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Defence & Aerospace

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... 

Sansa CEO Dr Val Munsami
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... 

An Airbus A400M refueling two French Air Force H225M helicopters mid-air
An Airbus A400M refueling two French Air Force H225M helicopters mid-air

UASA disappointed at Denel’s employee benefit amendment

By: Donna Slater     19th April 2021 Trade union UASA says it is “bitterly disappointed” by State-owned defence company Denel’s policy change proposals concerning the benefits paid out to employees under certain circumstances. UASA says Denel has set up a meeting with organised labour for April 19 to discuss the proposed policy... 

Airbus wins a French stimulus order for more military helicopters

By: Rebecca Campbell     16th 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... 

An Airbus Helicopters H225M Caracal of the French Air and Space Force
Photo by Anthony Pecchi/Airbus
An Airbus Helicopters H225M Caracal of the French Air and Space Force

Iata supports AU on reopening continent’s civil aviation sector

By: Rebecca Campbell     16th April 2021 The representative body for the global airline industry, the International Air Transport Association (Iata), has affirmed its support for the African Union’s (AU’s) campaign to safely restart commercial aviation across the continent. The campaign is called ‘Saving Lives, Economies and... 

Global commercial aviation sector must strengthen its cybersecurity and cyber resilience

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th April 2021 In a report drawn up in cooperation with the global commercial aviation sector, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has highlighted the need for the aviation industry to unify its approach to cybersecurity. The report is entitled ‘Pathways to a Cyber Resilient Aviation Industry’ and it was published... 

Airbus signs military transport aircraft servicing deal with Egypt

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th April 2021 Airbus Defence and Space, part of the Airbus group, announced on Thursday that it had signed a five-year services contract with the Egyptian Air Force (EAF), to support the latter’s force of C295 twin turboprop transport aircraft. The EAF operates the largest fleet of C295s in the world, with 24... 

An Airbus C295 of the Egyptian Air Force
Photo by Airbus
An Airbus C295 of the Egyptian Air Force

Russians report success in first stage of pulse-detonation engine test project

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th April 2021 Russia’s State-owned Rostec group has announced that its subsidiary, United Engine Corporation (UEC), had completed the first round of tests on a pulse-detonation technology demonstrator engine. The engine is being developed by UEC’s Lyulka design bureau and the project was launched in 2016. “The... 

The pulse-detonation technology demonstration engine
Photo by Rostec
The pulse-detonation technology demonstration engine

EWT, Eskom use drones to deploy bird flight diverters

By: Donna Slater     12th April 2021 A drone-operated system that can deploy bird flight diverters, or so-called “flappers”, has been designed and developed in a partnership between the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s (EWT’s) wildlife and energy programme and Eskom. The diverters serve as markers that will improve the visibility of... 

Embraer releases information that allows its business jets to carry vaccines

By: Rebecca Campbell     9th April 2021 Brazilian aerospace group Embraer, which includes executive or business jets in its product portfolio, has announced that it has released technical information that will help users of these jets to optimise them for the transport of anti-Covid-19 vaccines. Currently, more than 1 400 Embraer... 

Embraer’s commercial jet business takes Covid strain

By: Rebecca Campbell     9th April 2021 Brazilian aerospace group Embraer, one of the world’s leading companies in the sector, has released its results for last year. (Embraer’s financial year is identical to the calendar year.) The financial results were released on a consolidated basis and according to International Financial... 

Core stage of Nasa’s biggest-ever rocket has passed final major test

By: Rebecca Campbell     9th April 2021 The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) has successfully conducted a second ‘hot fire’ test of the core stage of its new Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. The SLS core stage, the prime contractor for which is Boeing, is powered by four Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-25 rocket engines.... 

New patrol vessel for Navy launched in Cape Town

By: Rebecca Campbell     9th April 2021 Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT), a subsidiary of the Netherlands-based Damen International Shipyards Group, recently launched the first (of three) Multimission Inshore Patrol Vessels (MMIPVs) for the South African Navy (SAN). These new vessels will replace the SAN’s now elderly offshore patrol... 

Ultra-sensitive radio images reveal star-forming galaxies in early Universe

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     7th April 2021 An international team of astronomers has published the most sensitive images of the Universe ever taken at low radio frequencies. The images were taken using the International Low Frequency Array (Lofar). The software needed to do this, specifically that which handles the direction-dependent... 

UK recognises Africa’s dynamism, restates commitments to global issues

By: Rebecca Campbell     2nd April 2021 In its recently published 2021 integrated review, the UK reaffirmed its commitments to multilateralism, international cooperation, free and fair trade, development, countering the effects of climate change, global health, and development. Titled ‘Global Britain: The Integrated Review of Security,... 

UK defence group applying its flight control expertise to submarines

By: Rebecca Campbell     29th March 2021 UK-based global major defence industrial group BAE Systems has reported that it is adapting flight control systems for use in the UK’s next generation submarines, the Dreadnought-class. Submarines, like aircraft, manoeuvre through three dimensions and not, as surface ships do, only in two... 

An artist’s impression of a Dreadnought-class submarine
Photo by BAE Systems
An artist’s impression of a Dreadnought-class submarine

Airbus launches cryogenics and superconductivity research project for aircraft propulsion

By: Rebecca Campbell     29th March 2021 Europe-based global major aerospace group Airbus has announced the start of its Advanced Superconducting and Cryogenic Experimental powertraiN Demonstrator (Ascend) project. This would examine the potential application of cryogenics and superconductivity to future alternative aircraft power... 

SA Air Force fleet soon to be obsolete, border fences inadequate, parliamentary committees finds

By: News24Wire      29th March 2021 The SA Air Force's fleet will soon become obsolete, fences at some of the main border posts are wholly inadequate, and battlefield surveillance capabilities are minimal. There is also a lack of sufficient and adequate air support in the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to respond to... 

Rolls-Royce has started assembly of the world’s biggest aircraft engine

By: Rebecca Campbell     29th March 2021 UK-based global industrial technology group Rolls-Royce reported on Monday that it had formally started making the biggest aeroengine in the world, the UltraFan. This is intended to be the basis for a new family of engines that would power both single-aisle and widebody airliners and would... 

An artist’s impression of the UltraFan
Photo by Rolls-Royce
An artist’s impression of the UltraFan

New patrol vessel for the South African Navy is launched in Cape Town

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th March 2021 Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT), a subsidiary of the Netherlands-based Damen International Shipyards Group, announced on Thursday that it had launched the first (of three) Multimission Inshore Patrol Vessels (MMIPVs) for the South African Navy (SAN). These new vessels will replace the SAN’s now... 

The MMIPV in the DSCT shipyard just before its move to the harbour
Photo by DSCT
The MMIPV in the DSCT shipyard just before its move to the harbour

Construction starts on new Sansa space weather centre

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th March 2021 The ground has been officially broken to mark the formal start of the construction of the South African National Space Agency’s (Sansa’s) new R70.89-million Regional Space Weather Centre at Hermanus, in the Western Cape. The new centre falls under the Sansa Space Science programme, which is also... 

Denel appoints Thandeka Sabela as acting CFO

By: Reuters     24th March 2021 South African state-owned defence company Denel has appointed Thandeka Sabela as acting CFO, the firm said on Tuesday. The firm's former CFO, Carmen le Grange, resigned earlier in March, extending a series of exits including the board chair and chief executive, deepening a crisis at the... 

Embraer hit by about 50% cut in revenues of its commercial jet business

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd March 2021 Brazilian aerospace group Embraer, one of the world’s leading companies in the sector, has released its results for last year. Embraer’s financial year is identical to the calendar year. The financial results were released on a consolidated basis and according to International Financial Reporting... 

Plan emerges for renewal of South Africa’s crucial space infrastructure

By: Rebecca Campbell     19th March 2021 Almost unnoticed by most people on Earth, space technology and infrastructure has become essential for, and ubiquitous in, everyday life. It has become a major facilitator for national economic development and, through satellite imagery, an essential source for a gigantic range of information... 

Plan emerges for renewal of South Africa’s crucial space infrastructure

Airbus, partners launch programme to determine climate impact of synthetic fuel

By: Rebecca Campbell     18th March 2021 On Tuesday an Airbus A350XWB airliner, powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines, took off from Blagnac Airport in Toulouse, in France. What was special about this flight was that the aircraft was using only sustainable aviation fuels (SAF). The airliner, registration F-WXWB, is one of Airbus’... 

A350XWB flightlab takes off using 100% SAF for the first time
Photo by Airbus
A350XWB flightlab takes off using 100% SAF for the first time

We will get State-owned entities back into shape eventually, insists DPE 

By: News24Wire      17th March 2021 Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises Phumulo Masualle told Parliament on Tuesday afternoon that despite ongoing troubles at state-owned entities (SOEs) and delays in already announced plans to get them back in shape, the department still had a plan to improve the fortunes of beleaguered... 

Major UK, Italian and Norwegian companies combine to develop all-electric small airliner

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th March 2021 UK-based leading industrial technology group Rolls-Royce, Italian aerospace company Tecnam, and Norwegian (and largest Scandinavian) regional airline Widerøe, have announced that they are to work together to produce and bring into service an entirely electrically-powered commuter airliner. The... 

An artist’s impression of the P-Volt aircraft in Widerøe livery
Photo by Rolls-Royce
An artist’s impression of the P-Volt aircraft in Widerøe livery

Australia’s leading-edge UAV programme makes significant advances

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th March 2021 The beginning of this month saw major developments in Boeing Australia and the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF’s) advanced technology Loyal Wingman uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) programme. On the first day of the month, it was announced that the first Loyal Wingman had successfully conducted... 

Denel braces for more losses, denies 'trading recklessly'

By: Reuters     10th March 2021 South Africa's State weapons manufacturer Denel expects to make further losses in its current financial year, it said in a presentation on Wednesday as its acting chair denied the company was trading "recklessly" at a hearing by lawmakers. Denel makes military equipment for South Africa's armed... 

Rolls-Royce to provide power units for electrical urban passenger air vehicle

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th March 2021 UK-based global major industrial technology group Rolls-Royce is to cooperate with UK urban air mobility (UAM) aircraft company Vertical Aerospace to power the latter’s new electrically-powered piloted vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) machine. This UAM vehicle is designated the VA-X4 and will... 

Artist’s impression of the VA-X4 in vertical flight configuration
Photo by Rolls-Royce
Artist’s impression of the VA-X4 in vertical flight configuration
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