NOVEMBER 2020 news

Defense Aviation and Aerospace Industry


AVIC Harbin Z-20 to become most delivered Chinese military helicopter

China's latest commissioned and fully domestically made tactical utility helicopter, the Harbin Z-20, is expected to become the country's most-delivered rotorcraft by entering service with not only the Chinese army, but also the nation's air, naval forces and armed police, with additional prospects of export sales, said the chief designer of the helicopter. Liu Xuanzun and Leng Shumei report on Global Times.

Lockheed Martin to build new training center for binational French and German C-130J squadron

French and German C-130J Super Hercules aircrews and maintainers will train in a facility located in France, built and equipped by Lockheed Martin for the countries’ binational C-130J Super Hercules Squadron. Lockheed Martin will provide training devices, the learning management system, courseware and options for five years of training services under the terms of a new direct commercial sale (DCS) contract, allowing for in-country learning.

Northrop Grumman delivers 75,000th tactical gyroscope

Northrop Grumman has produced its 75,000th G-2000 gyroscope, the smallest tactical-grade gyroscope for commercial and military customers. Well regarded for its performance and accuracy, the G-2000 senses orientation for numerous stabilization and targeting applications.

Airbus and Germany submit Eurofighter offer to Switzerland

On November 18, Airbus and the Federal Republic of Germany submitted their official offer to the Swiss Federal Office of Armaments armasuisse for the sale of Eurofighter aircraft to Switzerland. The offer has been prepared in cooperation with the other Eurofighter nations as well as the industrial partners Leonardo and BAE Systems, and meets the requirements of the so called new combat aircraft (Neues Kampfflugzeug - NKF) procurement process implemented by Switzerland to replace its currently used F-5 and F/A-18 fleet.

French Armed Forces in Guyana train in Colombia

From October 27 to November 4, 2020, the French Armed Forces stationed in Guyana (FAG, Forces Armées en Guyane) participated in the RELAMPAGO 5 air exercise in Colombia. Large-scale training deploying fighter and transport planes including a French CASA from Air Base (BA) 367, but also maneuver and assault helicopters.

Russia creates Arctic airpower backbone

Russia is completing the creation of the backbone of Arctic airpower. New airplanes and helicopters will be delivered in 2021, and garrison command system formed. Infrastructure and forces have been built up in the Arctic of late. For the first time in modern history, one country succeeded to deploy airpower in the region. The Izvestia daily writes about the Arctic airpower and its missions.

Bird Aerosystems to deliver SPREOS DIRCM protection system to an African VIP military aircraft

Bird Aerosystems, a leading developer of Airborne Missile Protection Systems (AMPS) and Special Mission Aircraft Solutions (ASIO), has won a contract for the delivery and installation of its AMPS-MLRD solution, that includes the patented SPREOS DIRCM, on a customer VIP and Military aircraft in Africa.

BAE Systems gets certification for F-22 Identification Friend or Foe capability

BAE Systems has received certification for its Identification Friend-or-Foe (IFF) transponder for the F-22 Raptor from the Department of Defense AIMS program office. The IFF transponder waveform integration is part of a U.S. Navy contract to upgrade the Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio System (MIDS JTRS) terminal for the U.S. Air Force.

Hungarian air force to get two Embraer KC-390 Millennium multirole air tankers

The Hungarian Government and Embraer signed today a contract for the acquisition of two new generation multi-mission transport aircraft Embraer C-390 Millennium, in its air-to-air refueling (AAR) configuration, designated KC-390.

Chinese Y-20 tanker variant apparently conducts aerial refueling for J-20 fighter jet

The development of the aerial tanker variant of China's domestically developed Y-20 large cargo plane is apparently entering the final stages, as a recent photo captured what seems to be a Y-20 tanker variant conducting aerial refueling for a J-20 stealth fighter jet, media reports said. Liu Xuanzun reports on Global Times.

Lockheed Martin to support 50 retrofit aircraft to Taiwan F-16 Peace Phoenix Rising program

On November 16, the U.S. Department of Defense announced that Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $53,190,386 hybrid cost-plus-fixed-fee and firm-fixed-price modification to contract FA8615-12-C-6016 for miscellaneous support for 50 retrofit aircraft to the Taiwan F-16 Peace Phoenix Rising program.

Northrop Grumman Litening advanced targeting pods total millions of operational hours

Litening advanced targeting pods are used by aviators worldwide to carry out targeting, surveillance, intelligence, search and rescue, and humanitarian relief missions. And they do remain ready, more than 95 percent of the time, thanks in part to the Litening field service engineering team.

Chinese Air Force future fighter trainer could feature Artificial Intelligence

China's future fighter trainer could feature artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to help pilot cadet's learning and boost future combat capability, said the chief designer of China's current most advanced trainer jet in a recent media report. Liu Xuanzun reports on Global Times.

MD Helicopters awarded contract for Afghan Air Force MD-530F helicopters

MD Helicopters Inc., Mesa, Arizona, was awarded a $34,042,295 modification to contract W58RGZ-17-C-0038 for logistics support for the Afghanistan Air Force MD-530F helicopters fleet.

Raytheon to supply AMRAAM missiles to US allied air forces

Raytheon has been awarded two contracts regarding its Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile through Foreign Military Sales to several NATO and Middle Eastern partners, and Australia.

MBDA to develop Future Tactical Air-to-Surface Missile for French attack helicopter Tigre

According to a press release published on November 13, 2020, French Minister for the Armed Forces Florence Parly has announced that MBDA is to develop the Future Tactical Air-to-Surface Missile (MAST-F) program as the main French Army air to ground armament for the Tiger combat helicopter.

NH90 NFH naval helicopter deployed from Belgian frigate with Standing NATO Maritime Group 1

From September 27, 2020 to November 11, 2020, the Belgian navy participated, with frigate F930 Leopold I, in the Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1). The SNMG is an integrated, multinational naval Immediate Reaction Force unit, made up of warships and their associated helicopters, from various allies under the direct command of NATO. WO Jozef Vanden Broeck reports on Belgian Navy’s Facebook page.

AgustaWestland Philadelphia to supply TH-73A Advanced Helicopter Training Systems to U.S Navy

On November 12, the U.S. DoD announced that AgustaWestland Philadelphia is awarded a $171,047,763 modification to previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract N61340-20-C-0007. This modification exercises options for the production and delivery of 36 TH-73A aircraft in support of the Advanced Helicopter Training System program.

Northrop Grumman delivers 5th NATO RQ-4D Phoenix UAV

Northrop Grumman successfully ferried the fifth NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) unmanned aircraft, via a non-stop transatlantic flight. The aircraft departed on Wednesday, Nov. 11 from Palmdale, California, and landed nearly 20 hours later on Nov. 12 at Sigonella Air Base, Italy.

C-27J Spartan sheds its skin to reach new performance heights

Leonardo has begun the final testing of the C-27J Next Generation which features new equipment, a new avionics system and advanced aerodynamic devices, these will enhance the existing high performance of the aircraft. The first C-27J in the new configuration will be delivered to an undisclosed customer in 2021.

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