MARCH 2021 news

Defense Aviation and Aerospace Industry


Nigeria receives JF-17 Thunder fighter jets from Pakistan

The Nigerian Air Force received three  JF-17 multirole fighters from Pakistan. Since mid-2020, Nigerian Air Force pilots and crew for the JF-17 have been training in Pakistan.

Ilyushin Il-112V airlifter to make second flight on March 30

The light Il-112V airlifter will make its second test flight on March 30 from the airfield of Voronezh Aircraft Plant, a source in the industry told TASS. “Low-pass tests were completed in late January 2021 and the airlifter was rolled out. The second flight is scheduled on March 30,” the source said.

Ilyushin Il-76MD-90A airlifters used to design specialized aircraft

New design methods and technologies allow developing a family of special-designation aircraft on the basis of Il-76MD-90A airlifters, the United Aircraft Corporation said.

Kongsberg signs agreement with Lockheed Martin for part deliveries to F-35

Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace has signed a new agreement with Lockheed Martin Aeronautics worth 1.750 mn NOK for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program production lots 15-17.

GA-ASI Gray Eagle surpasses 1 million flight hours

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) announced on March 24  that the family of Gray Eagle Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) surpassed 1 million flight hours on March 16, 2021 during U.S. Army flight operations.

AeroVironment awarded $21 million contract option for Raven radio frequency modifications under existing US Army FCS contract

AeroVironment, Inc., a global leader in Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), announced on March 25 that the United States Army exercised the second of three options under the sole source Flight Control Systems (FCS) domain of the Army’s multi-year small UAS contract on February 25, 2021. The value of the contract option is $20,979,905 and includes avionics and data link upgrade packages to modify radio frequencies employed by the Army’s existing fleet of Raven tactical UAS. The period of Performance ends June 30, 2022.

Israeli and Slovak Defense Ministries sign defense export agreement on radar systems

The Israel Ministry of Defense will deliver 17 radar systems produced by IAI to the Slovak Ministry of Defense in an agreement that amounts to approximately €148 million.

Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey soars past 600,000 fleet flight hours

The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey has logged more than 600,000 flight-hours, providing continuous customer support to maintain mission readiness and transport critical cargo and personnel.

US Fighter Squadrons participate in exercise Baltic Trident in Estonia

Aircraft from the US 492nd and 493rd Fighter Squadrons, and a small body of Airmen participated in exercise Baltic Trident at Ämari Air Base, Estonia, March 15-19, 2021. Other participating countries include Estonia, Finland, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, and the UK.


Northrop Grumman Australia and Leonardo Australia team shortlisted for SEA129-5 program

Northrop Grumman Australia and Leonardo Australia’s team has been shortlisted to proceed to the next phase of the SEA129 Phase 5 program for the acquisition of a maritime unmanned aerial system (MUAS) designed to deliver a deployable intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting (ISR&T) capability to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The Northrop Grumman and Leonardo proposal will enhance capability effects and tactical decision-making during RAN maritime operations.

AeroVironment earns ISO 14001 certification for environmental management system - Aligns with the company zero-emission unmanned systems

AeroVironment, Inc., a global leader in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), announced on March 24 that the company has earned International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001 certification for its Environmental Management System.

Augmented reality helmet for Su-57 undergoes trials

The helmet with augmented reality elements, which is to help pilots control and guide Su-57 fifth-generation fighter jet, is undergoing trials, the United Aircraft Corporation said.

SKELDAR V-200 selected in EU Detect and Avoid capability program for large RPAS

Europe's leading provider of Rotary Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) platforms, UMS SKELDAR, is celebrating another significant milestone for its flagship SKELDAR V-200 UAV after it was selected to be part of a new European Commission (EC) programme.

DARPA Collaborative Air Combat Autonomy program makes strides

DARPA’s Air Combat Evolution (ACE) program is half way through Phase 1 and has notched several key accomplishments in anticipation of live subscale aircraft dogfights in Phase 2 later this year. Achievements to date include: advanced virtual AI dogfights involving both within visual range (WVR) and beyond visual range (BVR) multi-aircraft scenarios with updated simulated weapons; live flights of an instrumented jet to measure pilot physiology and trust in AI; and initial modifications to the first full-scale jet trainer scheduled to host an onboard AI “pilot” in Phase 3 of the program.

US Army orders UH-60M and HH-60M helicopters

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., Stratford, Connecticut, was awarded a $30,959,224 modification (P00181) to contract W58RGZ-17-C-0009 for procurement of nine Army UH-60M and 15 Army HH-60M aircraft.

Russian military integrates Orlan-10 and Takhion UAVs with Msta-B howitzers

Russia’s artillery units have integrated the newest Orlan-10 and Takhion tactical reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with 2A65 Msta-B 152 mm towed howitzers.

L3Harris Technologies to provide next-generation electronic warfare system for F-16 multirole fighter

L3Harris Technologies has been awarded a contract from Lockheed Martin for development of a new advanced electronic warfare system to protect the international F-16 multirole fighter aircraft against emerging radar and electronic threats.

DroneShield demonstrates Trakka Interceptor Package Solution to US Air Force base

DroneShield announces, in partnership with Trakka Systems, a successful demonstration of the TIPS-C (Trakka Interceptor Package Solution) at Eglin Air Force Base. The TIPS-C is designed to better serve the ISR, inspection, UAS and C-UAS marketplaces.

Israel Aerospace Industries completes sucessful trials with BARAK ER air defense system

On March 22, IAI completed a series of successful live firing trials with the BARAK Air Defense System. The trials tested the system’s capabilities in a range of scenarios and threats, including the interception of an assaulting ballistic target by the BARAK ER (extended range) interceptor.

US Air Force expands 168th Air Refueling Squadron with 4 more KC-135 tankers

The Department of the Air Force plans to increase the size of its existing Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker squadron at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, by adding an active-duty component to the unit.

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