Iridium Communications of McLean, Va., has ordered 81 satellites from Thales Alenia Space of France to upgrade its global satellite network. The $2.1 billion deal includes 66 low-earth-orbit satellites for the operational constellation, with the rest to serve as spares. The first satellite launch is scheduled for the first quarter of 2015.
Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (SCAC) managed to fly the fourth prototype of the Superjet 100 this month, no thanks to Russian engine maker NPO Saturn, which partners with Snecma in building the Superjet’s Powerjet engines.
Singapore’s choice of an advanced jet training system is due next month and could be crucial to the future export prospects of Italy’s M-346 Master and Korea’s T-50 Golden Eagle. These dissimilar training jets have been bid here by rival prime contractors, ST Aero and Lockheed Martin, respectively.
Alenia Aermacchi’s M-346 Master advanced trainer is here in Singapore to compete against the KAI T-50 Golden Eagle for the republic’s air force jet trainer requirement. The M-346 has been developed by the Italian company from the Russian Yak-130 design to offer state-of-the-art training capabilities, enabling student pilots to graduate near-seamlessly to the latest frontline equipment.
Following the selection in February of the Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master for its advanced trainer and light combat aircraft needs, the United Arab Emirates air force and air defense (AFAD) is focused on its basic trainer requirement to replace the current Pilatus PC-7 Turbo Trainers. The competitors are the jet-powered Alenia Aermacchi M-311 and the turboprop Pilatus PC-21.
Alenia Aeronautica plans to begin training, early next year, employees of Strata, the new composites aerostructures company formed by Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Development Co. The Italian group, which has extensive experience with composites manufacturing, has been partnered with Mubadala (Stand C510) in the venture since October, when the sovereign wealth fund signed an agreement with its parent Finmeccanica (Stand C420).
Alenia Aermacchi is reorganizing the layout of its Venegono plant in Italy in preparation for the start of serial production of its M-346 lead-in fighter trainer. Its contract with the Italian government for six aircraft and simulation equipment (nine more aircraft are to follow) is technically ready and awaits signatures by all the ministries involved.
The Romanian air force took delivery of its first Alenia C-27J Spartan at Bucharest-Otopeni air base. Seven Spartans are on order to replace the last of Romania’s Communist-era transports and to bolster the transport fleet’s ability to support international operations. The last aircraft is due in 2012.
Boeing announced today that it has agreed to acquire the business and operations conducted by Vought Aircraft Industries at its North Charleston, S.C. factory, where it builds the aft fuselage section for the 787 Dreamliner.
Boeing said the deal will accelerate productivity and efficiency within the 787 supply chain.
U.S. aerospace consultancy Teal Group has forecast demand for 2,909 regional aircraft worth $65.9 billion over the next 10 years. The projection includes 1,732 regional jets worth $46.9 billion and 1,177 turboprops worth $19 billion (2009 dollars).