April 2021 news

Defense Aviation and Aerospace Industry


Lockheed Martin awarded contract to equip Taiwanese F-16A/Bs with Auto-GCAS

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Corp., Fort Worth, Texas, has been awarded a not-to-exceed $138,000,000 modification to contract FA8615‐12‐C‐6016 for the Peace Phoenix Rising 2 (PPR2) program. The contract modification is for the development and fielding of capabilities for the Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System and AGM-88 High Speed Anti-radiation Missile; improvements in radar software maturity; an update to the Data Acquisition System; and Advanced Identification Friend or Foe for the Taiwan Retrofit Program F-16 Block 20 fleet.

Kaman announces first flight of unmanned K-MAX TITAN helicopter

Kaman Air Vehicles, a division of Kaman Aerospace Corporation, announced on April 21 the first flight of its new unmanned helicopter, the K-MAX TITAN. The world’s first heavy lift unmanned helicopter for the commercial market, K-MAX TITAN leads the way in repetitive, heavy lift without the constraints of manned operations. With a focus on enabling safety and operational efficiency, the proprietary K-MAX TITAN system will redefine the helicopter external lift market by increasing future mission capabilities in any location and any type of weather.

Leonidas system by Epirus to counter swarm of drones

Californian company Epirus says it has developed a transportable energy weapon that can immobilize an entire  swarm of drone.

Successful precision-airdrop GPS-guided pallets test in Kuwait

Soldiers deployed to support 1st Theater Sustainment Command's logistical support of U.S. Central Command airdropped four pallets April 22 within 75 meters of the target here in a critical test of sustainment capabilities.

Korea Aerospace Industries to export two additional T-50TH trainer jets to Thailand

According to industry sources cited by South Korean media on April 23, the Thai government and Korea Aerospace Industries negotiated an additional export of T-50TH trainers to enhance the Royal Thai Air Force.

NHIndustries chooses Thales TopOwl helmet system for special forces NH90 pilots

NHIndustries has chosen the new-generation TopOwl Digital Display helmet from Thales for the special forces variant of the NH90 helicopter. This variant has been developed at the request of the French defence procurement agency (DGA) to meet the requirements of France's special forces, and is also available to partner countries and other NH90 customers.

Belgian Chief of Defense visits 80th Flying Training Wing at Sheppard Air Force Base

The Belgian Chief of Defense, Admiral Michel Hofman, toured the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training program at Sheppard Air Force Base, from which Belgium receives all of its fighter pilots.

Qatar Emiri Air Force orders two Pilatus PC-24s

According to the Pilatus Annual Report of 2020, the Qatar Emiri Air Force signed last November a contract for two PC-24 jets.

Leonardo to acquire a 25.1% stake in HENSOLDT

Leonardo has entered into a definitive agreement with Square Lux Holding II S.à r.l., a portfolio company controlled by funds advised by Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts & Co. L.P., to purchase a 25.1% stake in HENSOLDT AG ("HENSOLDT") for a cash consideration of approx. € 606 million or € 23 per share.

Russia successfully test-fires new ABM interceptor missile

Russia’s Aerospace Force has successfully test-launched a new interceptor missile of the country’s anti-ballistic missile (ABM) defense system at the Sary-Shagan proving ground in Kazakhstan, the Russian Defense Ministry reported on April 26.

TAI Aksungur successfully drop tests KGK-SIHA-82 glide bomb

The Aksungur armed Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, produced by the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has achieved a new success. Taking off from Ankara with the KGK-SİHA-82 payload developed by TÜBİTAK SAGE, Aksungur went to Sinop offshore with satellite control and successfully hit the target from a range of 30 km at an altitude of 20,000 feet. 

Logos Technologies tests Wide-Area Motion Imagery sensor on RQ-21A Blackjack UAV

Logos Technologies LLC announced on April 22  that it successfully flew its wide-area motion imagery (WAMI) sensor aboard an RQ-21A Blackjack unmanned aircraft at a test range in Boardman, Oregon.

Embraer and Brazilian Air Force sign a MoU to study Unmanned Aircraft System

Embraer and the Brazilian Air Force (FAB)  signed on April 23 a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that establishes a cooperation for the study and evaluation of the necessary capabilities for the conceptual design and development of advanced unmanned aircraft system to meet FAB’s needs.

US approves foreign military sale of MQ-9B Remotely Piloted Aircraft to Australia

The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Australia of MQ-9B Remotely Piloted Aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $1.651 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on April 23.

Iran showcases UAVs during military parade

In Iran, April 18 is the "Islamic Republic of Iran Army Day". The annual event is a national holiday of Iran, that has been celebrated since 1979. The Iranian government makes a show of military force on Iran Army Day with parades, often demonstrating new defense technologies. While the 2021 edition was more limited than usual due to social distancing and the pandemic, interesting unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were showcased during the military parade.

Lockheed Martin and Thales Australia finalize teaming agreement to develop sovereign weapons manufacturing capabilities in Australia

Lockheed Martin and Thales Australia have finalized a teaming agreement advancing the delivery of an Australian guided weapons manufacturing capability in support of a sovereign national guided weapons enterprise.

Hensoldt to deliver radars for German Air Force Quadriga Eurofighters

Sensor systems supplier HENSOLDT has been awarded a contract worth approximately 200 million euros in the frame of ‘Quadriga’ procurement programme of 38 Eurofighter/Typhoon combat aircraft by the German Air Force. The contract placed by Airbus Defence and Space comprises production and delivery of radar systems and core electronics components which will be produced at HENSOLDT’s site in Ulm and at consortium partner Indra’s site in Spain.

Kenya Air Force commissioned newly acquired C-145 Skytruck aircraft

On April 21, The Kenya Air Force (KAF) commissioned the newly acquired C-145 Skytruck aircraft . The event was presided over by the Commander Kenya Air Force (KAF) Major General Francis Ogolla at Moi Air Base (MAB), Eastleigh. 

Akinci UCAV successfully completes first firing test

On April 22, the Bayraktar Akinci unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) successfully completed its first firing test. Successful shots were fired by the combat drone with MAM-T, MAM-C and MAM-L smart micro munitions (MAM).

Northrop Grumman designs protected tactical SATCOM payload prototype for US Space Force

Northrop Grumman Corporation has been selected by the U.S. Space Force’s (USSF) Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) to proceed with its ongoing Protected Tactical SATCOM (PTS) Rapid Prototype program, with a flight demonstration of the company’s PTS payload set to occur in 2024.

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