May 2021 news

Defense Aviation and Aerospace Industry


Russian presidential aviation group to get new domestic aircraft

The Rossiya special aviation group responsible for transporting the country’s top leadership will shortly receive new domestic planes and helicopters, Rossiya CEO Konstantin Tereshchenko told TASS on May 5.

Germany: DLR de­vel­ops an un­manned strato­spher­ic air­craft

Earth observation and global communications – these two terms immediately bring satellites to mind. Constructing these satellites and placing them in orbit is costly and, at the end of their missions, their remains are sometimes left behind to become space debris. Aircraft or helicopters, however, are also not ideal for these tasks. Their deployment is limited by factors of time and location and highly dependent on the weather. A team from the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrums für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) is researching and developing an unmanned, solar-powered stratospheric aircraft for future scientific experiments that combines the advantages of spaceflight and aeronautics.

Airbus secures multiple contracts to further increase the communications capability for the UK MoD

Airbus has been awarded a series of contracts during the first quarter of 2021 from the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) both as part of its continuing programme of upgrading and enhancing services for the Skynet 5 military satcom services contract, and continued work with the  MOD’s Defence Digital organisation.

Saab receives order for future development support for Swedish Air Force Gripen

Saab has received an order from the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration, FMV, to provide future development support for Gripen from April 1, 2021 to December 31, 2022. The total order value is SEK 998 million.

Australian Defence Force to equip new tactical UAS with next generation ISR capabilites

The Australian Defence Force will soon be equipped with world-leading Australian developed camera sensor technology featuring next generation intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities. They are specifically designed for use on tactical unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

Bell 505 cargo hook receives EASA certification

Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. company, announced on May 4 tg hat the Bell 505 cargo hook has been approved by European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to carry up to 2,000 pounds (907 kg) giving the aircraft an external gross weight capability of  4,475 pounds (2,030 kg).

Northrop Grumman LITENING color targeting pods enter service

Northrop Grumman Corporation’s LITENING advanced targeting pod has been fielded for the first time with full-color, digital video capability with the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard, giving pilots of the service’s F-16s an unprecedented level of situational awareness and targeting certainty.

US Navy receives production approval for next-generation air combat training system

The Naval Aviation Training Systems and Ranges program office (PMA-205) received Milestone C approval for its next-generation air combat training system, the Tactical Combat Training System Increment II (TCTS II) on April 27.

SimX receives new US Air Force contracts to advance VR training programs

SimX continues to expand its partnership with the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force to develop innovative training solutions for special operations forces, with four new contracts totaling over $1.5 million. These contracts, part of the $2.5M Virtual Advancement of Learning and Operational Readiness (VALOR) research and development program, seek to further develop fielded capabilities for training the USAF's elite medical personnel with the SimX Virtual Reality Medical Simulation System.

Airbus demonstrates C295 FITS mission system operated by ground-based crews

Airbus has successfully concluded a flight test campaign featuring a new capability for the C295 FITS mission system (COMMOMISS) which enables it to be remotely operated by ground-based crews.

AeroVironment gets $22M DARPA research project contract

AeroVironment Inc., Simi Valley, California, was awarded a $21,779,908 cost-plus-fixed-fee completion contract for a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) research project.

Republic of Singapore Air Force A330 MRTT achieves full operational capability

The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF)’s A330 multi-role tanker transport (MRTT) aircraft has attained full operational capability (FOC) status. This achievement was announced  in April by Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen during a ceremony held at Changi Air Base (East) to mark the milestone.

France sells 30 Rafale fighter jets to Egypt

Egypt has signed a contract with France to buy 30 Rafale fighter jets. On May 4, country's armed forces spokesperson Tamer al-Refai confirmed on Twitter that an agreement was signed between the Egyptian Armed Forces and France’s Dassault Aviation SA. While he did not  mention the value of the deal, different sources report that the deal would be around $4.5 billion. 

L3Harris Technologies and Bye Aerospace team to develop all-electric multi-mission aircraft

L3Harris Technologies and Bye Aerospace have signed an agreement to develop an all-electric, multi-mission aircraft that will provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities for domestic and international ISR mission operators.

Turkey converts Şimşek target drone into kamikaze UAV

Speaking at CNN Turk TV, Ceo and President of Turkish Aerospace, Professor Temel Kotil said that Şimşek is integrated into UAV and used as a kamikaze drone.

General Atomics invites Belgian industry to take part in MQ-9B SkyGuardian development

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) is once again inviting Belgian industry to become part of the development of MQ-9B SkyGuardian Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) through Blue Magic Belgium (BMB). The third annual event, set for Sept. 15-16, 2021 at DronePort’s facility in Sint-Truiden, provides an opportunity for Belgium-based businesses to present their capabilities and products to GA-ASI technical experts with the goal of expanding GA-ASI’s business-to-business cooperation with Belgian industry.

Raytheon receives $234M for Next Generation Operational Control System

Raytheon Intelligence and Space, Aurora, Colorado, has been awarded a $234,012,036 cost-plus-incentive-fee/award-fee contract for Next Generation Operational Control System Block III follow-on.

US approves foreign military sale of P-8 patrol aircraft to India

The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of India of six P-8I Patrol aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $2.42 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on April 30.

Lockheed Martin awarded contract for Hellfire II missile production

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Orlando, Florida, was awarded a $663,728,183 modification to contract W31P4Q-18-C-0130 for Hellfire II missile production.

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