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Defence & Aerospace

Radical new engine precooler technology passes critical test

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th November 2019 UK advanced aerospace propulsion technology development company Reaction Engines has successfully tested its revolutionary engine precooler at airflow temperatures representative of Mach 5 – that is, five times the speed of sound. Mach 5 marks the start of the hypersonic speed regime. The... 

While some local aerospace sectors are thriving, others are in a rough patch

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th November 2019 The South African aerospace industry embraces the public and private sectors. It includes manufacturers; maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) service providers; and research and development (R&D) institutions. It covers general, commercial and defence aviation (including manned and unmanned... 

While some local aerospace sectors are thriving,  others are in a rough patch

Thales files to challenge permanent stay denial with SCA, ConCourt

By: African News Agency      5th November 2019 Thales, the multinational French arms manufacturer that has been accused of graft alongside former president Jacob Zuma, has filed a conditional application with the high court for leave to appeal the denial of its permanent stay of prosecution at the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA). At the same... 

Zuma files notice appealing permanent stay of prosecution ruling

By: News24Wire      5th November 2019 Former president Jacob Zuma says the Pietermaritzburg High Court "mis-focused" on the gist of his permanent stay of prosecution application and was biased against him when it dismissed it. Zuma said this in his notice, dated November 1, appealing a ruling by the court which dismissed his... 

Aerial evolution is not just for the birds

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st November 2019 Evolution has played almost as important a role in the development of aircraft as it has in the development of birds, although the timescales are very different, argued Boeing 787 Dreamliner chief test pilot Ricardo Traven at the recent 2019 Aeronautical Society of South Africa conference in... 

Air warfare being changed by a revolutionary fighter

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st November 2019 Fifth generation (5th Gen) combat aircraft are totally transforming the nature of air combat, Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II test pilot Billie Flynn told the recent 2019 Aeronautical Society of South Africa conference, in Pretoria. The F-35 multirole fighter is the second 5th Gen combat... 

Airbus reports revenues for first nine months of 2019 up, year-on-year

By: Rebecca Campbell     30th October 2019 Europe-based global aerospace group Airbus released its consolidated financial results for the first nine months of this year on Wednesday. The company also released is guidance for the full year. Revenues for the period came to €46.2-billion, which was 14% up on the €40.4-billion achieved in... 

Airbus reports revenues for first nine months of 2019 up, year-on-year
Photo by Airbus
Airbus reports revenues for first nine months of 2019 up, year-on-year

SOEs adding to govt spending pressure; e-tolls to remain 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     30th October 2019 South African Airways is one of a number of State-owned enterprises adding to spending pressures on government, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni reiterated on Wednesday. He pointed out that the airline was insolvent and, in its current configuration, unlikely to ever generate sufficient cash flow... 

Event seeks to stimulate earth observation sector in South Africa

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th October 2019 The 2019 Earth Observation (EO) Challenge is now under way. This is the fourth iteration of the competition, conceived by the South African National Space Agency (Sansa), designed to stimulate and promote the local Earth observation products and services sector. In this year’s challenge, which... 

Russia signs deal to supply Niger with 12 attack helicopters - RIA

By: Reuters     24th October 2019 Russia and Niger have signed a deal for Moscow to supply 12 Mi-35 attack helicopters to Niger, a senior official at Russia's federal military-technical cooperation service said on Wednesday, the RIA news agency reported. The contract was announced as Russia welcomed dozens of African heads of... 

Russian bombers land in South Africa

By: Donna Slater     23rd October 2019 Two Tupolev Tu-160 bombers finally landed at the Waterkloof Air Force Base on Wednesday afternoon. Their journey to South Africa had initially been delayed as a result of bad weather in Russia. 

Russian bombers land in South Africa
Photo by Bloomberg
One of two Tupolev Tu-160 aircraft that landed at the Waterkloof Air Force Base on Wednesday.

At R175bn, govt's cumulative irregular spend now tops its annual budget for police and defence 

By: News24Wire      23rd October 2019 The cumulative irregular expenditure incurred by government departments and public entities - up to and including the current financial year - now stands at R174.88-billion. The "closing balance" figure at the end of the 2017/18 financial year was R139.81-billion, and was R115.51-billion in... 

 At R175bn, govt's cumulative irregular spend now tops its annual budget for police and defence
Auditor General Kimi Makwetu

Ethiopia probes alleged dam misspending that slowed construction

By: , Bloomberg     23rd October 2019 Ethiopian authorities are probing missing funds a military contractor already accused of graft was meant to spend on a showpiece dam on a Nile tributary that’s raised tensions with Egypt. Military-linked Metals & Engineering Corp, which was replaced as a contractor on the Grand Ethiopian... 

Russian nuclear bombers sent to South Africa in rare cooperation

By: , Bloomberg     23rd October 2019 Russia will on Wednesday land the world’s biggest military aircraft in South Africa, the Tupolev Tu-160 ‘Blackjack’ bomber, in a rare display of cooperation between the defense forces of the two countries. The two bombers, which are capable of launching nuclear missiles, are the first to ever... 

South Africa could have its own satellite constellation – if it has the will 

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd October 2019 South Africa has the technological capability to create its own constellation of nano- or micro-satellites to supply the country, the Southern African region, or even the whole African continent, to enable the implementation of the Internet of Things (IoT) or the Internet of People (IoP) across... 

South Africa could have its own satellite constellation – if it has the will
Photo by SCS
A computer-generated image of a 6U-Nanosatellite designed by SCS

The secretive election of the world’s top nuclear peacekeeper

By: , Bloomberg     21st October 2019 When the head of the world’s nuclear watchdog died in July, his death was kept secret for four days. Many people didn’t even know Yukiya Amano was sick. The process that will see his post finally filled this week is shrouded in just as much mystery. The ambassadors of the 35 nations on the... 

Rolls-Royce strengthens position in race to develop electric aero-engines

By: Rebecca Campbell     18th October 2019 Renowned UK industrial technology group Rolls-Royce has completed its purchase of Siemens’ eAircraft business. The deal was originally announced in June. eAircraft was the German electrification, automation and digitalisation group’s electric and hybrid-electric aerospace propulsion unit. “We are... 

Scale of Denel’s problems revealed in annual report 

By: Rebecca Campbell     18th October 2019 South African State-owned defence industrial group Denel recently released its annual report for the 2018/2019 financial year (FY). By just about every metric, the group’s position deteriorated from FY 2017/2018 to FY 2018/2019. In FY 2018/2019, revenues were R3.8-billion, down from R5.8-billion... 

The revolutionary fighter changing air warfare

By: Rebecca Campbell     17th October 2019 Fifth generation (5th Gen) combat aircraft are totally transforming the nature of air combat, Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II test pilot Billie Flynn has told the 2019 Aeronautical Society of South Africa conference, in Pretoria. The F-35 multirole fighter is the second 5th Gen combat aircraft... 

The revolutionary fighter changing air warfare

Evolution is not just for the birds

By: Rebecca Campbell     17th October 2019 Evolution has played almost as important a role in the development air aircraft as it has in the development of birds, although the timescales are very different, argued Boeing 787 Dreamliner chief test pilot Ricardo Traven at the 2019 Aeronautical Society of South Africa conference, in Pretoria,... 

Advanced computer games generation setting new fighter pilot standards

By: Rebecca Campbell     16th October 2019 Young pilots, straight out of flight school, are adapting much more rapidly to the latest, most high-technology, fighter jets, known as Fifth Generation (5th Gen) designs, than veteran fighter pilots with many years experience. This was highlighted by Lockheed Martin F-35 test pilot Billie Flynn... 

Zuma to appeal decision to deny permanent stay of corruption charges  

By: Reuters     15th October 2019 Former President Jacob Zuma will appeal a high court decision to deny him a permanent stay of prosecution on charges related to a R30-billion arms deal, his lawyers said on Tuesday. Zuma had applied for the stay of prosecution for alleged fraud, racketeering and money laundering relating to the... 

Zuma to appeal decision to deny permanent stay of corruption charges
Former President Jacob Zuma

Zuma back in court as corruption case resumes

By: , Bloomberg     15th October 2019 Former South African President Jacob Zuma was back in court on Tuesday as the start of his trial for graft, racketeering and money laundering charges inched closer, a decade after prosecutors tried to shelve the case amid allegations of political interference. The hearing in the High Court in the... 

Denel winds up Aerostructures 

By: Reuters     11th October 2019 Denel is winding up its struggling Aerostructures aircraft parts business after receiving government approval, the state arms company said on Friday. Denel, a cornerstone of South Africa's once-mighty defence industry, is battling to emerge from a financial crisis and has pledged to shutter... 

Denel winds up Aerostructures

Jacob Zuma to stand trial for corruption   

By: News24Wire      11th October 2019 Former president Jacob Zuma is expected to be tried on 18 charges of fraud, corruption, money laundering and racketeering next week.  This is after the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg handed down judgment on Friday, in the stay of prosecution application which Zuma and his... 

Regulator needs more capacity to aid SA’s embattled aerospace sector

By: Rebecca Campbell     11th October 2019 Prominent members of the Aeronautical Society of South Africa (AeSSA) have called for the capabilities and capacities of the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) to be strengthened, so that it can undertake internationally accepted certification of transport aircraft designed and... 

Russia denies it has any troops stationed in Mozambique

By: , Bloomberg     8th October 2019 Russia’s government denied it has any troops in Mozambique, after reports that a Russian soldier was killed in the southern African country. “There are no Russian soldiers in Mozambique,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday in Moscow. 

Annual report reveals scale of Denel’s problems 

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th October 2019 South African State-owned defence industrial group Denel announced on the Stock Exchange News Service on Friday that it had released its annual report for the 2018/19 financial year (FY). By just about every metric, the group’s position deteriorated from FY 2017/18 to FY 2018/19. In FY 2018/19,... 

Annual report reveals scale of Denel’s problems
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
Some Denel products: An Umkhonto naval surface-to-air missile in the foreground with a Badger infantry fighting vehicle behind and, just visible in the left background, a Seeker 400 unmanned aerial vehicle

Continued strong growth in airliner demand forecast by Airbus

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th October 2019 Europe-based global aerospace group Airbus has predicted that the global fleet of passenger and freighter aircraft will increase by more than 100% over the next 20 years, requiring the production of more than 39 000 new aircraft. The group recently released its latest 20-year forecast.  

Denel missile completes its development and is certified

By: Rebecca Campbell     2nd October 2019 The Denel Dynamics A-Darter infrared homing short-range air-to-air missile (AAM) has received its Type Certificate. This marks the end of the qualification and certification programme for the weapon. The A-Darter has been jointly developed by South Africa and Brazil, having been originally... 

Denel missile completes its development and is certified
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
Denel Dynamics A-Darter missile (with a Seeker 400 unmanned aerial vehicle behind)

Rolls-Royce completes acquisition of German electrical aviation propulsion business

By: Rebecca Campbell     2nd October 2019 Renowned UK industrial technology group Rolls-Royce announced on Tuesday that it had completed its purchase of Siemens’ eAircraft business. The deal was originally announced in June. eAircraft was the German electrification, automation and digitalisation group’s electric and hybrid-electric... 

Rolls-Royce completes acquisition of German electrical aviation propulsion business
Photo by Siemens
An Extra 330LE sports aeroplane, powered by a Siemens eAircraft-developed electric motor

SANDF rolls into Dunoon, but not to stop protests, say Western Cape police

By: News24Wire      2nd October 2019 The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) was deployed to protest-hit Dunoon, Cape Town, early on Tuesday morning not to stop protests, but to raid premises for drugs and guns, Western Cape police said. "The forces are focusing on the generators of crime such as drugs and firearms. Please... 

New defence review not on the cards, despite budget constraints

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     1st October 2019 Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula says she will have to “engage strongly” with Cabinet and Parliament on the ever-declining defence budget allocation. Such an engagement would have to include include discussions, debates and a resolution on the level of ambition that... 

International airline body urging six priorities on global aviation organisation

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th September 2019 The International Air Transport Association (Iata) has affirmed that it has high expectations for the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s fortieth assembly, which started in Montreal, Canada, on Tuesday. Iata is the representative body of the world’s commercial aviation (airline and air... 

International airline body urging six priorities on global aviation organisation

Newly launched Hensoldt South Africa aims to double turnover in five years

By: Rebecca Campbell     20th September 2019 Germany-based global defence and civilian sensors group Hensoldt officially launched its new, consolidated, South African subsidiary recently. The new company is Hensoldt South Africa, which combines the previously separate Hensoldt Optronics South Africa and GEW Technologies. “Consolidating GEW... 

Airbus forecasts continued strong growth in airliner demand until 2038

By: Rebecca Campbell     18th September 2019 Europe-based global aerospace group Airbus has predicted that the global fleet of passenger and freighter aircraft will increase by more than 100% over the next 20 years, requiring the production of more than 39 000 new aircraft. The group released its latest 20-year forecast on Wednesday. To... 

Airbus forecasts continued strong growth in airliner demand until 2038
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
An Airbus A350-900

Paramount’s Mbombe 4 x 4 achieves high-level certification

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     17th September 2019 Global technology and aerospace business Paramount Group’s Mbombe 4 x 4, the newest addition to its advanced armoured personnel carrier family of vehicles, has received final certification for the independently verified blast tests which exceeded the criteria for North Atlantic Treaty... 

Paramount’s Mbombe 4 x 4 achieves high-level certification
Blast test
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