JANUARY 2021 news

Defense Aviation and Aerospace Industry


Dassault Aviation receives order for 12 Rafales for French Air and Space Force

Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation, on January 29 signed a contract for the sale of 12 Rafale fighters with Florence Parly, French Minister of the Armed Forces. These aircraft will replace the 12 Rafales of the French Air and Space Force (FASF) sold to the Hellenic Air Force.

Tu-142M3 ASW aircraft complete scheduled 11-hour flight over Bering and Chukchi Seas

Two long-range anti-submarine Tu-142МЗ planes of the Pacific Fleet performed a scheduled flight over the Bering and the Chukchi Seas, the press service of the Eastern Military District reported on Tuesday. The flight took more than 11 hours.

Skyros exceptional training mission for French Air Force in the United Arab Emirates

From January 24 to 28, 2021, French airmen deployed as part of the Skyros mission stopped in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where the Air and Space Force is permanently stationed. During this stage, the crews had the opportunity to participate in an air exercise, focused on the Entry Force *, mobilizing 41 aircraft including ten French Rafales.

Astrata and Ilias Solutions join forces to improve air force readiness

Astrata, a provider of location-based solutions for the connected fleet, supply chain, government and aviation sectors, and Ilias Solutions, a company that empowers military logistics and operations with their defence software platform, have announced a partnership agreement. The partnership aims to deliver the next generation of military GSE management in support of air forces around the world.

US President Biden suspends sales of F-35 to UAE and of munitions to Saudi Arabia

U.S. President Joe Biden has suspended the sale of F-35 jets (worth some USD 23 Bn) to the United Arab Emirates, Bloomberg's defense reporter Anthony Capaccio said in a tweet on January 27. The sale of munitions to Saudi Arabia is also suspended for review.

Three new Indian Air Force Rafale fighters land in India

This batch of Rafale fighters is the third set of deliveries of the French-origin Dassault aircraft to the Indian Air Force which has ordered a total of 36 fighters (equivalent of two squadrons). With these Rafales no. 9 to 11, the Indian Air Force squadron now has 11 aircraft. The delivery of the remaining 25 fighters will take place later this year.

MiG develops system to limit maximum flight modes for MiG-35

Engineers of the MiG Corporation of the United Aircraft Corporation have patented a complex system for limiting the maximum flight modes of a maneuverable aircraft. The first of its component parts allows the pilot to remain within the permissible angles of attack with any action of the control stick, excluding the aircraft getting into a spin. The purpose of creating the second is to preserve the maximum permissible overload of the combat vehicle when maneuvering in all planes. The improved systems have already been installed on the MiG-35 and MiG-29M/M2.

China delivers 5 CASC CH-4 UAVs to Pakistan

According to open-source export-import records, the Chinese defence contractor Aerospace Long-March International (ALIT) delivered five CASC CH-4 unmanned aerial vehicles to the Pakistanese Army.

Sikorsky and Rheinmetall expand German industrial partnership on CH-53K heavy lift helicopter

Sikorsky and the members of the German CH-53K industry team have reaffirmed their commitment to cooperation through a new teaming agreement.

Greece buys 18 Dassault Rafale fighters for USD 2.5 billion

Greece signed a EUR 2.3 billion ($2.8 billion) deal with France on January 25 to purchase 18 Dassault Rafale fighter jets. Florence Parly, the French Defense minister, signed the agreement in Athens to obtain 12 used and 6 new to be delivered over two years, starting in July 2021. A second contract was signed for the logistical support of the aircraft during four and a half years.

MBDA to arm Hellenic Air Force new Rafale fighter jets

Lieutenant General Theodoros Lagios, General Director for Defence Investments and Armaments of the Greek Ministry of Defence, and Eric Béranger, CEO of MBDA, on 25 January signed a contract to provide the armaments for 18 Rafale combat aircraft intended for Greece’s air force. A signing ceremony was held in Athens in the presence of the French Minister for Armed Forces, Florence Parly, and the Greek Minister for Defense, Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos.

Boeing and Sikorsky present updated Defiant X proposal for US Army FLRAA competition

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, and Boeing on January 25 released details of their advanced helicopter for the U.S. Army's Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft competition, known as FLRAA. The aircraft, named Defiant X, will be the fastest, most maneuverable and most survivable assault helicopter in history. Combined with the team's unsurpassed experience in mission systems, training and sustainment, it will revolutionize the way the Army meets threats in 2035 and beyond.. Combined with Sikorsky-Boeing’s unsurpassed experience in mission systems, training and sustainment, Defiant X will revolutionize the way the U.S. Army meets threats in 2035 and beyond.

SpiritAero awared contract to produce UK Loyal Wingman unmanned aircraft prototype

The Royal Air Force on its Twitter account announced on January 25 that UK’s first fleet of unmanned fighter aircraft a step closer with £30 million contract awarded to SpiritAero to design and manufacture a prototype capable of providing a battle-winning advantage to the RAF.

Rostec confirms development of PAK DP MiG-41 to replace MiG-31

The Mikoyan MiG-41 or PAK DP (Prospective air complex for long-range interception) is a stealth interceptor aircraft/heavy fighter under development by Mikoyan Gurevitch. The aircraft is intended to replace the MiG-31 in the Russian Air Force in mid-2020s. According to the Russian defence analyst Vasily Kashin, the MiG-41 would be considered as a 5++ or 6th generation project.

UAE buys 50 F-35A jets and 18 MQ-9B Reaper armed drones

The United Arab Emirates has reportedly signed a deal for 50 Lockheed Martin F-35As and 18 General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-9B Reaper unmanned air vehicles). It was approved by the U.S. State Department through the foreign military sale (FMS) programme. It was notified by Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) in November 2020.

Dynetics conducts third flight test of X-61A Gremlins Air Vehicle

Dynetics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Leidos, announced on January 20 that it successfully completed a third test flight series in which the Gremlins Air Vehicle (GAV) and Gremlins Recovery System flew three more times. The system has totaled seven flight hours during the month of November. The test took place at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Saab proposes new Saab Sensor Centre in Canada

On 18 January at the AIx Space 2021 Conference, Saab announced that it has offered to establish a new facility in Canada as part of its offer for Canada’s Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP).

Northrop Grumman awarded USD 3.6 Bn contract for US Air Force Battlefield Airborne Communications Node

The U.S. Department of Defense announced on 21 January that Northrop Grumman has been awarded a $3,600,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) operations, sustainment and support.

First Greek Air Force upgraded F-16 Viper makes maiden flight

The first of 84 Greek Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters to be upgraded to the F-16V Viper standard took to the skies for the first time on January 17, David Donald reports on ainonline.com. Greece’s Minister of Defense Nikos Panagiotopoulos announced the news on Twitter, noting that the maiden flight was conducted with “absolute success”, and that the upgrade program “continues at an intensive pace.”

Russian Aerospace Forces keep receiving new hardware – Part 2

In a distant future, the new Russian airborne system of long-range aviation (PAK DA) will replace the basic strategic bombers. Preliminary trials of prototypes are scheduled in April 2023 and acceptance trials in February 2026. Also, new munitions are being designed for the long-range aviation. The bombers will receive new missiles in the coming years, and some will be hypersonic.

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