27 April 2017 · 2 min read

China launches its first indigenous aircraft carrier

A show of force which will force the West to take notice

China celebrated the launch of its first domestically built aircraft carrier yesterday (Wednesday 26th April). Known as Type 001A, the ship is as yet unnamed and is the largest ever warship to be built by China. The televised launch comes at a time when tensions are running high in the region’s waters after the US deployed warships and a submarine to the Korean peninsula.

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Andy Chambers
27 April 2017 · 2 min read

Is stability returning to aerospace in Dorset?

Cobham and Meggitt Q1 FY17

Meggitt and Cobham both provided in line trading statements this morning, although the current position of both companies is somewhat diverged.

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Alexandra West
21 April 2017 · 2 min read

The MOD is open for business again

‘Accelerator’ project intended to encourage innovation but may also encourage acquisitions

Historically, defence technologies used to lead development of civilian technologies. However, military research and development (R&D) budgets have been constrained over the past five years so we have seen civilian technologies leading the way, particularly in the communications sphere. I was therefore encouraged to read about the UK MOD’s new ‘Accelerator’ programme, which funds novel, high-risk and high-potential benefit research to develop new capabilities for UK defence and security.

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Alexandra West
13 April 2017 · 3 min read

Airbus CEO says “he is not close to retirement”

Succession planning is proof that Airbus is a changed company

In a Reuters interview after the Airbus AGM yesterday CEO Tom Enders said he has no intention of retiring when his current term ends in 2019 and that “it is up to the board and shareholders to decide” if they want him to stay. Mr Enders’ comments yesterday are the first insight to what is likely to be fascinating succession planning at Airbus. It is interesting for two reasons; firstly the company’s history of the management team being chosen by the French and German governments and secondly what the future holds for Fabrice Bregier who currently runs Airbus Commercial Aircraft and has recently been appointed Chief Operating Officer of the newly integrated Airbus SE.

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Alexandra West
5 April 2017 · 3 min read

The evolution of in-flight entertainment

Will the new restrictions on electronic devices change IFE trends?

Recently I have been reading with interest about how avionic manufacturers are rethinking in-flight entertainment (IFE) given that almost every passenger now has their own electronic device, pre-loaded with their choice of films, television programmes and music. In a culture of ‘on demand’ entertainment, a small screen with poor sound quality, showing a fuzzy version of a relatively recent film understandably lacks the allure it used to hold. There is one school of thought that personal devices could soon remove the need for dedicated IFE systems altogether and I can see the logic in that. Well at least I could until the ban on electronic devices on certain routes from the Middle East was introduced. This unexpected change to the status quo has caused consternation amongst travellers with children and business passengers alike, and will no doubt have the avionics industry reassessing about what future IFE systems should look like.

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Alexandra West
29 March 2017 · 3 min read

China to build UAVs in Saudi Arabia

UK’s biggest defence export market looks east

Saudi Arabia has signed a strategic partnership with the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) in order to establish the manufacturing of Chinese Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in Saudi Arabia. This announcement is significant for two reasons; first it shows that Chinese defence companies are now competing with their western peers, and second it will challenge the UK Government to become comfortable with Chinese made military hardware operating alongside UK built military aircraft.

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