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Defence & Aerospace

South Africa to host twelfth Africa Aerospace and Defence exhibition in Sept

By: Schalk Burger     10th May 2024 The Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) trade exhibition and air show will be held from September 18 to 22 at Air Force Base Waterkloof, under the theme of ‘Exploring new paths, sharing solutions, showcasing innovation and capability’. More than half of the available exhibition space has already... 

Denel displays guided weapons, landward defence systems at Defence Service Asia

By: Schalk Burger     6th May 2024 State-owned defence technology company Denel is displaying its guided weapons and landward defence systems at the Defence Service Asia (DSA) exhibition this week. Its Umkhonto surface-to-air missile can be launched from naval vessels or ground-based launchers. It travels at more than twice the... 

Yearly Air Force show promises 'mini-war', aircraft displays

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     30th April 2024 The South African Air Force (SAAF) Museum Annual Airshow will be held on May 4 at the Air Force Mobile Deployment Wing (AF MDW) alongside Old Johannesburg Road in Valhalla, Pretoria. With the theme “Flight Through Time – Legends of The Skies”, attendees will be able to experience aviation’s past,... 

An image showing aircrafts at the Air Force Mobile Deployment Wing
Photo by Creamer Media's Tasneem Bulbulia
The show will have historical museum aircrafts, aircrafts that are currently serving in the SAAF, as well as a variety of civilian aircraft

International maritime security conference being held in Ghana

By: Rebecca Campbell     30th April 2024 Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo will be the guest of honour at the second meeting of the African Maritime Forces Summit (AMFS), being held in Accra, Ghana, from Tuesday to Thursday inclusive. This edition of the AMFS is being co-hosted by the Ghana Navy, US Naval Forces Africa and US Marine... 

Ghana Navy fast offshore patrol vessel GNS Yaa Asantewaa
Photo by Ghana Navy
Ghana Navy fast offshore patrol vessel GNS Yaa Asantewaa

Africa Aerospace and Defence organisers confident of a successful 2024 exhibition

By: Rebecca Campbell     29th April 2024 More than half of the exhibition space for the 2024 iteration of the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) trade exhibition and air show has now been booked, the organisers have announced. AAD 2024 will take place at Air Force Base Waterkloof, just south of Pretoria, from September 18 to September... 

Embraer reports strong increase in airliner order backlog

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd April 2024 Brazil-based global major aerospace group Embraer – the world’s number three maker of jet airliners – has released its deliveries and order backlog report for the first quarter of this year (1Q24). Deliveries of its commercial and executive (or business) aircraft types are up 67%, year-on-year.... 

An Embraer E195-E2
Photo by Embraer
An Embraer E195-E2

Boeing dramatically increases its sustainable aviation fuel purchases

By: Rebecca Campbell     17th April 2024 American aerospace giant Boeing has announced that it is to buy 35.6-million litres of blended sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), for use by its US commercial operations this year. This is its biggest annual SAF purchase to date, and is more than 60% greater than the amount it bought last year.... 

An aircraft being refuelled with SAF

Flight tests of Rolls-Royce’s latest engine have started

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd April 2024 UK-based global major power and propulsion systems group Rolls-Royce announced on Wednesday that it had started flight tests of its latest aero engine, the Pearl 10X. This has been developed specifically to power French group Dassault’s latest business jet, and is the latest member of... 

Regulations need to adapt to evolving industry – drone specialist

By: Nadine Ramdass     29th March 2024 A collaborative approach between industry authority the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) and drone operators is critical in further easing regulations for new and existing drone operators while achieving airspace safety, says drone-based services specialist RocketDNA quality... 

An image of drone pilot trainees at RocketDNA
TAKING FLIGHT Drone pilot training can range from two to three weeks, based on a trainee’s capabilities

Drone potential hindered by regulatory hurdles, lack of funding

By: Nadine Ramdass     29th March 2024 While the South African drone manufacturing sector could increase its participation in the international market, regulatory hurdles, as well as a lack of funding and government support, are some of the challenges hindering market growth. South Africa has relatively positive geopolitical... 

An image of Aerial Monitoring Solutions' Eagle Owl Drone
READY TO LAUNCH South Africa boasts a talented drone manufacturing industry that is impeded by lack of support

South Africa needs a new defence acquisition and maintenance funding model

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th March 2024 South Africa needs to develop a new funding model to pay for both the acquisition and maintenance of military equipment. So argued South African Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Industries Association (AMD) CE Sandile Ndlovu, in a statement issued on Thursday. This is because the South African... 

Third locally built patrol ship for the South African Navy 'blessed' in Cape Town

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th March 2024 The third of the South African Navy’s (SAN’s) multi-mission inshore patrol vessels (MMIPVs) was “blessed” at a ceremony in Cape Town, on Friday. The ceremony took place at the facilities of the ship’s builder, Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT). The MMIPV programme was developed and implemented... 

One of the South African Navy’s three new MMIPVs
Photo by Damen Shipyards Cape Town
One of the South African Navy’s three new MMIPVs

Is the era of the flying taxi finally about to dawn?

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st March 2024 The concept of small, usually unconventional, aircraft, carrying small numbers of passengers, weaving their way through towering skyscrapers and speeding over suburbs, has been a staple of especially visual science fiction – films, comic books (now pompously called ‘graphic novels’) and TV series... 

Magazine cover image

Zero carbon aviation company demonstrates its complete system for the first time

By: Rebecca Campbell     28th February 2024 US zero carbon-emissions aviation company Universal Hydrogen has announced that it has used one of its proprietary modular liquid hydrogen storage and transport ‘capsules’ to successfully power its megawatt-class fuel cell powertrain. The test was run on the company’s ground-based ‘iron bird’... 

Rolls-Royce highlights its African presence, and delivers record results for 2023

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd February 2024 UK-based global major propulsion and power systems group Rolls-Royce has highlighted its presence in Africa. It did so in parallel with the release of its full-year results for 2023. The group’s businesses active across the country are Power Systems, Civil Aerospace, and Defence. “We have... 

Equity facility to facilitate innovation

By: Nadine Ramdass     23rd February 2024 The newly launched Defence Equity Facility (DEF) aims to bolster private equity and venture capital funds in European companies that are developing innovative technologies with dual-use components, within the European Union (EU), over the next four years. The facility was launched by financial... 

An image of the European Investment Bank's headquaters
Photo by Oscar Romero
BUILDING BLOCKS The Defence Equity Facility is the first step in improving access to finance for the defence sector

Industry faces expertise shortage amid international competition

By: Nadine Ramdass     23rd February 2024 The South African defence industry continues to grapple with diminishing skills availability amid a competitive market dominated by international defence companies. However, increased government support could reinvigorate the industry, enabling it to compete on a global scale, says defence... 

An image of DroneShield's DS Drone Gun
KEY PARTNERSHIPS Soteria's partnership with DroneShield enables Soteria to provide cutting-edge technology

South African military is at war without helicopter-service deal 

By: Bloomberg     19th February 2024 South Africa has deployed its troops into two wars without renewing a maintenance contract needed to keep its essential attack and transport helicopters flying. A so-called fixed-cost contract between state arms maker Denel and the Department of Defence — which covers the expenses of technicians... 

Denel shows off its products at global defence show in Saudi Arabia

By: Schalk Burger     5th February 2024 State-owned defence company Denel is showcasing several of its products in the fields of missile technology, air defence systems, precision guided munitions, artillery systems and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems at the World Defence Show, in Saudi Arabia, from February 4 to 8. It is... 

Denel interim CEO Mike Kgobe
Photo by Creamer Media
Denel interim CEO Mike Kgobe

Embraer reports significant increases in its aircraft deliveries and services business

By: Rebecca Campbell     31st January 2024 Brazil-based major aerospace and defence group Embraer has announced that its commercial and business aircraft deliveries last year were 13% higher than in 2022, reaching a total of 181 aircraft (as against 160 in 2022). However, the 2023 figure still fell short of the company’s guidance for last... 

Zero carbon aeroengine company reports breakthrough in inverter technology

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th January 2024 UK-US zero carbon emissions aviation company ZeroAvia has announced that the initial testing campaign for its in-house developed 200 kW continuous power inverter has been successfully concluded. Inverters take direct current (DC) power supplied by an electric power source (whether batteries or... 

Airbus Helicopters reports orders increased in 2023 by about 10%, year-on-year

By: Rebecca Campbell     24th January 2024 Airbus Helicopters, part of the Europe-based global major aerospace and defence group Airbus, has reported that it secured 410 gross orders, or 393 net orders, for its aircraft last year. These orders came from 179 customers in 47 countries. Deliveries last year came to 346 helicopters, and... 

Boeing appoints retired nuclear submariner to review its airliner business quality control

By: Rebecca Campbell     17th January 2024 Global major US aerospace group Boeing has announced that the quality management system in its Boeing Commercial Airplanes business would be reviewed by a team of experts recruited from outside the group. These experts will be led by retired US Navy Admiral Kirkland H Donald, who will report... 

No emissions transport companies team up to analyse new hydrogen technology for aviation

By: Rebecca Campbell     17th January 2024 US-UK zero carbon emissions aviation company ZeroAvia and US hydrogen storage and refuelling technology startup company Verne have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate in the evaluation of opportunities to employ cryo-compressed hydrogen as an aircraft fuel, and for refuelling... 

Airbus Helicopters acquires US uncrewed aircraft company

By: Rebecca Campbell     16th January 2024 Airbus Helicopters, the rotary-wing business of the Europe-based global major aerospace and defence group Airbus, has announced that it is acquiring US uncrewed aerial systems (UAS) company Aerovel. Both companies have approved the transaction, which remains subject to regulatory approvals; the... 

Aerovel Flexrotor
Photo by Airbus Helicopters
Aerovel Flexrotor

Airbus reports 2023 was a landmark year for its airliner business

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th January 2024 Europe-based global major aerospace group Airbus has announced that its Commercial Aircraft (that is, airliner) business had a “landmark” 2023, in terms of orders and deliveries. Gross orders last year came to 2 319, with the net figure being 2 094. The gross figure included 1 835 A320-family... 

Airbus opens new hydrogen technology research centre

By: Rebecca Campbell     11th January 2024 Europe-based global major aerospace group Airbus has announced that it has opened a new hydrogen technologies research unit, in Germany. Designated the ZEROe Development Centre (ZEDC), the facility will focus on developing hydrogen system technologies which use composite materials. It is located... 

Boeing marks centenary of aerial refuelling development

By: Donna Slater     20th December 2023 Major aircraft manufacturer Boeing marked 100 years of aerial refuelling technology and platform development this year, with the first successful aerial refuelling being performed by the US Army in 1923. In the century that followed, the US Air Force and Boeing have evolved the aerial refuelling... 

On June 27, 1923 two DH-4B US Army biplanes conducted history’s first aerial refuelling exercise
On June 27, 1923 two DH-4B US Army biplanes conducted history’s first aerial refuelling exercise

Airbus buys new generation more sustainable training aircraft

By: Rebecca Campbell     11th December 2023 Europe-based global major aerospace group Airbus has announced that its wholly-owned civil and military pilot training subsidiary, Airbus Flight Academy Europe, has taken delivery of four new-generation two-seat training aircraft. Manufactured by a small French airframer, Elixir Aircraft, they... 

One of Elixir’s aircraft
Photo by Elixir Aircraft
One of Elixir’s aircraft

Boeing appoints Henok Teferra Shawl as MD for Africa

By: Schalk Burger     6th December 2023 Aerospace company Boeing has appointed Henok Teferra Shawl as MD for Boeing Africa to strengthen the company's operations and relationships across the African continent. In his new role, Teferra Shawl will be based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where Boeing plans to open an office early 2024. 

Boeing Africa MD Henok Teferra Shawl
Boeing Africa MD Henok Teferra Shawl

Virgin Atlantic, with Rolls-Royce engines, makes first 100% SAF flight from London to New York

By: Schalk Burger     28th November 2023 Airliner Virgin Atlantic's Flight100 – a Boeing 787 using aircraft engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce's Trent 1000 engines – on November 28 departed London for New York across the Atlantic ocean using 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The flight marked the culmination of a year of radical... 

Virgin Atlantic's Flight 100 being fuelled with SAF
Photo by Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic's Flight 100 being fuelled with SAF

Rolls-Royce seeking a 'step change' in its mid-term financial performance

By: Rebecca Campbell     28th November 2023 UK-based global major propulsion and power systems group Rolls-Royce announced on Tuesday, as part of a Capital Markets Day that it is hosting, that it is targeting a major uplift in its performance, over the medium term (that is, until 2027). The intent is to create a business that is (in the... 

Central Europe's defence companies spy African opportunity

By: Reuters     15th November 2023 Central European defence companies are negotiating new deals to sell more weapons, military equipment and related services in Africa as they seek to poach customers looking for alternatives to Russia, companies and government officials say. Though now part of the Western NATO alliance, former... 

A fighter plane manufactured in Czech Republic

Rolls-Royce has announced that all its commercial aero engines can run on 100% green fuels

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th November 2023 UK-based global major propulsion and power systems group Rolls-Royce announced on Monday that it has successfully tested every one of its current production commercial (including business) aircraft engines with 100% sustainable aviation fuels (SAF). This marked the conclusion to a programme... 

An aircraft engine used to test SAF

Airbus reports strong demand for its airliners during the first three quarters of this year

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th November 2023 Europe-based global major aerospace and defence group Airbus has released its results for the first nine months of this year (9M23). Consolidated group revenues, at €42.56-billion, were up 12%, year-on-year (y-o-y). Earnings before interest and taxes (Ebit), adjusted, for 9M23 were €3.631-billion... 

Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury
Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury

Brazilian aerospace major reports strong delivery growth during the third quarter

By: Rebecca Campbell     30th October 2023 Brazil-based global major aerospace group Embraer has reported on its deliveries for the third quarter of this year (3Q23) and total deliveries for the first nine months of this year. For the second quarter in a row, the company recorded double-digit year-on-year (y-o-y) increases in its civil... 

An Embraer E195-E2
Photo by Embraer
An Embraer E195-E2

CSIR launches enterprise to commercialise first set of 18 technologies 

By: Schalk Burger     25th October 2023 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has launched its intellectual property (IP) commercialisation enterprise CSIR C-Cubed (CSIR C3) with a portfolio of 18 technologies and it is looking for business partners, entrepreneurs and investors to help it commercialise them and have... 

Dr Thulani Dlamini
CSIR CEO Dr Thulani Dlamini discusses the council's new IP commercialisation enterprise. Video and editing: Nicholas Boyd.
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