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Defence & Aerospace

Airbus confident that its unequalled range of airliners is ideal for the post-Covid-19 market

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd July 2020 Europe-based global aerospace group Airbus reports that its smallest airliner family, the A220, is proving a most useful asset, particularly in this time of the Covid-19 pandemic. Airbus acquired the A220 programme from Canadian group Bombardier, which had designated it the C-Series. “We have... 

Brazilian aerospace group reports drop in aircraft deliveries during the second quarter

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd July 2020 Brazilian aerospace group Embraer has reported that it delivered fewer aircraft during the second quarter of this year than during the equivalent periods in previous years. Deliveries during this year’s second quarter totalled 13 executive jets and four commercial airliners. The executive jets... 

Trade union to resume action against Denel in the Labour Court

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd July 2020 The Solidarity trade union announced on Wednesday that it would restart its legal action against State-owned defence industrial group Denel regarding the payment of salaries to the group’s employees. The union had previously charged that some Denel workers had only received 20% of their pay in... 

UK launches major green aviation research and development programmes

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st July 2020 The British government and aerospace industry are to jointly invest £400-million in researching and developing technologies that will reduce the environmental impact of aviation. The initiative, announced on Monday on the first day of a virtual Farnborough International Airshow, will see the... 

Industry team supporting UK advanced fighter technology programme gets new members

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st July 2020 UK-based global major aerospace and defence group BAE Systems announced on Monday that seven additional British-based companies had joined Britain’s Team Tempest future air combat advanced technologies development programme. Team Tempest was a joint initiative between the British Ministry of... 

An artist’s impression of what a fighter developed using Team tempest technologies might look like.
Photo by UK Ministry of Defence
An artist’s impression of what a fighter developed using Team tempest technologies might look like.

Denel Group CEO suddenly resigns 

By: Rebecca Campbell     20th July 2020 State-owned defence industrial group Denel announced on Monday that its Group CEO, Danie du Toit, had resigned. Although the group is the country’s largest defence company, it is severe financial difficulties. Denel stated that Du Toit would leave the organisation on August 15. It gave no reason... 

Drones used to combat spread of water-sapping alien trees in semi-arid Karoo

By: Donna Slater     17th July 2020 Drones are being used by the agricultural community in the Western Cape, and more specifically the semi-arid Karoo region, where water resources are under strain, to fight invasive and water-hungry alien plant species. Southern Cape Landowners Initiative’s (SCLI’s) Cobus Meiring explains that,... 

Kammanassie farmer Morné Jonker with the drone sprayer used to fight alien vegetation
Kammanassie farmer Morné Jonker with the drone sprayer used to fight alien vegetation

PPP steps in to salvage insolvent internet satellite communications firm

By: Rebecca Campbell     17th July 2020 UK-domiciled but US-based global internet satellite communications company OneWeb, which became insolvent because of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, has been bought by an international public private partnership (PPP). OneWeb’s aim was to establish a constellation of, at first, 650... 

Airline association calls on African governments to abandon quarantining

By: Rebecca Campbell     17th July 2020 The global representative body of the airline industry, the International Air Transport Association (Iata), has called on African and Middle Eastern (AME) governments to abandon quarantine measures for arriving air passengers. These policies were doing grave damage to those countries’ aviation... 

Discovery of metals on the Moon aids development of lunar formation theories

By: Rebecca Campbell     17th July 2020 Scientists using data from the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (Nasa’s) Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft have discovered evidence that the Moon might, underneath its surface, be richer in metals (such as iron and titanium) than had previously been believed. Nasa is... 

Drones Council launched to expedite advancement of regulatory environment

By: Donna Slater     15th July 2020 The Drone Council South Africa (DCSA) was launched on July 15 with its first webinar to update global stakeholders in the private and public sectors on progress being made in the drones industry, both internationally and in South Africa. The DCSA was formed in part to address South Africa’s... 

Major British aerospace manufacturer unveils ‘Factory 4.0’

By: Rebecca Campbell     14th July 2020 UK-based global major aerospace and defence group BAE Systems on Monday unveiled its new intelligent factory at its complex in Warton in Lancashire, England. This factory has been developed to support the UK’s Tempest next (sixth) generation combat aircraft technologies programme.  The group... 

BAE Systems/Fairfield Control Systems new intelligent workstations
Photo by BAE Systems
BAE Systems/Fairfield Control Systems new intelligent workstations

Indian Air Force receives last batch of Boeing military helicopters ordered in 2015

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th July 2020 US global major aerospace and defence group Boeing has concluded deliveries of helicopters to the Indian Air Force (IAF), ordered under a September 2015 contract. The order was for 22 AH-64E Apache attack and 15 CH-47F(I) Chinook heavy transport helicopters. The last batch of the helicopters... 

All Nasa’s new heavy space rocket components are now qualified for flight

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th July 2020 The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) – the US space agency – has  announced that the structural testing campaign for its new Space Launch System (SLS) was completed on June 24. The SLS is Nasa’s new heavy rocket, which will launch into space its upcoming Artemis crewed Moon... 

Structural testing completed for first flight of America’s Orion spacecraft

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th July 2020 The US space agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) has announced that structural testing of its Orion spacecraft for the Artemis I mission had been successfully concluded. The Orion was designed to carry astronauts deeper into space than any previous human spacecraft.... 

Numsa, Sacca welcome adjournment of SAA business rescue vote

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th July 2020 In a joint statement on June 26 the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) expressed their relief that 69% of the creditors of South African Airways (SAA) voted to adjourn (to July 14) the vote on the proposed business rescue... 

Drones being used to help governments fight the Covid-19 pandemic

By: Donna Slater     10th July 2020 With the onset of Covid-19, technology has come to the fore, as people have been forced to work from home or increasingly remotely to ensure physical distancing, thereby increasing reliance on remote, and even autonomous, methods of conducting duties, with keen interest in the potential use of... 

Drones being used to help governments fight the Covid-19 pandemic

Parliamentary Defence Committee warns that budget cuts are endangering key projects

By: Rebecca Campbell     9th July 2020 Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans has warned that cost savings forced on the country’s defence acquisition and research and development agency Armscor could endanger key projects. The agency’s budget has been cut by R120-million. The committee praised Armscor for... 

Airbus wins new generation satellite order form Australian telecoms group

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th July 2020 Airbus Defence and Space has been awarded an end-to-end turnkey contract for a telecommunications satellite by Australia’s leading satellite operator and number two telecommunications company, Optus. This is Airbus’ first contract from an Australian operator and is the fourth order for Airbus’... 

Greater drone deployability in Africa requires regulatory allowances, supply chain integration

By: Donna Slater     3rd July 2020 Drones are being successfully deployed to support medical and humanitarian projects across Africa, but for a greater, more sustainable impact, they will need to be fully integrated into supply chains within an enabling regulatory environment, according to panellists who spoke during a webinar on... 

Trade unions slam Denel management over unpaid salaries, head to court

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd July 2020 The Solidarity trade union has blasted the South African government and the management of State-owned defence industrial group Denel over their mishandling of the affairs of the company, causing it to be in so bad a condition as to be unable to pay its employees their full salaries. In May, some... 

Proposed business rescue plan would see severe cut in SAA’s fleet

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd July 2020 In their business rescue plan for State-owned national flag carrier South African Airways (SAA), published on June 16, business rescue practitioners (BRPs) Siviwe Dongwana and Leslie Matuson proposed a massive downsizing of the airline’s fleet, followed by a slow expansion after it resumed... 

African govts urged to apply ICAO guidance to restart air travel

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd July 2020 Three international air transport sector organisations have urged African governments to harmonise the safe restart of their air services by swiftly implementing the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO’s) global guidelines for the restoration of safe air transport, entitled Takeoff:... 

South Africa’s defence electronics sector sees significant acquisition deal

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st July 2020 Local defence company Hensoldt South Africa (Hensoldt SA) has agreed to buy the Defence and Security and Air Traffic Management (ATM) business units of another South African company, Tellumat. The agreement was signed in a virtual ceremony on June 26. It will come into force once all the... 

Airbus announces widespread job cuts to deal with effects of Covid-19 crisis

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st July 2020 Europe-based global major aerospace group Airbus announced at the end of June that it was going to have to cut 15 000 jobs over the next 12 months – from now until the northern summer of 2021 – and resize the operations of its commercial aircraft business. These steps were being taken to meet the... 

Members of all Airbus’ current airliner families in flight – from front to rear: an A220-300, an A319neo, an A330neo, an A350-1000, a Beluga transport (developed for Airbus’ own use) and an A380
Photo by Airbus
Members of all Airbus’ current airliner families in flight – from front to rear: an A220-300, an A319neo, an A330neo, an A350-1000, a Beluga transport (developed for Airbus’ own use) and an A380

US regulator approves next step in re-certifying Boeing 737 MAX

By: Rebecca Campbell     29th June 2020 The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has told Boeing that it can start test flights of its troubled 737 MAX single-aisle airliner with FAA pilots aboard, American media have reported. These test flights would be an important step towards re-certifying the aircraft to carry passengers. The... 

US space agency awards major commercial lunar lander contract

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th June 2020 The US space agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa), has awarded a $199.5-million contract to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, based space robotics company Astrobotic Technology, to land Nasa’s Viper lunar rover at the Moon’s south pole in late 2023. The Viper will be carried... 

Faced with aviation crisis, Aerosud restructures, diversifies and will launch new product

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th June 2020 South African private-sector aerostructures company Aerosud remains optimistic about its future, despite suffering significant short-term hits from both the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX airliner early last year and the current Covid-19 pandemic. Aerosud is a supplier of airframe components to... 

Trade union attacks State and Denel management over unpaid salaries and goes to court

By: Rebecca Campbell     24th June 2020 The Solidarity trade union has blasted the South African government and the management of State-owned defence industrial group Denel over their mishandling of the affairs of the company, causing it to be in so bad a condition as to be unable to pay its employees their full salaries. In May, some... 

Zuma trial: French arms company Thales intends to challenge racketeering charge

By: News24Wire      23rd June 2020 French arms company Thales' legal team says they will challenge racketeering charges brought against it in their criminal matter with co-accused former President Jacob Zuma, potentially delaying the trial further. 

FMCSA supplies 50 000 face shields for frontline health workers

By: Donna Slater     22nd June 2020 Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) has assembled and supplied 50 000 face shields for the US Department of Defence to shore up its response to the Covid-19 pandemic in the Southern African region. The face shields are being produced in a specially prepared and sanitised facility at... 

South African munitions and explosives company announces plant engineering contract

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd June 2020 South African defence company Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM), part of the Germany-based Rheinmetall Defence group, has reported that it has won a more than R200-million ($13-million) industrial plant engineering contract. The project includes the upgrading of an existing plant and will start as... 

Major Brazilian aerospace group secures export financing to strengthen its cash position

By: Rebecca Campbell     19th June 2020 Brazil-based global major aerospace group Embraer has reported that it has secured export financing of up to $600-million for the next four years. The company is the world’s number one manufacturer of commercial airliners with 150 seats or less. It stated that the loans had been obtained at... 

An Embraer E190-E2 airliner
Photo by Rebecca Campbell
An Embraer E190-E2 airliner

Trade union taking Denel to court over non-payment of salaries

By: Rebecca Campbell     19th June 2020 The UASA trade union has announced that it is launching an urgent application in the Labour Court, against State-owned entity (SOE) Denel, over the non-payment of workers’ salaries by the group. The union has also written to the CEO of Denel, which is a defence industrial group, on behalf of its... 

Brazilian aerospace group Embraer reports net loss for first quarter

By: Rebecca Campbell     19th June 2020 Brazilian major aerospace group Embraer, the world’s number one manufacturer of commercial jets with up to 150 seats, and the world’s number three commercial jet manufacturer, after Airbus and Boeing (in alphabetical order), has reported a net loss of $292-million attributable to its shareholders... 

April saw almost total collapse in air travel demand, but early signs of recovery appearing

By: Rebecca Campbell     19th June 2020 The International Air Transport Association (Iata) has reported that it has detected signs of a recovery in air passenger demand, following a gigantic collapse in April. Air passenger demand during April was 94.3% lower than in April 2019, a fall never before seen in this statistical series since... 

Denel briefs Parliament on the future opportunities it has identified

By: Rebecca Campbell     18th June 2020 Liquidity-starved State-owned defence industrial group Denel has identified opportunities that would allow it to generate revenues and even create new revenue streams in the coming years. It reported this in its recent briefing to Parliament (which was released by the legislature on June 17). The... 

The Rooivalk combat support helicopter is Denel’s flagship product
Photo by Creamer Media
The Rooivalk combat support helicopter is Denel’s flagship product
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