DECEMBER 2020 news

Defense Aviation and Aerospace Industry


Boeing unmanned Loyal Wingman conducts first high-speed taxi test

Boeing Australia and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) have completed the first high-speed taxi test of the Loyal Wingman in preparation for first flight.

Russian armed forces to receive 10 Mi-8AMTSh-VN helicopters in 2021

Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexei Krivoruchko has visited the Ulan-Ude Aircraft Plant, a subsidiary of the Russian Helicopters Group. Krivoruchko checked the production of the Kamov Ka-226T (NATO reporting name: Hoodlum) helicopter, various versions of the Mil Mi-8 (Hip), and the new Mi-8AMTSh-VN helicopter.

US Air Force conducts new captive-carry test of hypersonic missile on B-52H bomber aircraft

According to information released by the American Company Lockheed Martin, an Air Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) hypersonic weapon also called AGM-183 instrumented measurement vehicle (IMV) was flown captive-carry on a U.S. Air Force B-52H out of Edwards AFB, California.

Embraer delivers the fourth C-390 Millennium airlifter to Brazilian Air Force

According to a press release published on December 19, 2020, Brazilian company Embraer delivered the fourth C-390 Millennium multi-mission medium military transport aircraft of a total of 28 units to the Brazilian Air Force (FAB). Like the three units already in operation, the fourth transport aircraft will be operated by the First Troop Transport Group (1st GTT). All 28 aircraft ordered by FAB are equipped to perform aerial refueling missions, with the designation KC-390 Millennium.

US Air Force has successfully demonstrated data exchange between F-22 F-35 fighter and XQ-58A Valkyrie UAV

According to information and pictures published by the U.S. Air Force on December 14, 2020, On December 9, 2020, the U.S. Air Force joint force took another step toward achieving a military Internet of Things when fifth-generation aircraft including F-22 Raptor and F-35A Lightning II fighter aircraft overcame long standing connectivity limitations to share actionable operational data in their native secure digital “languages” with and through multiple sources including for the first time that included communication with XQ-58A Valkyrie unmanned combat aerial vehicle.

Raytheon contract to provide support of Enhanced Integrator Sensor Suite of RQ-4 Global Hawk drone

According to a contract published on December 18, 2020, by the United States Department of Defense, American company Raytheon Co., El Segundo, California, has been awarded a $10,873,024 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the sustainment of the Enhanced Integrator Sensor Suite (EISS) for the RQ-4 Global Hawk program. This contract provides for contractor logistics support and sustainment of the EISS on the RQ-4 Global Hawk aircraft.

General Atomics to continue support of MQ-9 Block V drone of French Air Force

According to a contract published by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) on December 18, 2020, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., Poway, California, has been awarded a $36,246,974 modification (P00009) to contract FA8620-20-C-2009 for France contractor logistics support MQ-9 Block Five and Block One aircraft. The contractor will provide an additional period of contractor logistics support for the French Air Force.

US Air Force launches first automated drone-based perimeter security system

According to a video released by the U.S. Air Force on December 17, 2020, the 60th Security Forces Squadron of U.S. Air Force, in collaboration with Easy Aerial, a leading provider of autonomous drone-based monitoring solutions, launched the first automated quadcopter drone-based perimeter security system for the U.S. Air Force.

India plans to acquire six A320 planes to be converted into Airborne Early Warning AEW aircraft

According to information published by the "The Times of India" website on December 16, 2020, India plans to acquire six A320 airliners from the existing Air India fleet that will be modified to be used as Airborne Early Warning (AEW) aircraft.

Boeing to deliver first KC-46 military aerial refueling aircraft to Japan in early 2021

According to information published on December 16, 2020, the first KC-46 military aerial refueling and strategic military transport aircraft could be delivered in Japan in early 2021. The KC-46 is developed by American company Boeing based on its 767-2C jet airliner. Boeing has delivered more than 1,150 767s worldwide.

36th Airbus A400M Atlas now operated by Luftwaffe German Air Force

The Luftwaffe received its 36th Airbus A400M in Wunstorf on December 4. With a total of 53 units ordered, Germany's armed forces are the largest users of the heavy transport aircraft.

Boeing awarded US Navy contract for New Zealand P-8A Poseidon training

The U.S. Navy recently awarded Boeing a Foreign Military Sales contract, valued at $109 million, to provide P-8A Poseidon training for the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF). A suite of training systems and courseware will prepare RNZAF aircrew and maintainers to safely and effectively operate and maintain the world’s premier maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft for decades to come.

Italian Air Force to get Gulfstream G550 aircraft with airborne intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and electronic warfare mission systems

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced on December 15 that the State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Italy of Gulfstream G550 Aircraft with Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Electronic Warfare (AISREW) Mission Systems and related equipment for an estimated cost of $500 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale.

Northrop Grumman BACN Gateway system surpasses 200 000 combat flight hours

Northrop Grumman Corporation’s Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) gateway system reached 200,000 combat operational flight hours since its first deployment with the U.S. Air Force in 2008.

Kaney selected to improve rotorcraft power systems for US Army

The U.S. Army has selected Kaney for the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program with the goal of improving Army rotorcraft platforms.

Italian Air Force leads NATO Baltic Air Policing into 2021

“Since we arrived here in early September, the roughly 120 women and men of my team from across the Italian Air Force have outstandingly and professionally executed the NATO mission patrolling the skies over the Allies Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania together with our German colleagues,” said Italian Air Force Colonel Antonio Di Matteo, Commander of the Italian detachment at Šiauliai.

Lockheed Martin flies real-time mission enabling Kubernetes onboard U-2

Lockheed Martin successfully conducted a flight test mission featuring distributed processing onboard the U-2 Dragon Lady via Kubernetes containerization technology. The demonstration is a critical steppingstone toward creating a DevSecOps environment to enable the delivery of enhanced software capability to airborne assets in real-time.

Northrop Grumman awarded contract for A-10 Aircraft Structural Integrity Program (ASIP) Legacy VII

The U.S. Department of Defense announced on December 14 that Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. has been awarded a $185,700,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the A-10 Aircraft Structural Integrity Program (ASIP) Legacy VII.

Russian MoD approves Mi-28NM combat helicopter delivery schedule

The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) has approved a renewed schedule of the delivery of Mil Mi-28NM combat helicopters to the troops, according to the Izvestia newspaper.

Elbit Systems to upgrade Romanian Air Force IAR-99 trainer aircraft

Elbit Systems announced on December 14 that it was awarded a contract valued at approximately $27 million from the Romanian-based company, Avioane Craiova S.A., for the first phase of the upgrade program of the Romanian Air Force’s IAR-99 Standard trainer aircraft. The contract will be performed over a four-year period and includes integrated logistic support.

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