SEPTEMBER 2020 news

Defense Aviation and Aerospace Industry


SAAB delivers second GlobalEye Swing Role surveillance aircraft to UAE

According to a press release published by SAAB on September 30, 2020, Saab delivers the second GlobalEye Swing Role surveillance aircraft to the United Arab Emirates on 30 September 2020. 

Four Belgian F-16s to operate from Jordan against ISIS

Four F-16s plus a spare one flew on September 29 from the Belgian air base of Florennes (which houses the 2nd Tactical Wng) to join Jordan and participate, from October 1, in the air operations of the international coalition led by the United States against the jihadist group Islamic State (IS), still active in Iraq and Syria.

U.S. Air Force awards contract to several companies for Skyborg program

AeroVironment, BAE Systems Controls, Blue Force Technologies, Fregata Systems, Lockheed Martin, Wichita State University, Autonodyne, NextGen Aeronautic, and Sierra Technical Services have been awarded a $400,000,000 shared ceiling, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contracts for all subsequent competitively selected delivery orders in support of the Skyborg Vanguard Program.

Airbus receives new order for Airbus A330 MRTT Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft

According to a press release published on September 28, 2020, Airbus has received a firm order for an Airbus A330 MRTT Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft from OCCAR, Europe’s organization for the management of cooperative armament programs.

Lockheed Martin extends F-35 supply agreement with Solvay

Solvay's new five-year contract continues its partnership with Lockheed Martin to provide high-performance materials for its F-35 Lightning II stealth fighters.

Canadian Air Force receives first CC-295 Kingfisher fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft

According to information released by the Canadian Air Force on September 25, 2020, the RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force) has received the first CC-295 Kingfisher aircraft of its future fixed-wing search and rescue fleet. Within the First Nations of the Northwest, the kingfisher has long been recognized for its speed and agility, as well as its keen searching and hunting skills. Found all across Canada, the kingfisher well represents the abilities of our own search and rescue crews to accomplish their lifesaving role.

Swiss approves a USD6.49 billion ceiling funding package for procurement of new fighter jets

Swiss voters approved a CHF6 billion ($6.49 billion) ceiling funding package for the procurement of new fighter jets for the Swiss Air Force. The referendum was won with a 50.1% majority. The margin between the sides were fewer than 9,000 votes.

B-1B Lancer Integrated Battle Station modification completed

An eight-year project to install the Integrated Battle Station on the B-1B Lancer fleet has been completed ahead of schedule. Sixty aircraft went through the modification process that began in late 2012 and was completed in September 2020. Ron Mullan, 72nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs, reports.

Bell Boeing awarded U.S. Navy contract to upgrade MV-22 Ospreys

Bell-Boeing Joint Project Office, Amarillo, Texas, is awarded a $46,050,075 modification to previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee, fixed-price-incentive-firm-target, firm-fixed-price contract N00019-17-C-0015. This modification exercises options in support of the V-22 Common Configuration-Readiness and Modernization (CC-RAM) effort and upgrades three MV-22 Osprey aircraft from a Block B to Block C configuration in support of the U.S. Navy.

American-made MQ-9A drone demonstrates its ability to launch Sparrowhawk Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

According to a press release published on September 25, 2020, American company General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) conducted captive carry Sparrowhawk Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) flight demonstrations mounted on MQ-9A drone, September 16-17, 2020.

India to acquire 30 MQ-9B drones from United States

According to information published by the Indian Today newspaper website on September 23, 2020, the Indian Ministry of Defense could acquire 30 MQ-9B UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) from the United States. The value of the contract could reach an amount of $3 billion.

First flight in Brazil for Brazilian Air Force Saab Gripen E

On September 24, the first Brazilian Gripen E, designated by Brazilian Air Force (FAB) as F-39 Gripen, concluded its first flight in Brazil. The aircraft flew from the airport in Navegantes to Embraer´s facility in Gavião Peixoto.

Northrop Grumman delivers new capabilities to Global Hawk Autonomous Aircraft

New MS-177 and upgraded AN/ASQ-230 sensors will enhance multi-spectral image and signals intelligence collection for the U.S. Air Force and Geographic Combatant Commands.

U.S. Army funded research may enable drones to run on any type of fuel

The U.S. Army recently awarded the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign an $8 million, four-year cooperative agreement to develop key technologies that may allow the Army’s unmanned air and ground vehicles to run on any type of fuel. Researchers at the U.S. Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command Army Research Laboratory expect new technologies to increase unmanned vehicle performance and reliability and increase drone efficiencies.

HH-60W Jolly Green II begins live-fire testing at Eglin AFB range

Deep within Eglin’s range, rapid, powerful gunfire reverberated across the expanse beginning Aug. 17. Live fire testing began for the HH-60W Jolly Green II’s three primary weapons. Samuel King Jr. Reports.

Nimitz Carrier Strike Group supports Operation Inherent Resolve from Arabian Gulf

The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (NIMCSG) began air operations in support of Operation Inherent Resolve from the Arabian Gulf on Sept. 18.

Leonardo to supply 18 AW169M helicopters to Austrian armed forces

Austrian Defense Ministry announced on Sept. 21 it has placed a 300 million euro ($352 million) order for 18 AW169M twin-engine helicopters from Leonardo Helicopters in a deal with Italy.

RAF Chinooks keep supporting operations in Sahel region

RAF Chinooks currently deployed in Mali have continued to conduct key supporting missions for the French and Malian ground forces during the extreme weather conditions of the Malian wet season and the recent political instability.

U.S. Helicopter Sea Combat Sqn 22 gets first MQ-8C Fire Scout UAS

Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 22 received its first Northrop Grumman MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter on Sept. 15 aboard Naval Station Norfolk, the squadron announced.

GA-ASI participates in USAF ABMS on-ramp demonstration

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) played a central role in U.S. Air Force’s Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) On-ramp demonstration held September 1-3, 2020. The goal of the demonstration was to prove emerging ABMS technologies in support of USNORTHCOM and USSPACECOM homeland defense priorities.

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