Tag Archives: Aerospace / Defense (Heritage)

Boeing, the Australian air force said pilotless jets, such as fighter aircraft, completed their first test flight | Instant News


SYDNEY (Reuters) – Boeing Co and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) said on Tuesday they had completed the first test flight on a pilotless fighter-like jet designed to co-operate with manned aircraft.

FILE PHOTOS: A model of Boeing’s drone, such as a fighter jet, dubbed; Loyal Wingman ‘, shown at Avalon, Australia 27 February 2019. REUTERS / Jamie Freed / File Photo

The “Loyal Wingman”, the first military aircraft designed and produced in Australia in more than 50 years, flies under the supervision of Boeing test pilots monitoring it from a ground control station in South Australia.

The Australian Government has invested A $ 40 million ($ 31 million) in developing the product, which Boeing says is adaptable for other global customers.

Boeing’s Loyal Wingman is 38 feet (11.6 meters) long, has a range of 2,000 nautical miles (3,704 km) and a nose that detaches to fit a wide range of payloads. This aircraft can carry weapons and act as a shield to help protect the more expensive manned fighter jets.

Defense contractors are increasingly investing in autonomous technology as militaries around the world seek cheaper and safer ways to maximize their resources.

Britain in January signed a GBP 30 million ($ 42 million) contract with Spirit AeroSystems’ unit in Belfast for a similar pilotless aircraft to undergo flight trials in the next three years.

During a test flight in Australia, the Loyal Wingman took off in its own strength before flying a pre-determined route at different speeds and altitudes to verify its function and demonstrate design performance.

The first Loyal Wingman is used as the foundation for Boeing’s Airpower Teaming System, a service under development for a wide range of global defense customers.

Boeing said additional Loyal Wingman aircraft were currently under development, with plans for a cooperative flight scheduled for later this year.

The aircraft maker previously said up to 16 Loyal Wingman jets could team up with the manned aircraft on missions.

Reporting by Jamie Freed; Edited by Kenneth Maxwell

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Piaggio Aerospace Italia invited five bidders to make purchase bids | Instant News


MILAN (Reuters) – Piaggio Aerospace Italy, which applied for creditors’ protection at the end of 2018, said on Wednesday that it had officially invited five bidders to make a buyout bid for the group.

The deadline for five bidders to submit non-binding bids was set for March 5, the company said in a statement, adding they were interested in buying the group’s aircraft and engine businesses.

Company special administrator Vincenzo Nicastro has sent out the letters as a further step in the company’s sales process, which began last year when Piaggio Aerospace initially withdrew expressions of interest from 19 international bidders.

“Having five applicants on the short list is very positive, especially if we consider that the pandemic has objectively discouraged many foreigners,” said Nicastro.

Nicastro said that a non-binding offer would be assessed by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development and then talks would start on arriving at a binding offer.

Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari, editing by Agnieszka Flak

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Croatia has shown interest in F-35 jets, Lockheed executives said | Instant News


WASHINGTON, February 19 (Reuters) – Lockheed Martin Co., the United States’ biggest arms maker, has raised interest from Croatia regarding the purchase of stealth F-35 jets, a Lockheed executive said on Friday.

Greg Ulmer, executive vice president of Lockheed’s Aeronautics unit, told reporters “they have shown interest” in buying the jets, which make up a large share of Lockheed’s revenue.

Croatia is evaluating US, French and Swedish bids for fighter jets as it looks set to modernize its air force, which now flies Russian-made MiG-21 jets dating from the past in former Yugoslavia.

Croatia wanted to buy 12 second-hand F-16 fighter jets from Israel, but failed after Israel said it here in 2019 could not get approval from the United States for the sale.

Other international customers for the fifth-generation F-35 include Canada, Finland and Switzerland, who are running competitions for future jet purchases. Additional customer prospects for the Lockheed F-35 include Greece, Spain, Eastern Europe and Middle Eastern countries, Ulmer said in a media conference call.

Lockheed has also seen international interest for as many as 300 fourth-generation F-16 fighters on top of its current production stockpile of 128 jets, Ulmer said. (Reporting by Mike Stone in Washington, DC; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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Berlin has welcomed Biden’s announcement to keep US troops in Germany | Instant News


FILE PHOTO: German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer speaks during the inauguration ceremony of German armed forces Bundeswehr soldiers at Bellevue Palace in Berlin, Germany, November 12, 2020. REUTERS / Michele Tantussi

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer on Friday welcomed the announcement from US President Joe Biden that US troops stationed in Germany will stay.

“We clearly understand the confirmation of America’s commitment to European security, a strong NATO, and a strategically united West,” he told Reuters, responding to Biden’s speech at the Munich Security Conference on Friday.

“These signals will be well heeded and understood,” said Kramp-Karrenbauer. “Now it is up to us to take the hand that has been extended by Washington.”

Kramp-Karrenbauer said defending the security of Europe and the Atlantic is a joint effort and a joint obligation.

“We need to respond by demonstrating our own commitment to this goal – in our defense spending, in our joint military deployments abroad, strengthening NATO, and the capabilities of our armed forces”, he added.

Reporting by Sabine Siebold; Edited by Paul Carrel

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Leonardo Italia raised around 2.1 billion euros on the US DRS list: paper | Instant News


ROME (Reuters) – Italian defense group Leonardo will raise about 2.1 billion euros ($ 2.54 billion) from the list of US DRS units on the New York Stock Exchange, the daily Il Messaggero reported on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: A hostess walks past Leonardo’s helicopter logo at headquarters in Vergiate, near Milan, Italy, January 30, 2018. REUTERS / Massimo Pinca

The newspaper said the state-controlled Leonardo will hold a board meeting next week to decide on an initial public offering (IPO), which is expected to be completed in March.

At the request of Italian market watchdog Consob, the group issued a statement saying it was evaluating the possibility of registering DRS.

He added that no official decision on the matter had yet been taken, confirming what sources told Reuters.

The move is intended to support the defense conglomerate’s strategy and increase fresh liquidity and is expected to consist of a sale of 40% stake in Leonardo as well as a cash call, the report added.

In November, Leonardo said it intends to retain control of the unit while assessing various options for US subsidiaries, including NYSE listing.

Leonardo bought DRS in 2008 in a deal that valued the US defense firm for $ 5.2 billion, including $ 1.27 billion in debt, equal to 3.4 billion euros at the time of the acquisition, according to Leonardo’s presentation of the 2008 deal.

Il Messaggero said the DRS was given a total value of close to 3.5 billion euros.

The defense conglomerate was among the top three performers on the Italian blue chip index, posting a 10% gain on the day.

($ 1 = 0.8268 euros)

Reporting by Stefano Bernabei and Francesca Landini; writing by Giulia Segreti; editing by Subhranshu Sahu, David Evans and Jonathan Oatis

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