MARCH 2021 news

Defense Aviation and Aerospace Industry


109th Airlift Wing wraps up Antarctic research support

The New York Air National Guard’s 109th Airlift Wing wrapped up its 33rd season of supporting U.S. science research in the Antarctic.

AeroVironment secures $5.9 Million Puma 3 AE UAS foreign military sales contract award for US ally

AeroVironment, Inc., a global leader in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS),  announced on March 11 it secured a $5,922,461 firm-fixed-price U.S. Department of Defense Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract award on December 22, 2020 to provide Puma 3 AE tactical UAS, training and support to a European allied nation. Delivery is anticipated by April 2021.

Denmark first F-35 has flown

Earlier this week, L-001, Denmark's first F-35 Lightning II production aircraft flew its inaugural flight. Denmark is the fifth European NATO nation to fly and operate an F-35, strengthening NATO's 5th generation airpower foundation. Denmark is joining four other European nations who already operate the F-35: the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Norway and Italy.

US Army uses GA-ASI SC2 software to control Gray Eagle extended range UAS from a laptop

On Jan. 28, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA ASI) and the U.S. Army conducted the first production Acceptance Test Procedure (ATP) flights of a Gray Eagle Extended Range (GE-ER) Unmanned Aircraft System using Scalable Command & Control (SC2) software developed by GA-ASI and installed on an Army-owned laptop computer. SC2 controlled an Army GE-ER aircraft for 3.8 hours and the system successfully completed all test points.

Tu-160M with new engines completes factory trials

The United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) said it had handed over the first upgraded Tu-160M strategic bomber with new NK-32 engines of the 02 series for preliminary trials.

Citadel Defense teamed with Syzygy Integration to develop Tactical Assault Kit custom counter drone application for US DoD

Citadel Defense teamed with Syzygy Integration to develop a custom counter drone application for the Department of Defense and federal government agencies. The application accelerates situational awareness and coordinated responses to uncooperative drone activity around critical infrastructure, National Special Security Events (NSSE), military bases, and the border.

Orange Flag, Black Flag exercises collaborate to accelerate change

Orange Flag, the large force test event carried out three times annually by US Air Force Test Center’s 412th Test Wing, combined with the 53rd Wing’s Black Flag, brought several firsts for the test community March 2-4.

Aster X 2021: First space exercise in Europe

March 8, 2021 marks the launch of the first space exercise in Europe: “AsterX 2021”. Led by the Space Command of the French Air Force and Space, this tactical and operational training exercise in military space operations will take place, until March 12, at National Center for Space Studies (CNES) in Toulouse.

Hensoldt new airborne surveillance radar PrecISR passes acceptance test

Sensor solutions specialist HENSOLDT has successfully passed the Factory Acceptance Test of its new airborne multi-mission surveillance radar PrecISR. In an online demonstration the PrecISR 1000 proved its capabilities to the customer, the provider of airborne special missions operations QinetiQ GmbH, Möchengladbach/Germany.

Elbit Systems introduces AMPS NG, extending the capabilities of its multi-sensor payload

Elbit Systems unveils the next generation of its Advanced Multi-Sensor Payload System (AMPS NG), adding Shortwave Infrared (SWIR) technology to the existing day CCD (Charge-Coupled Device) TV sensors, and a unique highly capable dual FLIR sensor design.

US Navy T-45 Goshawk jet trainers to get new oxygen concentrators

Cobham Mission Systems, the U.S.-based world leader in providing military oxygen life support systems for tactical aircraft, announced on March 9 it has been awarded a new contract from the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) for production and delivery of two lots of GGU-25 oxygen concentrators. This program includes delivery of a fleet-wide oxygen concentrator legacy system upgrade for U.S. Navy T-45 Goshawk jet trainers. Cobham Mission Systems’ enhanced smart concentrators will deliver optimal oxygen for pilots while also monitoring and recording necessary operational data.

Collins Aerospace brings next-generation sensors to FastJets

Collins Aerospace, a unit of Raytheon Technologies Corp. , was awarded an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract modification by the US Air Force for its newest Fast-Jet reconnaissance pod, the MS-110 Multispectral Airborne Reconnaissance system.

US military wants to arm small drones and manned vehicles with non-lethal weapons

US military wants to develop a suite of compact multi-weapon system payloads that deliver scalable Intermediate Force Capability (IFC) effects combined with other military effects for: applicability and effectiveness in multiple domains; synergistic value of integrating the various IFC effects with other multi-use military capabilities in a common architecture, such as Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR); secure communications; and automated fire control systems, all integrated aboard small manned and unmanned systems (UxS) platforms. Platforms include small tactical vehicles/vessels and unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) for both urban and austere terrains, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for both counter-air and ground support operations, unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) for both the littorals and open water operations, and unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs).

JUMP 20 VTOL UAV selected for USSOCOM Mid-Endurance Unmanned Aircraft Systems program

AeroVironment, Inc., a global leader in unmanned aircraft systems, announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Arcturus UAV, now operating under the AeroVironment brand, was awarded a competitive task order valued at approximately $7 million from the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). The competitive task order is for a one-year period of performance, which started February 3, 2021.

US B-1B Lancer conducts Bomber Task Force mission in Norway and Sweden

A U.S. B-1B Lancer from the 7th Bomb Wing, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, conducted a Bomber Task Force mission in Norway and Sweden, March 8, 2021.

US Air Force awards Black Swift Technologies contract for a software capable of predicting UAS system failures before they happen

According to a study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the U.S. Air Force “Remotely Piloted Aircraft” (RPA) or “Unmanned Aircraft Systems” (UAS), represent a low cost, high mission capable asset when compared to manned airplanes. The UASs reduced operation and maintenance costs remain a key catalyst for their expanded deployments. Yet UASs suffer some of the same vulnerabilities and limitation as manned aircraft, including reliability issues. According to the USAF, dozens of RPA/UAS have crashed due to pilot error, mechanical failure, and/or electrical failure.

Thales in the UK to support Aeralis in development of training & simulation for an Advanced Modular Aircraft

AERALIS, the British military jet developer, has entered into a Teaming Agreement with Thales in the UK to develop innovative philosophies, processes, devices & systems to operate the transformational AERALIS platforms. The development from Thales will take place alongside AERALIS’ contract with the RAF’s Rapid Capabilities Office to deliver research & development of an Advanced Modular Aircraft system.

Orlan-10 UAVs conduct maximum-range reconnaissance in drills

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from the Central Military District’s combined-arms large unit based in Siberia have practiced maximum-range reconnaissance and control transfer to an alternate command post, the Russian Defense Ministry’s press office said.

Valley Tech Systems awarded contract for integrating Advanced Battle Management Systems with a wide-range of sensors and sensing modalities

Valley Tech Systems Inc., Folsom, California, has been awarded a $9,492,240 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification (P00009) to contract FA8750-19-C-1531 for integrating the Advanced Battle Management Systems (ABMS) with a wide-range of sensors and sensing modalities.

US Army procures Chinook helicopter T55 engines

Honeywell International Inc., Phoenix, Arizona, was awarded a $476,065,362 firm-fixed-price contract for the procurement of CH-47 aircraft T55 engines, CH-47 aircraft T55 engine electronic control units, and CH-47 aircraft T55 engine installation kits.

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