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Defence & Aerospace

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... 

Airbus solar-powered UAV sets new altitude record during multiday test flights

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th October 2021 Europe-based global major aerospace group Airbus announced on Monday that the 2021 flight test ‘campaign’ of its Zephyr very high altitude uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) had been successfully completed. The campaign was conducted in the southwest US, on behalf of the Defence Equipment & Support... 

A photo of an Airbus Zephyr S at low altitude
Photo by Airbus
An Airbus Zephyr S at low altitude

Trade union demands answers from Public Enterprises Minister regarding Denel 

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th October 2021 Trade union UASA has demanded that Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan clarify issues regarding the nonpayment of employees at the State-owned Denel defence industrial group. It has done so by means of a letter to the Minister. Many Denel staff have not received their full pay and benefits... 

Denel formally launches noncore asset disposal process

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th October 2021 Financially-embattled State-owned defence industrial group Denel has finally initiated its long-trailed plan to dispose of what it considers to be ‘non-core’ assets. It has published a newspaper notice calling for expressions of interest from companies interested in buying Denel Gear Ratio, a... 

Cybersecurity becoming part of industrial practices as digital applications and risks multiply

By: Schalk Burger     24th September 2021 As industrial facilities and systems become increasingly connected to capitalise on digital capabilities, countering cybersecurity risks is becoming part of industrial best practices and digital technologies are being subjected to the same rigorous safety and security standards as other... 

Cover image

Boeing wins major US Air Force missile maintenance contract

By: Rebecca Campbell     20th September 2021 Giant US aerospace and defence group Boeing announced on Monday that it had been awarded a $1.6-billion sole-source service contract by the US Air Force (USAF). Under the contract, the corporation will service and maintain the guidance systems of the USAF’s land-based Minuteman III... 

Airbus included in German stock exchange’s new leading index

By: Rebecca Campbell     20th September 2021 Europe-based global giant aerospace group Airbus announced on Monday that it had been included on the Deutsche Börse’s (German stock exchange’s) new DAX40 index, effective immediately. Early this month, the Börse expanded its previous DAX30 index to the new list of 40 enterprises. Airbus is... 

Boeing forecasts trillions in defence, space, security and services markets over next decade

By: Rebecca Campbell     17th September 2021 US major aerospace and defence group Boeing has forecast that the global defence and space market will be worth $2.6-trillion over the next ten years. This prediction is pretty much the same as that made by the group in its market outlook report last year. Of this figure, 60% will be accounted... 

State-owned defence group to pay trade union millions in salary arrears 

By: Rebecca Campbell     17th September 2021 Trade union Solidarity announced on Friday that financially-embattled State-owned defence industrial group Denel had just paid it R4-million. The money is to cover the salary arrears of union members employed by Denel Dynamics and Denel Land Systems. “The payment of the salary money to Solidarity... 

UK electric aircraft speed record attempt aircraft has flown for the first time

By: Rebecca Campbell     16th September 2021 UK-based global major industrial technology group Rolls-Royce has announced that its all-electric aircraft, ‘Spirit of Innovation’, made its maiden flight on Wednesday, at 14h56 British Summer Time. The aircraft has been specifically developed by a Rolls-Royce-led consortium, under the... 

A photo of the ‘Spirit of Innovation’ taking off on its first flight
Photo by Rolls-Royce
The ‘Spirit of Innovation’ takes off on its first flight

US to hold $130m of Egypt's military aid over human rights - State Dept

By: Reuters     15th September 2021 The Biden administration will withhold $130-million worth of military aid to Egypt until Cairo takes specific steps related to human rights, a State Department spokesperson said on Tuesday. Secretary of State Antony Blinken's move is a break with his predecessors' policy of overriding a... 

Initiative helps companies diversify, mitigate supply shortages

By: Cameron Mackay     10th September 2021 The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in shortages of chips and electronic components in the local aerospace industry, which has also impacted on production and projects locally. Aerospace Industry Support Initiative (AISI) technical lead Livison Mashoko states that AISI is working closely with... 

Image of a Jonker sailplane
INDUSTRY IMPACT Several AISI projects as well as AISI beneficiaries have experienced disruption in the last 18 months owing to Covid-19 interruptions to their supply chains
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