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Latest news on the defence and aerospace sector.

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    US aerospace giant Lockheed Martin has rolled out the first example of the commercial version of its C-130J Super Hercules military airlifter. The civilian model is designated the LM-100J and it was built, and the roll-out ceremony took place at, the company’s plant at Marietta in the US State of Georgia. The aircraft’s first flight is scheduled to take place during the northern spring. The company announced its intent to develop the LM-100J in February 2014. It will now pursue a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) civil type certificate update. The first LM-100J will carry out test flights in support of this certificate update process.

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    Last month, international consultancy company Deloitte projected a growth of more than 3% in global defence spending in 2017 after years of declining budgets.

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    From next year the South Africa Air Force (SAAF) will send 60 cadets to a US military academy each year to pursue their first degree in their chosen fields. This will include future pilots, navigators, engineers, technicians and other support mustering.

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    Norwegian ship design and shipbuilding company Vard Marine, a subsidiary of Italy’s Fincantiere group (which holds 55.63% of the Norwegian enterprise), has confirmed that its VARD 9 105 hydrographic/oceanographic ship design is the one offered to the South African Navy (SAN) by Southern African Shipyards of Durban, to fulfil Project Hotel. South African defence acquisition, disposals and research and development agency Armscor recently announced that Southern African Shipyards had been selected ...

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    The Department of Public Works (DPW) has appointed a team to prepare a remedial plan for the faulty pump station at the Bluff Naval base, in Durban, following an incident last week in which six people died. The deceased, three contract workers and three South African National Defence Force (SANDF) members, were overcome by gases emanating from the sewerage facility while conducting work there.

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    Following a “large increase in customer demand” for the South African-designed, -developed and -built Advanced, High-performance, Reconnaissance, Light Aircraft (Ahrlac), South African defence platforms company Paramount Group announced the unveiling of a new version of the aircraft – the Mwari Smart – on February 20, at the International Defence Exhibition (Idex) 2017, which took place in Abu Dhabi from February 19 to 23.

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    Last month, during the debate regarding the 2017 State of the Nation Address in Parliament in Cape Town, Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies highlighted that “[a]s the UK Government prepares to trigger exit negotiations from the EU [European Union], we need to prepare for a new trade arrangement with the UK. We have been engaged with the UK Government and reached an in-principle understanding that there will be no damage to existing trade and investment relations that must be preserved. We also agree that the legal commitments under the EPA [Economic Partnership Agreement] with the EU, including the UK, will continue to be the basis for our bilateral trade in the immediate future and that those commitments would be carried over into any new arrangement in future. We will have to pay particular attention to questions of how quotas, notably on agricultural products will be dealt with to avoid any damage to current trade.”

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    South Africa’s defence acquisition, disposals and research and development agency Armscor announced late last month the preferred bidders to supply ships for the South African Navy’s (SAN’s) Projects Biro and Hotel. They are Damen Shipyards Cape Town and South African Shipyards. Project Biro is for the construction of three Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) and three Inshore Patrol Vessels (IPVs). Damen is the preferred bidder for both types. Project Hotel is for the construction of a new hydrographic survey ship, although the Armscor press release describes it as a “Hydrographic Survey Capability”.

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    Following in the tradition of brothers making their mark in the aviation industry, Potchefstroom brothers Professor Attie Jonker and Uys Jonker have launched a new addition to the domestic glider industry – the JS3.

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    European aerospace giant Airbus and Italy-based transport design, engineering and production services company Italdesign have combined to design a new approach to meeting future traffic snarl-ups in major cities, which they have designated Pop.Up. This was unveiled on Tuesday at the eighty-seventh Geneva International Motor Show. It has been forecast that urban traffic will grow hugely by 2030, and it is this which has stimulated the two enterprises to combine their engineering expertise to meet this developing problem. In their press release, the two companies described Pop.Up as “the first modular, fully-electric, zero emission concept vehicle system designed to relieve traffic congestion in crowded megacities.”

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    Norwegian ship design and shipbuilding company Vard Marine, a subsidiary of Italy’s Fincantiere group (which holds 55.63% of the Norwegian enterprise), has confirmed that its VARD 9 105 hydrographic/oceanographic ship design is the one offered to the South African Navy (SAN) by Southern African Shipyards of Durban, to fulfil Project Hotel. South African defence acquisition, disposals and research and development agency Armscor recently announced that Southern African Shipyards had been selected as the preferred bidder for Project Hotel, which is intended to replace the SAN’s current hydrographic survey ship, the SAS Protea, which is now 45 years old.

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    South African defence company Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) has reported that it has successfully qualified its 155 mm calibre M2005 Velocity Enhanced Artillery Projectile (VLAP). This is a longer-ranged enhancement of the company’s Assegaai series of 155 mm artillery rounds. The qualification was done on behalf of an international client. “The 155 mm Assegaai series has global significance in the field of artillery ammunition and consists of different projectile variants, covering the requirements of most users in training and combat today,” noted RDM CEO Norbert Schulze. In its press release, the company affirmed that the qualification of the VLAP had “once again entrenched RDM’s position as world leader in the field of artillery”. Full rate production of the M2005 is already under way, and the customer has received its first consignment of the new shells. It is compatible with 39-calibre, 45-calibre and 52-calibre guns of both North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) and non-Nato design. (39-calibre means the gun barrel is 39 times the length of its calibre: in this case, 39 x 155; so, likewise, 45 x 155 and 52 x 155.)

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    South Africa’s State-owned defence industrial group Denel has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with German shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS). This agreement will allow Denel’s Maritime division to take responsibility for the maintenance of, and upgrades to, the South African Navy’s (SAN’s) four Valour-class frigates and three Heroine-class submarines. “This is a major breakthrough for the South African maritime sector as Denel becomes responsible for specialist services on some of the world’s most-sophisticated submarines and frigates,” affirmed Denel acting CEO Zwelakhe Ntshepe. “These vessels are the sharp end of South Africa’s naval forces and the primary protectors of our coastline against possible intruders and illegal incursions into our territorial waters.”

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    Defence vehicle manufacturer Denel Vehicle Systems will deliver four Self Defence Remotely Operated Weapons (SD-ROW) systems and eight RG32M defence vehicles to the Namibian government by the end of this month for defence purposes and tactical observation.

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    European aerospace giant Airbus and Italy-based transport design, engineering and production services company Italdesign have combined to design a new approach to meeting future traffic snarl-ups in major cities, which they have designated Pop.Up. This was unveiled at the recent 87th Geneva International Motor Show. It has been forecast that urban traffic will grow hugely by 2030, and it is this which has stimulated the two enterprises to combine their engineering expertise to meet this developing problem.

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    It is 2031 and the next space race has started with the launch of the largest-ever interplanetary space rocket and spaceship carrying four carefully selected astronauts on a mission to establish a human settlement on Mars – a planet that is, on average, 225-million km away.

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    South African defence company Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) has reported that it has successfully qualified its 155 mm calibre M2005 Velocity Enhanced Artillery Projectile (VLAP). This is a longer-ranged enhancement of the company’s Assegai series of 155 mm artillery rounds. The qualification was done on behalf of an international client. Its development was the result, the http://preditor.creamermedia.co.za/article.view.php?ct_id=1&op=new#company stated, of its policy of continuously upgrading and improving its products.

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    With interest in remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPASes), or drones, increasing, seemingly unhindered by their high costs, Cape Town-based RPAS sport organisation Drone Racing Africa (DRA) has introduced a basic drone flying course.

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    South Africa’s State-owned defence industrial group Denel has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with German shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS). This agreement will allow Denel’s Maritime Division to take responsibility for the maintenance of, and upgrades to, the South African Navy’s (SAN’s) four Valour-class frigates and three Heroine-class submarines.

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    Stellenbosch University and CubeSpace are expected to launch a nanosatellite to the International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday. The nanosatellite will be launched from the US on Monday, or Tuesday.

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