JANUARY 2021 news

Defense Aviation and Aerospace Industry


Boeing awarded USD 2.1 Bn contract to supply 15 additional KC-46 air tankers to US Air Force

The U.S. Department of Defense announced on January 20 that Boeing has been awarded a $2,124,531,149 modification to contract FA8625-11-C-6600 for Lot 7 production KC-46 Pegasus tanker aircraft, subscriptions and licenses and G081 flat file. The modification provides for the exercise of an option for an additional quantity of 15 KC-46 aircraft, data, subscriptions and licenses, and G081 flat file being produced under the basic contract.

French and Indian Air Forces hold joint exercises in Jodhpur

The French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs announces on its website that, for the first time, Indo-French air force exercise sees Rafale jets fielded on both sides for highly complex drills aimed at sharing operational experience and enhancing interoperability.

Russian Aerospace forces keep receiving new hardware – Part 1

Several multi-billion rouble contracts for the production of combat jets and helicopters were completed in 2020. The pandemic-related financial difficulties changed the plans of the Russian Defense Ministry and compelled it to postpone some supplies. Nevertheless, the Aerospace Forces will receive hundreds of new aircraft in the coming years.

L3Harris Technologies demonstrates antenna technology for US Space Force satellite communications

L3Harris Technologies has successfully completed a technology demonstration, under a Defense Innovation Unit prototype contract, for the U.S. Space Force satellite communication system to improve communications with the agency’s growing number of satellites.

US Space Force joins the American intelligence community

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe welcomed the U.S. Space Force (USSF) as the 18th member of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC).

Airbus developed a UAV launcher for A400M transport aircraft

Airbus has developed a launcher to release unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from an Airbus A400M military transport aircraft.

French drone supplier Icarus Swarms launched autonomous swarm concept at CES 2021

During CES 2021, French drone manufacturer Icarus Swarms announced a new UAS product line targeting security and emergency first-response industries.

MQ-9B SeaGuardian to get Leonardo Seaspray AESA maritime radar

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) is working with Leonardo to integrate the Leonardo Seaspray 7500E V2 radar into the centerline radar pod of its MQ-9B SeaGuardian remotely-piloted aircraft system (RPAS). The integration of this market-leading radar onto the SeaGuardian will enable persistent maritime ISR and is available to our international customer base.

Russia to withdraw from Open Skies Treaty

Russia is launching domestic procedures to withdraw from the Treaty on Open Skies, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on January 15.

USAF B-52H Stratofortress bomber conducts presence patrol in Middle East

U.S. Air Force B-52H "Stratofortress" aircrews successfully completed a presence patrol in the Middle East on January 17, marking the second such mission of 2021.

AFRL completes successful precision airdrop flight test

Researchers with the Air Force Research Laboratory Aerospace Systems Directorate reached new heights during a precision airdrop (PAD) flight test, Nov. 16-19, 2020, in Yuma, Arizona.

AFRL demonstrates first collaborative weapon technologies

The Air Force Golden Horde Vanguard program completed the first Air Force flight demonstration of collaborative weapons Dec. 15 using technology developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory and Scientific Applications & Research Associates.

GA-ASI demonstrates Beyond Line of Sight Command and Control over HF using MQ-9

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) completed the first Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) High Frequency (HF) Command and Control (C2) demonstration for an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). The HF C2 capability does not require a Satellite Communications (SATCOM) link and is capable of providing BLOS connectivity up to 8,000 miles, depending on transmit power and link geometry.

France signs agreement to purchase Northrop Grumman’s E-2D advanced Hawkeye

On January 6, the government of France signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) with the U.S. government signifying their intent to purchase Northrop Grumman Corporation’s  E-2D Advanced Hawkeye.

Parrot chosen by the French Defense Procurement Agency for the supply of micro-drones with ANAFI USA

Parrot, Europe's leading drone group, was chosen by the Direction Générale de l’Armement (French defense procurement agency, DGA) to supply its ANAFI USA micro-drones to equip the three corps of the French Army (Air, Sea and Land), as part of its call for tenders launched last February.

Royal Air Force Chinooks conduct heavy lift operations in Mali

An RAF Chinook has delivered heavy equipment to extend French and Malian forces' operational range as part of Op Barkhane, the French counter insurgency operation in the West African Sahel region.

UK: £550m F-35B missile contract signed

A £550 million contract for new surface-attack missiles will secure hundreds of UK jobs and provide unrivalled lethality for the UK’s F-35B Lightning jets, Defence Minister Jeremy Quin announced.

GA-ASI integrates legion pod onto Avenger RPA

In a recent flight test, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) integrated a Lockheed Martin Legion Pod onto an Avenger Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) demonstrating enhanced autonomous sensing capabilities for an unmanned aircraft. Taking less than three months for the Legion Pod integration to move from concept to flight, the 90-minute captive-carry flight test verified mechanical interfaces and aerodynamics safety of flight for the aircraft.

Australia replaces Tiger ARH helicopter fleet with AH-64E Apache

In the framework of Commonwealth of Australia's LAND 4503 program, , Australia has selected Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters to replace the Australian Army’s Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) fleet.

1st Special Operations Squadron MC-130J Commando IIs train off Okinawa

Last week, the 1st Special Operations Squadron flew in formation with five Lockheed Martin MC-130J Commando IIs off the coast of Okinawa, Japan. By conducting formation flights, aircrews and maintainers exercise their ability to efficiently generate aircraft to move large numbers of ground forces and equipment in hostile or denied territory.

Page 2 of 4