U.K. government signs £30 million contract with Sprint for fighter drone project

As part of a major £1.5 billion investment in military research and development, the U.K. government has signed a £30 million design and manufacture contract with the Belfast arm of Sprint AeroSystems for an unmanned fighter drone. In 2020 the U.S. group acquired the former business in Northern Ireland from Bombardier. The deal is to include a full-scale vehicle flight-test program by 2023. According to the British government, the drones will be manufactured to act as a “loyal wingman” to the RAF’s Typhoon jets, capable of shooting down enemy aircraft. The program will also include the U.K. unit of Northrop Read more

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U.S. Air Force awards Boeing contract for 15 KC-46A tankers

The U.S. Air Force has awarded Boeing a US$2.1 billion contract for 15 KC-46A tankers, expanding its fleet of aircraft that will not only set the standard for aerial refueling but will also help enable the integrated digital battlespace. The KC-46 is a widebody, multirole tanker designed for state-of-the-art air refueling, cargo and medical transport. Boeing is now on contract for 94 KC-46A tankers.

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U.S. Air Force awarded Boeing contract for 12 KC-46A tanker aircraft

The U.S. Air Force has awarded Boeing a US$1.7 billion contract for 12 KC-46A tanker aircraft. With this sixth production lot, Boeing is now on contract for 79 KC-46A tankers.  The company delivered the first KC-46A to the Air Force in January 2019. Since then, Boeing has delivered 42 tankers to four different bases. The next-generation KC-46 brings new capabilities and operational flexibility to the U.S. Air Force and international customers. The KC-46A is a multirole tanker designed to refuel allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures. It’s also equipped to carry passengers, cargo and patients Read more

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GE awarded new contract for additional T408 turboshaft engines

GE Aviation has been awarded a US$111.9 million contract with NAVAIR for fourth lot T408 engines to power the U.S. Marine Corps’ most advanced heavy-lift helicopter, the Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion. This latest contract of Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) engines follows three previous LRIP contracts for this program, the most recent being in August 2019. GE Aviation’s Lynn, Mass., plant will perform final assembly for the Lot 4 engines.

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Israel Aerospace Industries wins three avionic upgrade tenders in South Korea

Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI) Aviation Group has won three avionic upgrade contracts worth approximately US$50 million in South Korea, in 2020. The win includes three different aircraft types used by the Korean Air Force. The avionic upgrade process includes converting a used aircraft and retrofitting it with all or part of the avionic systems with new and advanced systems. The result is an aircraft with advanced performance, capable of meeting the challenges of modern military or civilian aviation.

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Boeing awarded U.S. Navy contract for New Zealand P-8 training

The U.S. Navy has awarded Boeing a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract, valued at US$109 million, to provide P-8A Poseidon training for the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF). A suite of training systems and course-ware will prepare RNZAF aircrew and maintainers to safely and effectively operate and maintain the maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft for decades to come. Boeing’s holistic P-8 training system will enable the RNZAF to conduct up to 70% of all Poseidon-related training in a simulated environment. Boeing’s Electronic Classroom will give RNZAF instructors and students access to course-ware and testing capabilities. Boeing also will provide Read more

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Aviation Blade Services awarded UH-60 rotor blade maintenance contract by Colombian Army

UH-60 helicopter of the ©Columbian Army

Aviation Blade Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of First Aviation Services, has been awarded an inspection-and-repair contract to support main rotor blade repair for the Colombian Army Aviation Battalion fleet of UH-60 rotorcraft.  Aviation Blade Services, along with its sister company Piedmont Propulsion Systems, have been making significant investments in facilities, engineering, workforce, and inventory in support of the worldwide S-60 fleet for main and tail rotors, hubs, and dynamic components.

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AAR to continue C-40 contractor logistics support with Naval Air Systems Command

AAR has been awarded a US$148,357,084 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity follow-on contract with Naval Air Systems Command. This expanded contract provides contractor logistics support required for operating and maintaining the C-40A aircraft, aircraft subsystems, appliances and support equipment, including depot-level, main operating base and supply support. This award also introduces additional requirements including new operating sites, commercial line maintenance, and scheduled engine overhauls. Heavy maintenance work on the C-40A aircraft will be performed at AAR’s MRO facility at the Oklahoma City airport, with line maintenance support conducted at two Naval Air Stations within the United States and logistics support at six Naval Read more

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IBC wins US$9.7 million in new orders from Lockheed Martin

IBC to produce two aerospace-qualified beryllium-aluminum components for the F-35 Lightning II aircraft ©IBC

IBC Advanced Alloys Corp., a leading beryllium and copper advanced alloys company, has reported that Lockheed Martin has awarded IBC new purchase orders totaling approximately US$9.7 million to produce two aerospace-qualified beryllium-aluminum components for the F-35 Lightning II aircraft over the next 26 months. One purchase order involves production of the azimuth gimbal housing unit used in the F-35’s Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS).  IBC has manufactured this part for Lockheed Martin since 2015 using the Company’s high-performance Beralcast® beryllium-aluminum investment cast alloy. In a new development, Lockheed Martin also awarded IBC an order to produce a second part for the Read more

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Boeing’s autonomous MQ-25 completes first test flight with Aerial Refueling Store

©Boeing MQ-25 T1 ARS

Boeing and the U.S. Navy have, for the first time, flown the MQ-25 T1 test asset with an aerial refueling store (ARS), a significant milestone informing development of the unmanned aerial refueler. The successful 2.5-hour flight with the Cobham ARS – the same ARS currently used by F/A-18s for air-to-air refueling – was designed to test the aircraft’s aerodynamics with the ARS mounted under the wing. The flight was conducted by Boeing test pilots operating from a ground control station at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill. Future flights will continue to test the aerodynamics of the aircraft and Read more

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