Issue: 10-2021


On October 11 this year, Airbus Helicopter announced that its Helicopters UH-72 Lakota fleet has exceeded the one million flight-hour mark, some 15 years after the first Lakota UH-72A entered service for the US Army in 2006, following the first delivery of the newest UH-72B to the National Guard. Global Medical Response (GMR) will add a total of 21 Airbus helicopters from the H125, H130 and H135 families to its growing air medical fleet, with options to include up to an additional 23 helicopters, bringing the total order potential up to 44 helicopters.


In a context of increased momentum around space exploration, on October 26, 2021, Airbus Defence and Space, Air Liquide and ispace Europe have announced the joint creation of EURO2MOON. This non-profit organisation will be dedicated to promoting better use of lunar natural resources, while accelerating the cis-lunar economy and federating industrial efforts across Europe.

The Webb Space Telescope (WST) arrived at the European space port in Kourou, French Guiana on October 18, 2021 and will be prepared for its launch that is scheduled for December 18, 2021 on an Ariane 5 launcher. One of the four instruments in its scientific suitcase is the Near Infra Red Spectrograph (NIRSpec) built by Airbus in Germany. Once in orbit, Webb will begin a month long journey, travelling four times the distance to the Moon, until it reaches its final destination, the Lagrange point L2, some 1.5 million km behind the Earth.


On October 20, 2021 Boeing said that airlines in the Middle East will require 3,000 new airplanes valued at $700 billion and aftermarket services such as maintenance and repair worth $740 billion by 2040 with the region positioned to capitalise on the recovery of regional and international travel as well as rising demand for cargo.

Boeing has been awarded a $1.1 billion contract to extend seeker production for the US Army’s PAC-3 missile up to 2026. Under the contract, Boeing will produce approximately 1,500 additional seekers in Huntsville, Alabama, as a subcontractor to Lockheed Martin beginning in 2023. The Boeing-built seeker provides guidance data to the PAC-3 interceptor, which has protected war fighters, allies and international partners around the world from a variety of air and missile threats for 20 years and counting.

On October 31 this year, Boeing reported that it has delivered its first KC-46A tanker to the Japan Air Self-Defence Force (JASDF) marking the programme’s first delivery to a customer outside the United States. The Japan KC-46A is capable of refuelling JASDF, US Air Force, US Navy and US Marine Corps aircraft. Globally, the KC-46A has already completed more than 5,000 sorties and transferred more than 50 million pounds of fuel to other aircraft through its boom and drogue systems.

The Defence Logistics Agency (DLA) and Boeing announced on November 08 this year that they have agreed to a follow-on contract for future sustainment support of military services across multiple Boeing military platforms, enabling Boeing and DLA to continue support through the extension of existing programmes up to a ceiling value of $15 billion over 10 years.


On October 29, 2021, GE Aviation announced that the US Air Force has awarded it a $1.58 billion firm-fixed-price contract to supply F110 engines for the Boeing F-15EX Eagle II. This selection makes GE the sole propulsion provider for the US Air Force’s entire planned F-15EX fleet.

On October 27, 2021, GE Aviation announced that as part of NASA’s Hybrid Thermally Efficient Core (HyTEC) project, it has been awarded multiple cost-share contracts for engine core development valued at more than $20 million including investments by both NASA and GE. Plans are to ground test a new compact engine core by the middle of the current decade. This is a part of GE Aviation’s pursuit to develop technologies for more sustainable commercial flight.


On October 23, 2021, it was announced that the Global Aerospace Summit will be held from May 24 to 26, 2022 at Abu Dhabi, hosted by Mubadala, in which leading aviation, aerospace, space and defence agencies from across the world will participate. The Summit will demonstrate the road to recovery for the global aviation industry post the pandemic. The summit is being hosted by Mubadala.


Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI) innovative ADA Anti-Jam GPS System, designed to protect GPS/GNSS navigation from jamming, has been integrated into advanced platforms used by the Israeli Air Force and various types of UAS. Most navigation, communication and warfare systems integrated into modern platforms depend on the continuous availability of GPS/GNSS satellites. The ADA product portfolio, developed by IAI, is compatible with a broad range of satellite navigation systems (GNSS).


The Indian Air Force (IAF) Contingent has been inducted for participation in the biennial Dubai Air Show to be held at the Al Maktoum International Airport from November 14 to 18, 2021. The IAF has been invited by the Government of UAE to participate with the Sarang and Suryakiran Aerobatic Teams. In addition, the IAF’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas shall be part of the aerobatics and static displays during the show.


Raytheon Missiles & Defence in partnership with Northrop Grumman, successfully completed the first flight test of a scramjet-powered Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) on September 27, 2021 for DARPA and the US Air Force. During the test, HAWC was carried under the wing of an aircraft before it was released. Scramjet engines enable sustained flight at hypersonic speeds – Mach 5 or greater – which is five times the speed of sound.