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Latest news on the defence and aerospace sector.

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    Public enterprises minister Lynne Brown has on Thursday, urged the South African government to come up with a concrete plan to explore areas of cooperation in the defense industry with Pakistan. South African Defence Minister, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Defence and Industrial Cooperation with Pakistan earlier this year, to provide a platform for increased cooperation and investment opportunities between the two countries.

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    Germany serves as a leading example of a country that has a major and successful aeronautical industry but does not have a single wholly- or predominantly-German owned aerospace original equipment manufacturer (OEM). This was highlighted by Deutsche Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR – German Aerospace Centre) Aeronautics Directorate Programme Director Dr Horst Hueners at the recent Eighth Summit of the International Forum of Aviation Research hosted by Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Aeronautics Systems at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria.

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    South Africa's State-owned Denel defence industrial group has exited the Denel Asia joint venture (JV) company. This was announced on by Denel acting Group CEO Zwelakhe Ntshepe, addressing the recent media briefing about the company's financial results, at the group's head office in Centurion, south of Pretoria. "Since its establishment, Denel Asia has not traded due to differences of opinion with National Treasury, which have been widely covered in the media, at times based on perceptions and not fact," he stated. "The Denel Asia JV became the focus of negative attention from the media to the detriment of the Denel brand, that is both locally and internationally."

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    A small South African high-technology company is seeking to revolutionise the production of a key category of components for aerospace electronics and radars by using additive manufacturing (more popularly known as 3D Printing). The company is NewSpace Systems (a finalist in this year’s Western Cape Chamber of Commerce Exporter of the Year award), which is part of the local, private sector, SCS Aerospace Group. And the components concerned are waveguides. Currently these are produced using Computerised Numerical Control (better known as CNC) machines.

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    South Africa's State-owned Denel defence industrial group has exited the Denel Asia joint venture (JV) company. This was announced on by Denel acting Group CEO Zwelakhe Ntshepe, addressing the recent media briefing about the company's financial results, at the group's head office in Centurion, south of Pretoria. "Since its establishment, Denel Asia has not traded due to differences of opinion with National Treasury, which have been widely covered in the media, at times based on perceptions and not fact," he stated. "The Denel Asia JV became the focus of negative attention from the media to the detriment of the Denel brand, that is both locally and internationally."

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    The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has awarded a contract for mobile containerised kitchen systems to aerospace, defence and security group Saab. The contract will be executed by Saab at its facility in Centurion, just south of Pretoria. The value of the contract has not been released, but it will be carried out in a period of about two years. “Saab is committed to supporting world class capabilities for the SANDF,” affirmed Saab Grintek Defence (Saab’s South African subsidiary) President and CEO Trevor Raman. “This contract represents our efforts in strengthening our partnerships with military veterans and small and medium-sized enterprises – in line with national imperatives in South Africa.” The group has an established record in the provision of totally-packaged multi-function field facilities and portable modules and shelter systems, for many operational uses, for military forces. Formally referred to as a “Mass Field Feeding Capability”, the programme for the SANDF encompasses 24 x 50-man systems and 11 x 200-man systems.

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    China wants closer ties with Myanmar’s military to help protect regional peace and security, a senior Chinese general told the visiting head of the southeast Asian country’s army. China and Myanmar have had close diplomatic and economic ties for years, including increasingly in the strategically important oil and gas sectors, and China has offered its support to its southern neighbor, also known as Burma, throughout a crisis over its treatment of its Rohingya Muslim minority.

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    Russia is concerned that Japan is allowing Washington to use its territory as a base for a US military build-up in north Asia under the pretext of countering North Korea, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday. “We are expressing deep concern, with facts to back it up, that Japan along with South Korea is becoming a territory for the deployment of elements of the US global missile defence system which is being rolled out in that region under the pretext of the North Korea threat,” Lavrov said.

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    Airbus is poised to hire the head of Rolls-Royce’s civil engines unit, Eric Schulz, to lead its commercial jetliner sales, after months of uncertainty over the successor to sales kingpin John Leahy, three people familiar with the matter said. Schulz, president of the civil engines division at the British engineering firm, has been recommended for the post to bring in outside blood as the company faces turmoil over the impact of UK and French corruption investigations.

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    Japan’s Nikkei share average dipped on Tuesday in choppy trade, with Toray Industries diving after it said a subsidiary had falsified data, while concerns North Korea might launch more missiles lifted stocks linked to defence. The Nikkei closed 0.04% lower at 22,486.24, after earlier trading in positive territory.

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    The Department of Defence has overspent on VVIP flights by R22.5-million since 2015, a parliamentary reply has revealed. DA defence and military veterans spokesperson Kobus Marais submitted questions to Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula asking how much she had budgeted for VIP flights in the last three financial years.

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    European aerospace giant Airbus, British high performance power systems company Roll-Royce and German engineering and technology business Siemens have partnered to develop a hybrid-electric propulsion system for commercial aircraft. This is intended to be test flown in the near term, the three enterprises jointly announced at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London on Tuesday. The flight demonstrator is designated the E-Fan X and will probably employ the airframe of the four-engine BAE 146 regional airliner. It is expected to fly in 2020.

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    A group of Nato allies are considering a more muscular response to State-sponsored computer hackers that could involve using cyberattacks to bring down enemy networks, officials said. The United States, Britain, Germany, Norway, Spain, Denmark and the Netherlands are drawing up cyber warfare principles to guide their militaries on what justifies deploying cyber attack weapons more broadly, aiming for agreement by early 2019.

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    Privately-owned South African scheduled and non-scheduled domestic and international operations airline CemAir has concluded a $66-million deal with Canadian company Bombardier Aerospace for two new twin turboprop Q400 regional airliners. This follows on from a Letter of Intent signed between the two enterprises in June at the Paris Air Show. CemAir has also leased a used Q400, that was delivered earlier this month. “CemAir has enjoyed significant growth in the last few years and this has come from our focused approach on selecting the right aircraft for our operation,” explained airline CEO Miles van der Molen. “The Q400 is a fantastic performer especially in our environment of high altitudes and hot operating temperatures. It is really an unbeatable turboprop that brings so many jet-like features to ensure a competitive and operational advantage in our market.” “We see the Q400 as the ideal growth solution for our scheduled and charter operations as we continue to strengthen our relationship with Bombardier,” he added. “We are working to expand our scheduled operations beyond South Africa and continuing to support new opportunities across the continent.”

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    The global aviation industry continues to be a rapidly growing sector, far from reaching maturity. This was stressed at the recent International Forum for Aviation Research (IFAR) open session at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) International Convention Centre (ICC) in Pretoria by US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) Associate Administrator for Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate Dr Jaiwon Shin. "Aviation is not a dying industry; it is not a mature industry. It is growing in leaps and bounds," he affirmed. "This is because countries are getting richer. In a lot of developing countries aviation demand is growing significantly."

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    The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has awarded a contract for mobile containerised kitchen systems to aerospace, defence and security group Saab. The contract will be executed by Saab at its facility in Centurion, just south of Pretoria. The value of the contract has not been released, but it will be carried out in a period of about two years.

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    China will encourage private funds to invest in defense firms to promote reform in the industry, China’s cabinet said on Monday. China will encourage defense firms to list on the stock market or invest in listed companies, the State Council said in guidelines issued to further open up the military industry.

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    Denver-based startup Boom Supersonic said on Tuesday Japan’s No.2 carrier Japan Airlines has invested $10-million in the company, which is building a supersonic passenger aircraft it claims will be faster, quieter and more affordable to fly than Concorde. Boom is developing a 55-seat plane that it says will be able to more than halve the flight time from New York to London to just three hours and fifteen minutes.

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    Globally, airport capacity and airline demand for access to airports have not kept pace with one another, setting global aviation on a path to chaos should mitigation measures not be taken with urgency, according to the International Air Transport Association (Iata). Passenger load factors are already at all-time highs and, over the next two decades, passengers are expected to double to 7.2-billion, the number of operating aircraft is also expected to double, and there should be a 70% growth to 3 000 cargo aircraft in that time. With this in mind, there is not going to be enough airport capacity.

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    In a year characterised by positive growth, global air cargo is setting the stage for dramatic modernisation and transformation, the International Air Transportation Association (Iata) said on Wednesday. Air cargo accounted for about $6-trillion in the value of goods, representing 35% of global trade by value, in 2017, a number which is expected to grow to $6.2-trillion in 2018, Iata chief economist Brian Pearce told delegates during the yearly Iata cargo media day, held in Geneva, Switzerland.

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