Airbus’ Commercial Aircraft deliveries in 2017 were up for the 15th year in a row, reaching a new record of 718 aircraft delivered to 85 customers. Deliveries were more than four percent higher than the previous record of 688 set in 2016. Airbus achieved 1,109 net orders from 44 customers. At the end of 2017 Airbus’ overall backlog stood at 7,265 aircraft valued at $1.059 trillion at list prices.
Airbus made its first A400M Atlas transport aircraft delivery of 2018 with the number of deliveries of the Atlas made by the firm now standing at 56. The aircraft was delivered to the German Air Force, bringing to 15 the total number now operated by Berlin out of a total order of 53 units ordered.
Following an MoU signed at Le Bourget Paris Airshow in June 2017, Viva Air, the Latin America low cost carrier group owned by Irelandia Aviation, has signed a purchase agreement with Airbus for 50 A320 Family aircraft. The 35 A320neo and 15 A320ceo will be operated by the group’s airlines VivaColombia and Viva Air Peru.
Airbus has announced that it had finalised agreements with Indigo Partners and its four portfolio airlines for the purchase of 430 additional A320neo Family aircraft for ultra-low-cost airlines Frontier Airlines (US), JetSMART (Chile), Volaris (Mexico) and Wizz Air (Hungary). The signed purchase agreement follows a MoU among the parties announced at the Dubai Air Show in November 2017.
Boeing has unveiled its Mach 5 hypersonic demonstrator concept, dubbed the ‘Son of Blackbird’, the aircraft features a delta-wing and builds on the two decades of hypersonic demonstrator experience Boeing gained from the X-43 and X-51A projects, as well as the XB-70 bomber programme. The design is aimed at also providing a hypersonic successor to the long-retired SR-71 Blackbird reconnaissance aircraft, aimed for the late 2020s.
Boeing has unfurled a new unmanned electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) cargo air vehicle prototype. Powered by an environmentally-friendly electric propulsion system with eight counter rotating blades allowing for vertical flight, the vehicle is designed to transport a payload up to 500 pounds and will aid in future cargo and logistic applications. The eVTOL will be used as a flying test-bed to mature the building blocks of autonomous technology for future applications.
Boeing and flydubai have finalised the purchase of 175 Boeing 737 MAX airplanes in the largest single-aisle jet order in Middle East history. The deal which includes options for an additional 50 jets, is valued at $27 billion at current list prices. This was announced as a commitment at the 2017 Dubai Airshow.
The Boeing Company and Brazil’s Embraer have confirmed that the two companies are engaged in discussions regarding a potential combination, the basis of which remains under discussion. There is no guarantee a transaction will result from these discussions.
Embraer has delivered a total of 210 jets in 2017, of which 101 were commercial aircraft and 109 were executive jets (72 light and 37 large). The deliveries were within the anticipated figures for the year. As of December 31, 2017, the firm order backlog totaled $18.3 billion.
General Electric will provide its services in support of F/A-18 E-F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft. The $74 million contract has been awarded by the Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support. The six month agreement, scheduled to be finished in June, tasks GE with the supply of 773 F414 engine components used on the Boeing-made aircraft, with work to be carried out at various GE supplier locations.
Work is to begin on producing Japan’s first KC-46 tanker aircraft, following the $289 million USAF firm-fixed-price contract awarded to Boeing to deliver one unit to Tokyo. The contract provides for non-recurring engineering, integrated logistics support and one KC-46A aircraft and is a 100 percent FMS to the Japanese government. Work is to be completed by February 28, 2021.
Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $7 billion contract to provide F-22 Raptor sustainment services. The agreement has a five-year base ordering period calling for comprehensive F-22 air vehicle sustainment to be completed by December 31 2027. The deal follows the recent $6.7 billion award to United Technologies for sustainment activities on the Raptor’s Pratt and Whitney F-119 engine.
Northrop Grumman, California, has been awarded a $172,669,763 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN). This contract provides BACN payload operation and support for payload equipment and services. Work is expected to be completed by January 23, 2019.
Raytheon Missile Company, Arizona, has been awarded a $634,204,347 fixed-price-incentive-firm-target contract for Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) production Lot 31. The contract is for the production of the AMRAAM missile and other AMRAAM system items. Work is expected to be completed by January 31, 2020. This contract involves FMS to Japan, Korea, Morocco, Poland, Indonesia, Romania, Spain, Turkey, Bahrain and Qatar.
Russian daily Kommersant reports that the Russian Defence Ministry has reached an agreement with Myanmar for the sale of six Su-30SME fighter aircraft. While many details of the sale including a financial package to help cover the purchase, have yet to be decided, the order is valued at $400 million with deliveries to commence in 2019.
Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, Connecticut, was awarded a $193,850,000 firm-fixed-price FNS (Saudi Arabia) contract for eight Saudi Arabian National Guard and nine Royal Saudi Land Forces Airborne Special Security Forces unique UH-60M aircraft. Estimated completion date is December 31, 2022.
South Korea’s Marine Corps has received delivery of its first two MUH-1 multi-role utility helicopters. Based on KAI’s KUH-1 Surion, the new variant features an external fuel tank, specialized radio equipment, flotation devices etc. 32 units have been ordered and deliveries are expected to continue to until 2023, at least.
The US Air Force has awarded General Atomics a $328.8 million contract for MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft support and services. Work is expected to be completed by December 2018.
The USAF has awarded Boeing with a $17.5 million contract modification to provide engineering sustainment support onboard C/KC-135 Stratotanker aerial refueling aircraft; which includes airframe components, mechanical and electrical systems, as well as subsystems and their components. Completion date is September 13, 2019.
Egypt’s AH-64 Apache helicopter fleet will be fitted with Modernised Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor System (M-TADS/PNVS) kits, following the award of a FMS contract modification by the US Department of Defence (DoD) to Lockheed Martin for $25 million. Work is expected to be completed by April 30, 2020.
US Navy and Australian government P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) will have integrated logistics services and site activation support provided by the aircraft’s manufacturer Boeing, following the award of a $115.2 million contract modification issued by the Naval Air Systems Command. Scheduled completion is set for September 2021.
Surplus AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters previously used by the US Marine Corps are being offered for sale by the US government, either through a FMS or Direct Commercial Sale. Prior to any sale, the helicopters will be fitted with a new ‘glass’ cockpit and pilot/maintainer training will be provided to prospective customers.