DECEMBER 2020 news

Defense Aviation and Aerospace Industry


Boeing selects Infodas as supplier of SDoT cross domain solution for NATO AWACS upgrade

On December 11, Boeing awarded Infodas, a cybersecurity leader in cross domain solutions, to supply its SDoT products for bi-directional data exchange between domains of different classification level for NATO’s AWACS modernization program. Infodas has thus just received the order from Boeing to upgrade the information assurance system architecture for the NATO AWACS. Boeing itself was awarded the contract from NATO in 2019.

First separation tests of Safran 1,000kg AASM Hammer air-to-ground weapon on Rafale a success

The new 1,000-kilogram version of the AASM “Hammer”* air-to-ground modular weapon, designed and produced by Safran Electronics & Defense, successfully completed its first two inert separation tests from a Rafale multirole fighter. The tests were conducted at the French defense procurement agency DGA’s Cazaux flight test center in southwest France.

Lockheed Martin awarded US Air Force F-16 Depot Sustainment Program

The U.S. Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin a $900 million contract to provide sustainment support and depot-overflow services for F-16 aircraft.

Serbian Air Force testing new VRVZ-200 air-to-surface guided missile

Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Nebojša Stefanović visited “Colonel Pilot Milenko Pavlović“ airbase in Batajnica on December 10, where members of the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces are testing the VRVZ-200 air-to-surface guided missile for the “Eagle“ fighter jet.

Spanish industry achieves full incorporation into phase 1A of the NGWS-FCAS program

The DGA (Direction Générale de l’Armement), acting on behalf of the governments of Spain, Germany and France, has formalized the contractual amendment permitting Spanish industry’s full integration into Phase 1A Technology Demonstrators activities of the NGWS/FCAS project, which was initially launched by France and Germany on February 20, 2020. A few weeks earlier, the DGA had formalized another contractual amendment to incorporate the activities of the Sensors Pillar into this Phase 1A contract, as they didn’t form part of the initial launch.

Boeing autonomous MQ-25 Stingray completes first test flight with aerial refueling store

Boeing and the U.S. Navy have for the first time flown the MQ-25 T1 test asset with an aerial refueling store (ARS), a significant milestone informing development of the unmanned aerial refueler.

First firing of a renovated French ASMPA strategic missile by Rafale fighter

Florence Parly, French Minister of the Armed Forces, expressed her great satisfaction after the success, on December 9, 2020, of the first firing of the renovated strategic air-to-ground medium-range missile (ASMPA). She sent her warm congratulations to all the staff of the Ministry of the Armed Forces and of the MBDA and Dassault Aviation companies who contributed to its success.

Bell Boeing awarded contract for USMC CMV-22B Osprey delivery and maintenance

Bell Boeing Joint Project Office, Amarillo, Texas, is awarded a $170,438,450 modification against previously awarded, fixed-price-incentive-firm-target, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract N00019-17-C-0015. This modification adds scope for the production and delivery of one CMV-22B variation in quantity aircraft for the Navy and exercises options for V-22 Common Configuration Readiness and Modernization (CC-RAM) Lot 4 requirements. Additionally, this modification provides for planned maintenance interval inspections, repairs, shipping and storage containers and tooling in support of the V-22 CC-RAM program.

Rheinmetall takes over maintenance of German CH-53G helicopters at Diepholz Air Base

Rheinmetall has won an order from the German armed forces (Bundeswehr) to inspect, maintain and repair its Sikorsky CH-53G transport helicopters. Starting in March 2021, the Düsseldorf-based Group will be operating two maintenance and repair bays belonging to the German Air Force’s 64th Helicopter Squadron at Diepholz in Lower Saxony. Worth a figure in the lower two-digit million-euro range, the contract with Rheinmetall Aviation Services GmbH runs for five years, with an option for a one-year extension.

BAE Systems receives USD60 million contract to deliver additional advanced missile seekers for LRASM

BAE Systems received a $60 million contract from Lockheed Martin to manufacture and deliver additional advanced missile seekers for the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM). The seeker comprises long-range sensors and targeting technology that help the stealthy missile find and engage protected maritime targets in challenging electromagnetic environments.

Russian Helicopters claims Ukrainian enterprises illegitimately overhaul Afghan Mi-17 helicopters

Russian Helicopters Holding said it considers it necessary to warn that Ukrainian aircraft repair enterprises are carrying out illegitimate overhaul of Afghan Air Force Mil Mi-17V-5 helicopters and thereby endanger the lives of the American and Afghan soldiers operating the rotorcraft.

GA-ASI demonstrates government-supplied CODE autonomy engine

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems annouced on December 4 on its website that it conducted an autonomous flight using a government-supplied Collaborative Operations in Denied Environment (CODE) autonomy engine to support air-to-air targeting missions. The CODE autonomy engine was installed on a GA-ASI Avenger Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS).

Belgian F-35As to include nuclear capability

Belgian Defense minister Ludivine Dedonder has stated that the 34 F-35A Block 4 bought by Belgium will have dual capacity, that is to say conventional and nuclear, Belga news agency reports. The first four of the 34 F-35As (the classic take-off and landing version) ordered in October 2018, for an amount of around 3.8 billion euros, are expected from 2023. However the first eight aircraft will remain at Luke AFB where they will be used to train the Belgian pilots, a plan aiming at identifying the first F-16 pilots that will go through the conversion programme in mid 2022.

Italian Air Force receives first Leonardo HH-139B helicopter

Leonardo announced on December 3 the recent delivery of the first HH-139B twin engine helicopter to the Italian Air Force, a customised variant of the bestselling AW139 platform, from its facility based in Vergiate.

Russia begins production of engines for upgraded Tu-160M strategic bomber

The Russian long-range aviation is acquiring new combat capabilities. Engine development is one of the guidelines. The production of NK-32-02 engines for upgraded strategic Tu-160M bombers has begun. In November 2020, the aircraft with the new serial engines made the maiden flight at the airfield of Kazan Aircraft Plant, the Army Standard writes.

RAF and Qatari Typhoon pilots operate for first time as Joint Squadron in Qatar

Typhoons from No. 12 Squadron have arrived in Qatar for Exercise Epic Skies, the Royal Air Force reported on its website on December 2. Pilots from the RAF and Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) will fly the Typhoons together for the first time as a joint squadron in Qatar, strengthening the close ties between both nations.

Sukhoi completes contract for Su-34 bombers

The Sukhoi company completed a long-term contract to supply Su-34 frontline bombers. The Chkalov Aircraft Plant in Novosibirsk (NAZ) produced and tested the final batch of the aircraft.

French Air and Space Force receives 2nd Beechcraft King Air 350 Light Surveillance and Reconnaissance Aicraft

On December 2, the French Air and Space Force received its second Light Surveillance and Reconnaissance Aicraft (ALSR, Avion Léger de Surveillance et de Reconnaissance). This is the second of two ALSRs ordered in June 2016 by the Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) from the companies Sabena Technics and Thales.

Lockheed Martin USMC CH-53K King Stallion devices ready for training

U.S. Marines are now preparing to fly, maintain and sustain the CH-53K heavy lift helicopter. The suite of training devices from Lockheed Martin were recently declared Ready for Training at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

Boeing starts production of T-7A Red Hawk Weapons Systems Trainers

The U.S. Air Force is one step closer to receiving its next-generation trainer as Boeing started producing the T-7A Red Hawk’s “real-as-it-gets” ground-based training system (GBTS).

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