In August 2019, SpaceX announced a new, low-cost program, targeted at the launch of small satellites into sun-synchronous orbits. The program will adopt a rideshare approach, creating the opportunity for satellite manufacturers/owners to launch payloads weighing up to 150 kg at USD 2.25 million, and USD 4.5 million for payloads of up to 300 kg. The rocket to be used for these missions will be the Falcon 9. SpaceX plans to undertake these launches at regularly scheduled intervals.
The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has published a petition that Amazon Prime Air, a drone operating subsidiary of Amazon has requested an exemption to operate its customized MK27 drone for deliveries under the Part 35 air carrier certificate. The petition, if passed, will allow the company to operate a delivery system that will enable reaching packages to customers in 30 minutes or less, using unmanned aerial systems.
In July 2019, Tesla CEO Elon Musk discussed the potential of electric airplanes. According to Musk, these planes could be viable in about five years.
In June 2019, the Boeing Company and Kitty Hawk Corporation entered into a strategic partnership to work on futuristic urban air mobility.
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.