December 2021 news

Defense Aviation and Aerospace Industry


Next step for Northrop Grumman's Australian MQ-4C Triton UAV

According to a press release published by Northrop Grumman on December 16, 2021, the firm recently completed a significant milestone in the production of Australia’s first MQ-4C Triton high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) aircraft when the aircraft fuselage was mounted onto Triton’s unique one-piece wing.

Egypt is negotiating with Italy about Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master aircraft

According to a tweet published by Mahmoud Gamal on December 15, 2021, Egypt is reportedly negotiating on 24 Aermacchi M-346 Advanced Jet Trainers and Light Combat Aircraft worth €500 million.

Romania will buy 32 F-16 aircraft from Norway

According to information published by Universul on December 10, 2021, Romania will buy 32 F-16 second-hand aircraft from Norway to upgrade its air force, the defense minister said.

RAF Lakenheath welcomes first US Air Force F-35A Lightning II

RAF Lakenheath in the UK received its first delivery of F-35A Lightning II aircraft on December 15. This is the result of a force posture adjustment that has been six years in the making. Announced in 2015, the long-anticipated arrival of the F-35 marks RAF Lakenheath as the first base in United States Air Forces in Europe to receive the new fifth-generation aircraft. 48 Fighter Wing Public Affairs of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa report.

General Dynamics-OTS to supply M61A1 Vulcan 20mm guns for F-16s through FMS

General Dynamics-OTS has been awarded an $88,275,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity requirements contract for the purchase of M61A1 Vulcan 20mm cannon guns. This contract provides for the production of the guns in support of the F-16 weapon system. Work will be performed in Williston, Vermont, and is expected to be completed by Dec. 12, 2031. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Foreign Military Sales funds in the amount of $7,853,702 will be obligated on the first order at the time of the award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, is the contracting activity.

BAE Systems awarded contract modification from Lockheed Martin to upgrade electronic warfare system of F-35 Lightning II

On December 15, BAE Systems announced it has received a $493M contract to significantly upgrade and modernize the EW system for the F-35 Lightning II, enabling the fighter to quickly detect and address evolving electromagnetic threats.

Indian Air Force and DRDO successfully tests SANT missile

According to information published by the Indian government on December 11, 2021, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Air Force (IAF) flight-tested, the indigenously designed and developed Helicopter launched Stand-off Anti-tank (SANT) Missile from Pokhran ranges.

Swedish FMV and Saab sign contract for new Gripen E Equipment

According to a press release published by Saab on December 15, 2021, the firm has received an order from the Swedish Defence Material Administration (FMV) regarding new equipment for Gripen E. This is a supplementary contract to the original Gripen E contract from 2013. The order value amounts to approximately SEK 1.4 billion.

Airbus delivers last three H145M helicopters to Ecuador Air Force

According to Infodefensa, the Ecuadorian Air Force (FAE) has received its remaining three units of Airbus Helicopters H145M. Last April, Ecuador received the first three aircraft that are already fully operational.

Qatar Air Force receives first NH90 troop transport helicopters

As reported by Dominic Perry in Flight Global, Qatar has received its first of 28 NH Industries NH90 helicopters from a €3 billion ($3.4 billion) contract dating from 2018, with the last helicopter planned to be delivered in 2025.

Kuwait Air Force receives first two Eurofighter Typhoon II fighters

As reported by ADS, the first Eurofighter Typhoon II fighters built according to the specific requirements of the Kuwait Air Force landed in the country on December 14. A total of 28 aircraft has been ordered.

Royal Thai Air Force takes delivery of four new Airbus H225M helicopters

According to APDR, the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) has taken delivery of four new Airbus H225M multirole utility helicopters. With these latest deliveries, the RTAF’s fleet totals 12 H225Ms under its fleet modernization program. These four helicopters will join the air force’s fleet for combat search and rescue, search and rescue flights and troop transport missions.

Royal Jordanian Air Force receives three C-130 Hercules from US

According to information published by the U.S. Department of State on December 9, 2021, the Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF), U.S. Air Force (USAF), and the U.S. Embassy in Jordan celebrated the transfer of three C-130 transport aircraft from USAF to RJAF in a ceremony.

United Arab Emirates would have ordered Turkish TB2 UCAVs

According to a tweet published by Oryx on December 10, 2021, the United Arab Emirates has reportedly ordered 8 Bayraktar TB2 Unmanned combat aerial vehicles.

Bell to build flight training devices for AH-1Z and UH-1Y of Czech Republic

Bell Textron has signed a contract with the U.S. Government to build the AH-1Z Flight Training Device for the Czech Republic’s new helicopter fleet. The delivery of training devices will play a key role in integrating new UH-1 helicopters into the Czech Air Force.

Russian S-70 Okhotnik stealth combat drone rolls out in Novosibirsk

The first flight prototype of the latest Russian Okhotnik (Hunter) S-70 strike drone rolled out at the Chkalov Aviation Plant in Novosibirsk (NAZ). Preparations for trials and the first flight are ongoing, Deputy Defense Minister Alexey Krivoruchko said: “The rollout means the assembly of the unit has been completed. It was equipped with onboard devices according to the requirements and is preparing for the maiden flight,” he said.

Greece to receive first batch of Rafale fighter aircraft in January

According to information published by Ekathimerini on December 13, 2021, the first batch of French-made Rafale jets will be delivered to the Hellenic Air Force in January, at the 114th Combat Wing in Tanagra.

Northrop Grumman Global Hawk to expand participation in SkyRange Program for US Department of Defense

Northrop Grumman has been issued a task order to support the Department of Defense Test Resource Management Center (TRMC) to begin engineering and planning work to reconfigure four United States Air Force EQ-4 Block 20 Global Hawk aircraft for use in the SkyRange fleet of testing vehicles. Northrop Grumman provides support for TRMC’s current fleet of Global Hawk aircraft.

Turkey and Ukraine to jointly produce Turkish TAI Anka combat drones

According to Daily Sabah, Turkish Aerospace Industries ‘’Anka’’ medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV)-type combat drones will be built in the new Ukrainian-Turkish plant being established in Ukraine, according to several news sites.

Chinese AVIC speeds up J-20 stealth fighter production after WS-10 domestic engine adoption

According to Liu Xuanzun in Global Times, the maker of the J-20, China's most advanced stealth fighter jet, revealed that it recently broke records in terms of aircraft delivery due to high demand, with experts saying on December 12 that the J-20 has entered a mass production phase after it solved the last missing piece of the puzzle, the domestically developed WS-10 engine.

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