On June 5, 2019, Amazon showcased the latest version of its Prime Air delivery drone—that is set to transform last mile package delivery—at the Mars Conference in Las Vegas, US. The Prime Air delivery drone is a hybrid aircraft equipped with optical, thermal, and ultrasonic sensors. Moreover, the drone is also capable of vertical takeoff and landing along with continuous forward flight.
Raytheon and United Technologies are joining hands to further expand their aerospace & defense segment, making it the second-largest company in the US in the aerospace & defense segment, after Boeing in terms of revenue.
Topics: Aerospace and Defence
The Indian Air Force (IAF) has once again sourced the highly advanced SPICE-2000 bomb from Israel to strengthen its arsenal. The SPICE-2000 bomb was earlier used in the Balakot airstrike conducted in February 2019, to neutralize Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists hiding in a building. The airstrike was a retaliation against a terror attack carried out by JeM in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district on February 14, 2019, killing 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) soldiers. As part of a comprehensive defense strategy, the IAF awarded Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems a USD 40 million contract for the purchase of more than 100 SPICE-2000 bombs.
Airbus recently announced that the Maximum Take-off Weight (MTOW) of its A220 aircraft is set to increase by 2,268 kilograms from 2020, resulting in an increased range of 6,200 kilometers for its A220-300 aircraft and 6,290 kilometers for its A220-100 aircraft, almost 830 kilometers more than its previously advertised range. The company also reached a major milestone of 12,000 deliveries with the delivery of its 12th A220 to Delta Airlines (US); the operator has ordered a further 40 A220-100 aircraft and 50 A220-300 aircraft.
In April 2019, Google became the first drone operator to receive government approval as an airline, an important step that gives it the legal authority to begin delivering products to customers.
On April 13, 2019, Stratolaunch System Corporation has successfully completed the maiden flight of the world’s largest all-composite aircraft, the Stratolaunch. The Stratolaunch aircraft enables convenient, reliable, and affordable access to space in a manner similar to that of any other aircraft. The aircraft is a mobile launch platform, the central reinforce wing of which, can support multiple launch vehicles weighing up to 500,000 pounds. The aircraft is designed with dual fuselage and has a 385-feet wingspan, with the tail of the aircraft 50 feet above the ground.
On October 29, 2018, a Boeing 737 MAX 8 operated by the Indonesian airline Lion Air crashed, killing all 189 passengers and crew. Another Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed on March 10, 2019, killing all 157 passengers and crew. The main reason for both accidents was false data provided by faulty angle-of-attack aircraft sensors.
Over the last two decades, the US has continuously invested in technology development and deployment of layered missile defense systems for the protection of its homeland and its forces abroad. It faces threats from countries, such as North Korea, Iran, Russia, and China as these countries are deploying offensive missile systems. The US continues to make significant progress in the development and deployment of active missile defense capabilities. Some of the major missile defense systems deployed by the US include the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), Aegis Sea-based Missile Defense, Aegis Ashore, and Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) systems.
The tragic loss of life due to the crashing of the Lion Air flight 610 in October 2018 and the Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 resulted in the global grounding of the Boeing 737 Max until the cause of the crash could be reliably identified. Globally, 371 of these aircraft have been grounded. The potential risk for Boeing could be the complete or partial cancellation of orders placed by global airlines, litigation for victims of the crashes, and compensation claims by airlines for lost revenue, presenting opportunities for rivals.