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Latest news on the defence and aerospace sector.

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    Europe-based major global airliner manufacturer Airbus announced on Sunday that its deal with Canadian aerospace company Bombardier (part of the wider Bombardier group) to take a majority share in the latter’s C Series airliner programme had come into effect. The C-Series comprises two models: the CS100 and the larger CS300. The new joint venture is designated the C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership (CSALP). The Airbus holding is 50.01%, while Bombardier retains some 34% and Investissement Québec about 16%. The CS100 can carry a maximum of 132 passengers, although 120 would be more usual. The CS300 can carry a maximum of 160 passengers, although, again, the more typical layout would be for 130 to 140 passengers. The range of the CS100 is 5 741 km, while that of the CS300 is 6 112 km.

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    Regional turboprop airliner manufacturer ATR on Monday released its 20-year (2018 to 2037) forecast for global demand for turboprop airliners. It estimated the market at 3 020 aircraft, worth more than $80-billion. “The key driver for this positive outlook is traffic growth in regional connectivity,” stated the company. “This comes from both traditional markets where less connected locations are being connected with direct new regional routes, as well as from emerging markets where the most viable solution for connecting people and transporting goods is turboprop air links.” Turboprops today operate in the up-to-90 seat regional airliner segment of the industry. ATR’s survey excluded small turboprops in the up-to-40 seat market segment, in which the company does not compete. It divided the the 40 to 90 seat segment into two markets: the 40 to 60 seat market and the 61 to 80 seat market.

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    Four South African National Defence Force (SANDF) members have died in a crash on the N3 northbound in KwaZulu-Natal over the weekend. The members were on their way to the Boschoek training area for mission readiness. Defence force spokesperson Brigadier General Mafi Mgobozi said the accident happened at around 17:30 on Sunday. Mgobozi said of the eleven members that traveled in the Samil 20 seater truck, four died and five other sustained minor injuries. They were transported to the St Anne's ...

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    Brazilian aerospace group Embraer announced on Tuesday that it had signed a multi-year spare parts and support deal, known as a Pool Programme Agreement, with South African-based Sahara Africa Aviation (Sahara). The agreement covers more than 500 components for two Embraer ERJ 145 50-seater regional jets that Sahara has recently acquired. Sahara, based at Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport at Nelspruit (Mpumalanga province), is an established operator of Embraer types. It possesses the world’s biggest fleet of Embraer EMB 120 Brasília 30-seat twin turboprop commuter airliners, numbering 14. These aircraft are leased out to airlines and corporations across Africa. Sahara is certified as both an Air Operator and an Air Maintenance Organisation by the South African Civil Aviation Authority. Regularly audited, it provides contract services to regional airline operators and to the mining, oil and gas sectors.

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    US aerospace giant Boeing and Brazilian aerospace major Embraer jointly announced on Thursday that they had signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding to create a commercial aviation joint venture (JV). Boeing will hold 80% of the JV and Embraer the remaining 20%. The deal has still to be approved by shareholders, regulators, and the Brazilian government. All being well, the deal is expected to be closed by the end of next year, some 12 to 18 months after the implementation of the definitive agreements.

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    The police alone cannot secure South African borders, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Thursday. "Our offer is that it must not just be the police here. We need the SA African National Defence Force to ensure that ultimately border control is in place. As it stands in South Africa there more VIP security for politicians than there are for citizens," leader Mmusi Maimane said.

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    Europe-based aerospace giant Airbus published on Friday its forecast for new airliner and freighter aircraft demand for the next 20 years. The group’s “Global Market Forecast 2018-2037” predicts a need for 37 390 new passenger and freighter aircraft over this period, taking the global fleet of such aircraft to a total of 48 000 (including existing aircraft that will still be in service). Out of the 37 390 new aircraft, 10 850 will be to replace current, less fuel efficient, airliners, while the other 26 540 will be needed to meet the growing market demand. To fly these new aircraft, 540 000 new pilots will be needed.

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    UK private equity firm Better Capital PCC said on Monday its sale of Northern Aerospace Ltd to a Chinese buyer had fallen through after it failed to get approval from Britain's competition regulator. The Competition and Markets Authority last month launched a probe into the sale of the airplane parts maker to a unit of China's Shaanxi Ligeance Mineral Resources, issuing an intervention notice halting the disposal.

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    UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has paid tribute to African troops fighting terrorism in the Sahel, saying they were not only protecting those in the restive Sahel region - but also the whole world. Gueterres made his comments at a press conference during the second annual UN-African Union conference in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Monday.

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    The number of applications for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)/unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in Africa is expanding rapidly, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) principal aeronautical engineer John Monk told the aviation session of the Southern African Transport Conference in Pretoria on Wednesday. (A UAV is the actual unmanned aircraft while a UAS is that aircraft plus datalink plus ground control station plus – in some cases – UAV launch and retrieval systems.) “UAS originally had three missions – [the] dull, dirty, and dangerous,” he noted. Today, they had very many more roles.

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    French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday that talks at a Nato summit were measured and respectful, despite critical tweets from US President Donald Trump in the run up to and during the gathering. Ahead of the summit, Trump criticised Germany on Twitter for what he called its dependence on Russian energy, and during the event he hit out on Twitter at Nato members’ spending contributions to the defense alliance.

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    Regional turboprop airliner manufacturer ATR has released its 20-year (2018 to 2037) forecast for global demand for turboprop airliners. It estimates the market at 3 020 aircraft, worth more than $80-billion. “The key driver for this positive outlook is traffic growth in regional connectivity,” states the company. “This comes from both traditional markets where less connected locations are being connected with direct new regional routes, as well as from emerging markets where the most viable solution for connecting people and transporting goods is turboprop air links.”

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    South African pump distributor Integrated Pump Technology has added on-site vacuum leak detection of vacuum systems to complement its existing service offering of design, supply, service and repairs of vacuum pumps and systems. Making use of the recently launched Leybold Phoenix Quadro portable leak detector, allows for fast and effective detection of leaks on vacuum pumps and within vacuum systems.

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    High pressure breathing air compressor supply company Coltri Compressors South Africa became the sole distributer of the MPS Booster pump for booster pump manufacturer MPS Technology in Southern Africa which is marketing it to emergency medical services (EMS) for underground rescues. The MPS Booster pump – known as a pneumatic pressure intensifier – allows for the transfer of volatile and expensive gases, from one cylinder to another in a much safer way. The high compression unit draws out the desired gas from a lower pressure vessel and then recompresses it into a smaller tank, maximising how much can be attained from one tank of said gas.

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    The United Nations Security Council is due to vote on Friday on a US-drafted resolution that would impose an arms embargo on South Sudan, five years after civil war broke out in the country, diplomats said on Thursday. A resolution needs nine votes in favor and no vetoes by Russia, China, Britain, France or the United States. Diplomats said they believed the United States had enough votes for the measure to pass and that it was unlikely to be vetoed.

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    Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) manufacturer Denel Dynamics (which also produces missiles and space technology) has called for a national programme to integrate UAVs (popularly called drones) into the country’s civilian controlled air space. Controlled air space is air space in which all air traffic is monitored and directed by air traffic control. Addressing the aviation session of the Southern African Transport Conference in Pretoria, Denel Dynamics executive manager: programmes Patrick Ndlovu urged a collaborative effort between UAV manufacturers, air navigation equipment manufacturers, the South African Civil Aviation Authority (Sacaa), Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) and other air space users.

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    Brazilian aerospace group Embraer, one of the world’s top two regional jet manufacturers, has forecast a global demand for 10 550 new airliners with capacities of 150 seats or less, over the next 20 years. This prediction was released on Sunday at Farnborough in the UK, the day before the start of the world-renowned Farnborough Airshow. At the end of this period, the global fleet of such airliners will amount to 16 000, in comparison to the worldwide fleet of 9 000 today. Of the new aircraft to be acquired, 35% will be to replace existing airliners and 65% to meet growing markets. “Past performance is no guarantee of future results,” observed Embraer Commercial Aviation President and CEO John Slattery. “Even though every facet of the industry has excelled over the past years, we are now warming up for the next period of higher costs, with pressures on yields likely to continue unabated. Profits are eroding and gains wiped out with rising costs.”

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    The UK unveiled a full-scale mock-up of a sixth-generation combat aircraft on the first day of the Farnborough airshow on Monday. This, described as a “concept aircraft”, is the result of the work of a consortium called Team Tempest, which is made up of British aerospace firms and the Royal Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office. The major companies concerned are BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, Leonardo UK (the British subsidiary of the Italian Leonardo Group, previously Finmeccanica) and MBDA UK (part of the pan-European MBDA Group). The sixth-generation will be the next generation of combat aircraft. The current leading-edge technology generation of combat aircraft is the fifth-generation, of which only two types, both American, are full operational service: the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit bomber and the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor fighter. Other fifth-generation types are just entering service (the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II and China’s Chengdu J-20) or are still under development (such as Russia’s Sukhoi Su-57). The mock-up is the first public display of progress being made in Britain’s Future Combat Air System Technology Initiative (FCAS TI), which was launched in 2015. Team Tempest is implementing the FCAS TI, which is being funded to the tune of £2-billion over ten years (2015-2025). Within the team, BAE Systems is responsible for advanced combat air systems and integration, Roll-Royce of advanced propulsion and power systems, Leonardo for advanced avionics, electronics and sensors, and MBDA for advanced weapon systems. However, the programme is most certainly open to participation by international partners.

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    The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has imposed an arms embargo on South Sudan as a measure to prevent the flow of weapons to armed groups in the war-hit nation. The members who backed the imposition of the ban believe such a move would help protect civilians, while others raised concerns that the policy would hinder the ongoing peace process in the nation, the Sudan Tribune reported.

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    Global aerospace giant Boeing has predicted that 42 730 new jet airliners, worth $6.3-trillion, will be needed to meet demand over the next 20 years. This forecast was unveiled in the group’s 'Commercial Market Outlook', released at the Farnborough International Airshow, currently under way in the UK. This figure is 4.1% higher than that given in the company’s previous forecast. Adding the existing aircraft which will still be in service at the end of this period, and the global airliner fleet ...

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