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Defence & Aerospace

Trade union disappointed that Labour Court case against Denel postponed again

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th July 2021 The Labour Court on Friday again postponed the case brought by trade union UASA against financially-embattled State-owned defence industrial group Denel. The case will now only be heard on December 2. The reason given for the postponement was to give Denel more time to fully comply with a court... 

Greece’s Air Force receives its first example of latest French fighter

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd July 2021 French aerospace and defence group Dassault Aviation on Wednesday delivered its first Rafale multirole fighter to the Hellenic (Greek) Air Force (HAF). The HAF has ordered a total of 18 Rafales, composed of 12 second hand ex-French Air and Space Force aircraft and six new-build examples. The... 

Airbus signs MoU with Canadian consortium for development of green aviation fuel

By: Rebecca Campbell     16th July 2021 Europe-based global major aerospace group Airbus and Canada-based sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) development consortium SAF+ have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with major actors in the Canadian aerospace industry. The MoU covers the development and production of SAF in North... 

UK air force launching major ‘green’ aircraft initiatives 

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th July 2021 The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) is planning to bring an electrically-powered elementary trainer aircraft into service by the end of this decade, and to adapt its other fleets of aircraft to be able to operate on 100% sustainable aviation fuels (SAF). These moves are for both operational and... 

Looting dies down in places as more troops expected

By: Reuters     15th July 2021 A week of violence, arson and looting that has engulfed South Africa slowly began to ebb on Thursday as several districts rocked by the mayhem were quiet ahead of an expected surge in soldiers on the streets. Pockets of looting continued in the eastern port city of Durban. 

Boeing reduces production rate of troubled 787 and reports on second quarter deliveries

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th July 2021 Giant US aerospace and defence group Boeing has issued an update on its troubled 787 airliner programme, as well as reporting on its civil and military aircraft deliveries during the second quarter of this year. The predominantly composite-construction widebody 787 has been suffering from... 

An image of a Boeing 737-10 taking off
Photo by Boeing
A Boeing 737-10 (MAX 10) taking off

Boeing delivers tenth antisubmarine warfare and patrol plane to India

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th July 2021 US aerospace and defence group Boeing has delivered to the Indian Navy (IN) its tenth P-8I long-range maritime patrol (MP) and antisubmarine warfare (ASW) aircraft. This aircraft is also the second option exercised by the IN under the contract awarded to Boeing by the Indian Ministry of Defence... 

An image of a Boeing P-81 long-range maritime patrol aircraft
Photo by Boeing
The IN’s tenth P-8I tales off on its delivery flight to India

Rolls-Royce-led electric speed record aircraft project gets support from Jaguar Land Rover

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th July 2021 UK-based global industrial technology group Rolls-Royce announced on Tuesday that its all-electric aircraft world speed record project was now also being supported by automotive manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover (a UK subsidiary of India’s Tata Motors). The Rolls-Royce-led ‘Accelerating the... 

An image of a Jaguar I-PACE vehicle towing an electric aircraft
Photo by Rolls-Royce
An I-PACE SUV acting as tow vehicle for the Spirit of Innovation aircraft

Airbus integrates robotic arm on new module for International Space Station

By: Rebecca Campbell     5th July 2021 Airbus Defence and Space, part of the Europe-based global Airbus group, announced on Monday that it had installed the European Robotic Arm (ERA) on to the ‘Nauka’ multipurpose laboratory module (MLM) for the International Space Station (ISS). The installation included the equipping of the Nauka... 

Airbus to supply UK with satellite-based maritime surveillance information

By: Rebecca Campbell     28th June 2021 Airbus Defence and Space announced on Monday that it had been granted a 12-month contract extension by the UK Royal Navy for satellite-based maritime surveillance services. This contract extension follows the conclusion of a successful proof-of-concept phase. The services will be supplied to the... 

An Airbus Defence and Space Pléiades satellite image of the UK’s Portsmouth Naval Dockyard – visible centre top is the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth
Photo by Airbus Defence and Space
An Airbus Defence and Space Pléiades satellite image of the UK’s Portsmouth Naval Dockyard – visible centre top is the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth

Drone Council asks regulator to loosen laws 

By: Donna Slater     24th June 2021 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     24th June 2021 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... 

A aviation technical student examines one of Paramount's Dassault Mirage jets
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 US's Bronco II aircraft
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... 

The MQ-25 (left) refuels the Super Hornet.
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... 

An artist’s impression of the Boom Supersonic Overture flying in United Airlines livery
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... 

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni
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' A400M
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 and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula
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... 

An artist’s impression of the New Generation Fighter, with new generation uncrewed combat air vehicles
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... 

The Boeing Saab T-X prototype for the T-7A Red Hawk
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... 

An Airbus A321neo
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... 

An artist’s impression of the Falcon 10X
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... 

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