MARCH 2021 news

Defense Aviation and Aerospace Industry


Indian Air Force participates for the first time in Exercise Desert Flag in UAE

Indian Air Force (IAF) will participate for the first time in Exercise Desert Flag which is beginning in Al-Dhafra airbase in UAE from March 3.

UAE orders Denel Dynamics Seeker 400 UAV system for Presidential Guard

The United Arab Emirates Armed Forces have ordered a Seeker 400 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system for the Presidential Guard.

F-35Bs begin sea trials aboard Italian Navy aircraft carrier

Two F-35B Lighting II jets landed aboard Italian aircraft carrier ITS Cavour (CVH 550). Test pilots flew the specially instrumented U.S. F-35Bs from Naval Air Station Patuxent River (NAS Pax River), Maryland, to the Italian Navy flagship, which got underway Sunday, February 28. The F-35B is the short take-off and vertical landing variant of the F-35.

Elbit Systems awarded a $300M contract to supply Hermes 900 UAS to an Asian country

Elbit Systems announced on March 2 that it was awarded an approximately $300 million contract by a country in Asia to provide Hermes 900 Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). The contract will be performed over a period of five years.

DroneShield company joins two US Department of Defense consortiums

DroneShield Ltd has been accepted into two key US Department of Defense (DoD) consortiums - System of Systems Consortium (SOSSEC) and Sensors, Communications, and Electronics Consortium (SCEC).

Japan Ground Self Defense Force expands its Textron Aviation Special Missions King Air 350 fleet

Textron Aviation announced it recently delivered a Beechcraft King Air 350i aircraft equipped with multiple special mission modifications to Japcon Incorporated. The modifications include a removable, belly-mounted Forward-Looking Infrared (FLIR) installation, forward executive cabin, communications equipment and racks. After further modifications in Japan including a medical configuration, the King Air 350i will enter service as a liaison/reconnaissance (LR-2) aircraft, and will be owned and operated by the Japan Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF).

Australian government invests a further $115 million in the Boeing Loyal Wingman program

Australian government announced it will to co-develop a further three Loyal Wingman aircraft to advance the air-teaming vehicle, payloads and associated support and training capabilities. The Morrison Government will invest a further $115 million in the Boeing Loyal Wingman program to continue developing the Australian-designed and built aircraft.

Electronic warfare system production starts for US Air Force F-15s

BAE Systems has received a $58 million contract from Boeing to start Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) of the F-15 Eagle Passive Active Warning and Survivability System (EPAWSS) for the U.S. Air Force. The electronic warfare (EW) and countermeasures system provides advanced electromagnetic capabilities that protect pilots and help them maintain air superiority during their toughest mission.

Belgian company Sabca wins maintenance contract for 80 US Air Force F-16 fighter jets

The Gosselies (Charleroi, Belgium) site of Sabca awarded US Air Force contract for maintenance its 80 F-16s on European soil. The contract represents an estimated turnover of around $ 250 million. It represents more than 100 direct jobs in Charleroi and on bases throughout Europe for 10 years.

Bell delivers three Bell UH-1H-II helicopters to the Lebanese Air Force

In February , Bell delivered three Bell UH-1H-IIs to the Lebanese Air Force (LAF). These aircraft will augment their existing fleet and be utilized for search and rescue, troop transport, firefighting and utility missions.

Russian KYB Kamikaze UAV to complete trials in 2021

The KYB unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developed by the ZALA Aero Company will complete its state trials in 2021, a spokesperson for the Kalashnikov Group told TASS at the IDEX 2021 international arms show.

GA-ASI new centerline avionics bay increases MQ-9A capability

For the first time on Feb. 3, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) flew a company-owned MQ-9A Block 5 Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) equipped with a newly developed Centerline Avionics Bay (CAB). The CAB provides space to incorporate critical new capabilities for GA-ASI customers.

USAFE completes CJADC2 demonstration

U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa, in conjunction with the Department of the Air Force’s Chief Architect’s Office, conducted a Combined, Joint All-Domain Command and Control demonstration in international waters and airspace in and around the Baltic Sea. Participation included assets from U.S. Naval Forces Europe – Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, U.S. Army Europe – Africa, U.S. Strategic Command, the Royal Air Force, the Royal Netherlands air force and the Polish air force.

Lockheed Martin unveils Speed Racer UAS design

Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works advanced projects bureau has officially revealed the design of its Speed Racer air vehicle.

Australia first Loyal Wingman completes maiden flight

Boeing Australia and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) have successfully completed the first test flight of the Loyal Wingman uncrewed aircraft.

Russia to ship strike drones and S-300 air defense systems to Kyrgyzstan

An agreement for shipment of drones and S-300 air defense systems was achieved during President Sadyr Zhaparov’s visit to Russia on February 24-25, Zhaparov’s spokeswoman Galina Baiterek announced on February 26.

US Navy tests long-range cargo transport Blue Water UAS

Naval Air Force Atlantic conducted a test of a logistics Unmanned Air System prototype over Naval Station Norfolk on Feb. 21, 2021.

Rafael marks another milestone in the development of the I-Derby ER air-to-air missile

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. has completed the development of the ground-based Air Defense version of the I-Derby ER (Extended Range) air-to-air missile. During the test series concluded this February  in southern Israel, Rafael performed a ground launch to test the missile’s command and control, navigation, and flight trajectory capabilities.

Russia launches Arktika-M weather satellite

The ground automatic complex of the space troops of the Aerospace Forces ensured the launch of Arktika-M satellite from Baikonur spaceport, the Defense Ministry said.

Test launch of US Air Force Global Strike Command unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile

A team of Air Force Global Strike Command Airmen launched an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile equipped with a test reentry vehicle at 11:47 p.m. Pacific Time Feb. 24 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

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