer announced on Thursday that it was cutting its worldwide workforce by 4.5%, in part due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, but also because of the effects of US company Boeing cancelling its partnership with the Brazilian enterprise. In Brazil,... 

Brazilian aerospace group announces job cuts, in part because of Covid-19
Photo by RKC
An Embraer E190-E2 airliner, pictured in South Africa on a demonstration tour

US space agency announces validation of much less toxic spacecraft propellant

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th September 2020 The US National Aeronautics and Space Agency (Nasa) has reported that, following just under 13 months of operational testing and evaluation in orbit, it had validated a new type of propellant for spacecraft. This new propellant is much less toxic than the standard current propellant, hydrazine.... 

Digital and 3D printing technologies transform UK fighter aircraft development process

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th September 2020 UK-based global major aerospace and defence group BAE Systems (BAES) has reported how the latest technologies are being used to drive forward, with unprecedented speed, Britain’s next-generation combat air system programme. Known as Tempest, this project is really benefiting from and making full... 

Trade union not surprised at ratings downgrade of Denel

By: Rebecca Campbell     28th August 2020 Trade union Uasa has expressed the view that the recent downgrade of South African defence industrial group Denel by international ratings agency Fitch was “disappointing” but not surprising. State-owned entity (SOE) Denel is suffering from severe liquidity problems. “Fitch stated as a reason... 

Covid-19-battered Civil Aerospace drags down half-year results for whole of Rolls-Royce

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th August 2020 UK-based global major industrial technology group Rolls-Royce unveiled its results for the first half (H1) of 2020 on Thursday. It reported that the Covid-19 pandemic had had a significant impact on its performance so far this year. For example, underlying revenues came to £5.6-billion, a drop of... 

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