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DECEMBER 2020 news

Defense Aviation and Aerospace Industry


 

Egypt to protect Airbus 340-200 Head-of-State aircraft with US Infrared Countermeasures LAIRCM System

According to information published by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) on December 29, 2020, the U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Egypt of a Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) System for Head-of-State Aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $104 million.

US approves the sale of GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb to Saudi Arabia

According to information published by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) on December 29, 2020, the U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb I (SDB I) Munitions and related equipment for an estimated cost of $290 million.

Contract is awarded to Northrop Grumman for Japan RQ-4 Global Hawk drone program

According to a contract published by the United States Department of Defense on December 29, 2020, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, San Diego, California, has been awarded a $37,707,325 firm-fixed-price contract for the Japan RQ-4 Global Hawk drone Program. The contract provides for the procurement of initial spare parts to include modifications to the system engineering and program management tasks required to execute, manage, control, and report on all program activities

First serial production of Sukhoi Su-57 fighter aircraft delivered to Russian Air Force test center

According to information published by the Russian press agency Tass on December 28, 2020, the first serial fifth-generation Su-57 fighter jet was shipped to the 929th flight test center (GLITs) in Akhtubinsk. It had to be supplied yet in 2019 but crashed. PAK FA program is the most difficult and ambitious project for Russian aircraft makers, the Izvestia daily writes.

Egypt to purchase US AN/AAQ-33 Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods

According to information published by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) on December 29, 2020, the U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Egypt of AN/AAQ-33 Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods (ATPs) and related equipment for an estimated cost of $65.6 million.

United States approves the sale of AH-64E attack helicopters to Kuwait

According to information published by the United States Department of Defense on December 29, 2020, the U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Kuwait of AH-64E Apache Helicopters and related equipment for an estimated cost of $4.0 billion.

Australia MoD declared Initial Operational Capability for F-35A fighter aircraft

According to a press release published on December 28, 2020, Australian Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon. Linda Reynolds, CSC, and Minister for Defence Industry, Melissa Price MP, December 28, 2020, declared Initial Operational Capability (IOC) for Australia's F-35As, making Australia the seventh country to declare IOC for its F-35 fleet. Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) will sustain the Royal Australian Air Force's (RAAF) F-35A fleet, which will play a crucial role in defending Australia's national interests.

Russian Aerospace Forces take delivery of first KBLA-IVTs vertical take-off and landing drones

According to information published by the Russian press agency TASS on December 24, 2020, the Tekhodinamika group (under control of state corporation Rostec) has handed over the first KBLA-IVTs vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS), according to the press department of Rostec.

Russian Air Force takes delivery of first Sukhoi Su-57 stealth fighter aircraft

According to information published by the Russian press agency TASS on December 25, 2020, the Russian Air Force has taken delivery of the first batch of Russian-made Su-57 multi-role fifth-generation fighter aircraft, the production version of the PAK FA.

Ilyushin Il-78M-90A refueling aircraft to enter production in 2021

Next year Aviastar-SP UAC will begin the production of ten Ilyushin Il-78M-90A refueling aircraft under the contract with the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation. It will allow to refuel simultaneously two aircraft.

Central Africa calls for help from Russian military

Russia has sent its military to the Central African Republic (CAR) to help the authorities of that country stop the rebel offensive against the capital. This was announced by an official representative of the CAR government. Moscow does not comment on his statement, but expresses concern over "information about the mutiny", Marianna Belenkaya reports on the Russian website Kommersant.

Airbus Helicopters conducts first flight with Qatari NH90 TTH Tactical Troop Transport helicopter

According to a press release published on December 23, 2020, the Qatar Emiri Air Force’s NH90 helicopter program marked a major milestone last week with the first flights of NH90 tactical troop transport (TTH) helicopter for Qatari air Force, assembled at Airbus Helicopters’ Marignane site in France. The flights allowed crews to evaluate general handling and basic systems and the helicopters performed as expected.

Leonardo delivers first two M-345 jet trainer aircraft to the Italian Air Force

Leonardo delivered on December 22 the first two M-345 jet trainer aircraft to the Italian Air Force, which to-date has ordered 18 units from a total requirement for up to 45 aircraft. The new type, designated T-345A by the Italian Air Force, will gradually replace the 137 MB-339s which have been in service since 1982.

Chinese Air Force improved J-11B fighter jet variant enters batch production

An improved variant of China's J-11B aircraft has reportedly entered batch production, and experts said on December 24 that this type of heavy fighter jet has possibly received upgrades on its radar system that can increase its situational awareness and combat range, Liu Xuanzun reports on Global Times.

Kazakhstan to buy 3 King Air B300ER Scorpions with ISR systems

The U.S. Department of Defense on December 23, 2020 announced that the State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Kazakhstan of three Beechcraft King Air B300ER Scorpion Aircraft with Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) Mission Systems and related equipment for an estimated cost of $128.1 million.

Belgian conviction for irradiating an F-16 pointed with a laser

The Belgian Air Force published on its Facebook page, on December 23, 2020, that in April 2018, a 69-year-old man from Hechtel (Belgium) was arrested after pointing an F-16 on landing using a laser. The Antwerp Court of Appeal has now sentenced the defendant to a fine of 1,200 euros and a six-month suspended prison sentence. The Defense wants to demonstrate the dangers and possible consequences of such behavior.

INDRA to equip Spanish NH-90 helicopters with advanced electronic defense systems

According to a press release published on December 21, 2020, Spanish company Indra, one of the main global technology and consulting companies, has signed a contract with the Spanish Ministry of Defence to equip 23 NH90 helicopters with the most advanced electronic defense systems, essential to reinforce the security of the aircraft and its crew in the area of operations.

SAAB receives order for future options of Swedish Air Force Gripen C/D fighter aircraft

According to a press release published on December 22, 2020, Swedish company Saab has received an order from the Swedish Defence Material Administration (FMV) to define what is needed to meet Sweden’s requirements for the continued, effective operation and availability of Gripen C/D until 2035.

Belgian Air Force takes delivery of its first new A400M MSN106 military transport aircraft

According to information published on December 22, 2020, the Belgian Air Force has taken delivery of its first of seven Airbus A400M military transport aircraft. The aircraft was handed over to the customer at the A400M Final Assembly Line in Seville (Spain) and subsequently performed its ferry flight to the 15th Air Transport Wing in Melsbroek (Belgium), where the aircraft will be based.

Singapore Air Force F-15SG fleet to benefit from 10 more years of Boeing services support

The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) recently awarded Boeing its fourth Performance Based Logistics (PBL) contract to support Singapore’s fleet of F-15SG aircraft. Under the 10-year, Direct Commercial Sale contract, Boeing will work closely with the RSAF to deliver customized support services to sustain the F-15SG for the next decade. In addition, Boeing’s field service representatives located with the customer will continue to provide on-site technical support.

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