Aerospace & Aviation

Italy collaborating on nextgen fighter

The Italian defence ministry has contracted with four of the country’s defence firms for development along with Britain and Japan of next-generation fighter. An evolution of the British-led Tempest initiative, the Global Combat Air Program, has targetted 2035 to begin production. [node:read-more:link]

F-35 sales affect L-M’s bottom line

Nearly six weeks after halting deliveries of new F-35 fighters, Lockheed Martin CEO Jim Taiclet says the company is awaiting results of an investigation of a December 15 mishap before resuming acceptance flights and deliveries. While the pause was a factor in an F-35 sales decline at loss of some US$310 million, the company’s aeronautics division had nearly US$27 billion in net sales in 2022, up $239 million from 2021. [node:read-more:link]

France considers maritime patrol aircraft

Nearly six years after announcing a joint maritime patrol aircraft project with Germany, France is looking at domestic options after Germany bought some Boeing P-8 Poseidons from the U.S. Navy as an interim solution. It has awarded 18-month contracts to Airbus Defence & Space and Dassault Aviation to examine potential replacements for its current decades-old MPA fleet. [node:read-more:link]

Domestic space launches planned

The federal government hopes to have domestic commercial space launch facilities within the next three years. “For many years, Canadian satellites have launched from sites in other countries,” Transport Minister Omar Alghabra explained January 20, adding that the government would begin developing the regulatory requirements, safety standards and licensing conditions. He also said the government is ready to approve private-sector launches in the interim on a case-by-case basis. [node:read-more:link]

Turkish drone maker spreads its wings

The Turkish drone manufacturer, Baykar, has announced another export sale, increasing its international market to more than two dozen countries. Its latest deal is a US$370-million contract to provide Kuwait with armed Bayraktar TB2s. [node:read-more:link]

South Korea-Emirates ties

Two memoranda of understanding to improve bilateral defense ties were signed by the United Arab Emirates during South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol’s visit to Dubai this week. One calls for more joint investment, research and technological development, the other for more UAE involvement in South Korea’s development of a new multi-mission cargo aircraft [node:read-more:link]

Turkey’s F-16 order problematic

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu met with U.S. counterpart Antony Blinken in Washington January 18 to secure a $20 billion arms sale that includes 40 new Lockheed Martin Block F-16 fighters as well as upgrades to its current F-16 fleet. [node:read-more:link]

Fatal Ukrainian helo crash

Ukrainian Interior Minister Denis Monastyrsky and six other officials died in the crash today of a Eurocopter Super Puma near Kyiv. Three others aboard also died and at least a couple dozen persons on the ground were killed or injured. The cause of the crash is unknown. [node:read-more:link]

Australia replacing controversial helos

After years of political controversy and long-running and costly operational issues, the Australian government confirmed today that it will replace its multi-role Airbus Taipan helicopters with 40 Lockheed Martin Black Hawks at a cost of someUS$2 billion. The decision was taken even though Australia is still in the middle of a comprehensive defence policy review but officials suggested the situation was urgent. [node:read-more:link]

NATO bolstering airborne surveillance

Since Russia invaded Ukraine 11 months ago, NATO has increased its presence on Europe’s eastern flank. Now it plans to bolster its presence in the air by deploying three Boeing E-3 Sentry surveillance aircraft, usually based in Germany, to Romania to “monitor Russian military activity ” within alliance territory. [node:read-more:link]

Vladimir Putin loses his cool

Russia’s trade and industry minister, Denis Manturov, was rebuked by President Vladimir Putin today for not stepping up orders for aircraft and ships. “It is taking too long,” Putin said during a government meeting, interrupting Manturov’s presentation. “What are you fooling around for?” Putin said the minister needed “to sort this out with the defence ministry.” [node:read-more:link]

F-35 tech upgrade successful

A 50-minute test flight of an ugraded Lockheed Martin F-35A is described as a step toward loading the fighter with improved computer memory and processing power, laying the groundwork for a major Block 4 modernization. The test by the USAF 461st Flight Test Squadron verified airworthiness and system stability at 35,000 feet and at nearly Mach 1. [node:read-more:link]

New RCAF fighters operational by 2032

This procurement has been politically turbulent for both Liberal and Conservative governments over the years, but Canada has finally announced it will begin taking deliveries of its first 16 F-35 Lightning II fighters in 2026 despite protesters who call for vulnerability in the name of peace. [node:read-more:link]

F-35 deliveries start in 2026

The first four of a planned 88 Lockheed Martin F-35 fighters for the RCAF are scheduled for delivery to the RCAF in 2026, Defence Minister Anita Anand announced today. The projected 40-year lifecycle cost of the fleet is given as $70 billion, including the aircraft, new infrastructure at Canada’s two main fighter bases, and initial weapons and maintenance. [node:read-more:link]

F-35 deliveries suspended

Lockheed Martin said today that it has halted acceptance flights and deliveries of F-35s pending the results of an investigation into a mishap with a B-version during testing at its plant in Texas. The company and the Defense Department also announced today that they have contracted to deliver up to 398 F-35s to domestic and export customers in Lots 15-17, including first deliveries to Belgium, Finland and Poland. [node:read-more:link]

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