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Defence & Aerospace

A&D sectors decline needs to be halted

By: Cameron Mackay     10th September 2021 The decline of industrial sectors, such as aerospace and defence (A&D), needs to be addressed urgently, states Commercial Aerospace Manufacturing Association of South Africa (Camasa) chairperson Themba September. “The A&D sectors’ technology development benefits the manufacturing sector through... 

AfCFTA support vital for growth

By: Cameron Mackay     10th September 2021 The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), implemented at the beginning of this year, can potentially boost African aerospace manufacturing by improving export sophistication across Africa, states Commercial Aerospace Manufacturing Association of South Africa chairperson Themba September.... 

Image of CAMASA chairman Themba September
THEMBA SEPTEMBER For aerospace manufacturing, the prospect of improvements in export sophistication across Africa can lead to an enhanced prominence of aerospace manufactured products

Armscor gets unqualified audit from Auditor-General

By: Rebecca Campbell     9th September 2021 The Armaments Corporation of South Africa, much better known as Armscor, reported on Thursday that it had been awarded an unqualified audit by the Auditor-General of South Africa. Armscor is the acquisition agency for the country’s Department of Defence. The audit was for the year ending March... 

UK group wins leading-edge aerospace technology development contract from US

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th September 2021 UK-based global major aerospace and defence group BAE Systems has been awarded a contract by the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) to further develop and demonstrate aircraft active flow control technologies. The contract covers the design of a full-scale demonstrator concept... 

West Africa bloc to hold extraordinary summit on Guinea - staff memo

By: Reuters     7th September 2021 The Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) will hold an extraordinary summit on Guinea on Thursday, according to a staff memo shared with Reuters. Special forces soldiers ousted long-serving President Alpha Conde and dissolved his cabinet on Sunday, prompting Ecowas to demand a return... 

DCD, Sherp hopes to welcome more Sherp vehicles to Africa for use in remote conditions

By: Simone Liedtke     6th September 2021 Particularly well-suited to adverse weather and remote ground conditions, the Sherp heavy-duty vehicle provides an efficient mode of transport when access to remote areas are required, either for exploration or for humanitarian or search and rescue needs. Manufacturer DCD Protected Mobility,... 

An image of the Sherp vehicle
Photo by Creamer Media's Simone Liedtke
The Sherp vehicle

Parliamentary committee concerned about ongoing expenditure for 1 Military Hospital project

By: Schalk Burger     3rd September 2021 The Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Defence on September 3 said it was concerned about the unending repair and maintenance programme (Ramp) of the first floor of 1 Military Hospital, in Tshwane. The committee’s concerns are based on the cost implications involved, with more than... 

Rolls-Royce reports its new power gearbox has set world aerospace power record

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st September 2021 UK-based industrial technology group Rolls-Royce announced on Wednesday that the prototype power gearbox (PGB) for its new-generation UltraFan jet engine had set a new world aerospace power record. The record was set in the group’s dedicated PGB test facility, in Dahlewitz, near Berlin, in... 

South African company highlights need to maintain cybersecurity, analyse open-source data

By: Rebecca Campbell     31st August 2021 Local defence and security electronics company Hensoldt South Africa (Hensoldt SA) has highlighted the latest technologies available in these sectors. It did so at the recent 2021 Sovereign Security Conference, held in Pretoria, and which the company helped sponsor. The huge shift from working in... 

Repurposed Denel aims to mitigate drawbacks of turnaround plan

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     24th August 2021 Despite State-owned aerospace and military technology company Denel’s Turn Around Plan (TAP) having been approved in February 2019, the company said in a presentation to Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Account (Scopa) on August 24 that it continues to experience severe liquidity... 

An image showing a sign at Denel's Lyttelton Campus
Photo by Reuters
Denel campus

Development, governance key to resolving Mozambique insurgency

By: Schalk Burger     20th August 2021 The insurgency in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado is rooted in poverty, unemployment, underdevelopment, poor government and governance, and porous borders contributing to human trafficking, drug smuggling and poaching. While a regional multinational force has been deployed, the... 

Regional insurgency, internal unrest highlights importance of a strong, well-resourced defence industry

By: Schalk Burger     19th August 2021 The role the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has played and plays in ensuring the internal and external security of South Africa has again highlighted the importance and necessity of having a strong Department of Defence (DoD) and a strong defence industry, South African Aerospace,... 

Space weather project reaches another milestone

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     11th August 2021 Industry organisation the South African National Space Agency (Sansa) says it has reached an important milestone with its space weather project, after Cabinet approved and welcomed the designation of South Africa as a Regional Space Weather Centre for the International Civil Aviation Organization... 

Denel releases radical restructuring plan to make the business sustainable  

By: Rebecca Campbell     11th August 2021 Financially-beleaguered State-owned defence industrial group Denel announced on Wednesday a radical reorganisation, in an attempt to turn the business around. The plan also implied a significant downsizing of the group. Even so, Denel management only expected the group to return to profitability... 

An image of Denel's logo

UK moves to demonstrate satellite laser communications

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th August 2021 The UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) announced on Monday that the country’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) had awarded a £9.5-million contract to British company In-Space Missions to build the ‘Titania’ future defence communications technology research satellite. This will use... 

US helicopter company has released advanced vertical take-off aircraft design concepts

By: Rebecca Campbell     5th August 2021 Renowned US helicopter manufacturer Bell Textron this week unveiled design concepts for future high-speed vertical take-off and landing (HSVTOL) aircraft. These design concepts make use of technologies being developed by the company, which is part of the Textron group. HSVTOL technology would... 

An image of three HSVTOL design concepts
Photo by Bell Textron
Three HSVTOL design concepts

Piracy surge in atlantic a boon for South African boat builder

By: Bloomberg     4th August 2021 A proliferation of pirate attacks in the Gulf of Guinea, an expanse of the Atlantic Ocean stretching from Senegal to Angola, is driving a security-boat building boom in South Africa. Paramount Maritime Holdings, a unit of Africa’s biggest privately owned arms-maker, Paramount Group, says it has... 

Boeing’s Starliner space capsule programme suffers another delay

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th August 2021 Giant US aerospace and defence group Boeing has suffered another delay with its element of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (Nasa’s) Commercial Crew Programme (CCP). Nasa announced that the launch attempt planned for Wednesday had been scrubbed and that the spacecraft would... 

An image of the Starliner capsule being integrated with the Atlas V rocket
Photo by Nasa
The Starliner capsule being integrated with the Atlas V rocket in the VIF

Rolls-Royce to construct new aeroengine test facility in the US

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd August 2021 UK-based global major industrial technology group Rolls-Royce announced on Monday that it had started a large expansion of its test facility at Purdue University in West Lafayette in the US state of Indiana. The company and university have undertaken joint aerospace research for several decades... 

UK awards contract for next phase of development of its Tempest future fighter programme

By: Rebecca Campbell     29th July 2021 UK-based global major aerospace and defence group BAE Systems (BAES) announced on Thursday that it had been awarded a £250-million contract by the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) to further advance the design and development of the country’s Tempest Future Combat Air System (FCAS). The signing of... 

Africa a target market for Russia’s new fighter

By: Rebecca Campbell     29th July 2021 African states are among those targeted as possible export markets for Russia’s latest fighter design, currently known only as the Checkmate. This was officially unveiled at the MAKS 2021 aerospace and defence show at Zhukovsky, in the Moscow region, on July 21. Africa was identified as a target... 

An image of a Sukhoi Checkmate displayed at MAKS 2021
Photo by Rostec
The Sukhoi Checkmate displayed at MAKS 2021

UK-based company’s US facilities have developed a new generation missile seeker

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th July 2021 UK-based global major aerospace and defence group BAE Systems announced on Monday that it had received a $117-million contract from one of its US counterparts, Lockheed Martin, for next-generation missile seekers. These will be fitted to Lockheed Martin Long-Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASMs)... 

Rolls-Royce marks major step forward in hybrid-electric aircraft propulsion project

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th July 2021 UK-based industrial technology group Rolls-Royce announced late last week that the generator and associated power electronics for the aerospace world’s most powerful hybrid-electric aircraft power and propulsion system had been delivered to its recently renovated Testbed 108 in Bristol in the UK.... 

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,... 

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