This week in Aerospace & Defense: Knowledge engineering takes priority as players weigh in on flight deck and back-office automation

Latest Industry Insights from Draup Braindesk

Global Aerospace Industry Trends: Digitalization using advanced technology contributes to advanced autonomous systems, electric aircraft with advanced safety standards.

Aviation Safety

  • Aircraft manufacturers are using ultraviolet light to disinfect all surfaces in about three seconds after use. 
  • Changing seating arrangements is helping them maintain social distancing, to reduce the effects of COVID-19. 
  • Aerospace industry is focused on creating a safer environment for air travel passengers. 

Key Players: BoeingHoneywellAirbus  

Artificial Intelligence

  • Companies are leveraging AI-enabled biometric solutions for facial recognition to reduce customer queuing times and automate processes. 
  • AI-enabled cockpit software can help in improving flightpath, thereby optimizing fuel usage. 
  • AI-based chatbots provide an enhanced customer experience while booking flights and engaging with customer services. 

Key Players: IntelIBMNVIDIA 

Virtual Reality

  • Iberia’s recent “motion sickness-free” VR inflight entertainment solution is expanding VR in aviation for passengers and aerospace staff. 
  • Virtual reality frameworks provide a realistic simulation experience for pilots. 
  • Virtual reality also helps to create a relaxing visual environment for aerophobic passengers. 

Key Players: GoogleMicrosoft 

Internet of Things

  • IoT devices help track the airplane velocity, plane angle, and external conditions more efficiently, giving the pilot a better idea. 
  • IoT enables checking the health of engines and moving parts in real-time. 
  • IoT-based devices are used to examine various activities, including fleet management, health monitoring, inventory management, and equipment maintenance. 

Key Players: AT&TElbit Systems 

Autonomous Systems

  • Companies are developing autonomous flight solutions such as drones and other software technologies to solve the transport challenges in hazardous areas. 
  • The speed and reliability of fully autonomous systems are equipped to handle urban skies filled with obstacles. 
  • The development of fully autonomous aircraft enables engineers to focus on closed-loop simulations between the sensors, control software, and intelligent algorithms. 

Key Players: Boeing, Airbus 

Electric Aircraft

  • Aircraft engines need to output more power while consuming less fuel, producing less noise, and releasing fewer emissions.
  • To achieve this goal, the aerospace industry is exploring electric and hybrid propulsion systems 
  • Firms are taking a more incremental approach by integrating their current equipment with newer components 

Key Players: HoneywellThalesAirbus 

Latest Reports Published in Draup

Lockheed Martin Account Intelligence Report: Lockheed Martin aims to engage in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration, and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products, and services it builds advanced defense capabilities. Read More>>
CAE Inc. Account Intelligence Report: 
CAE focuses on enhancing its digital solutions by launching an advanced platform called Airside, a community platform with career and training tools to support pilots during the COVID-19 pandemic. Its revenue comes from civil and defense and healthcare. Read More>>

Key Funding Alert

Defense Ministry announces INR 499 Cr (USD 66.9 Mn) support for startups, MSMEs  

The budgetary support will fund research and innovation in the defense sector and support close to 300 MSMEs startups, individual innovations, and 20 partner incubators under the DIO framework and boost self-reliance and indigenization. Read More>>

Startup Spotlight

Company – Pangea Aerospace
Total Funding – USD 4.6 Mn
HQ Location – Barcelona, Spain
About: Pangea Aerospace lowers the cost of accessing space for the small satellite market. It is developing efficient rocket engines. It specializes in metal additive manufacturing technologies and material science. Read more>>

Key Insights and Signals in Aerospace & Defence

Centre Setup and Expansion 
Accomack rezones 28 acres for potential Rocket Lab manufacturing site 
The rezoning will allow Virginia’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport to build a 150,000square-foot building that would manufacture Rocket Lab’s neutron rocket. Read More>>
Airbus Tianjin plant delivers first A350 jumbo plane 
The A350-900 aircraft was delivered to China Eastern Airlines, the largest Airbus operator in Asia and second-largest globally, with an Airbus fleet of 413 planes as of June 30. Read More>>
Deals and Deal Renewal  
BAE signs next-gen missile seeker contract with Lockheed Martin 
BAE Systems received a USD 117 Mn contract from Lockheed Martin to produce next-generation missile seekers for the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) that improves capability and affordability. Read More>>
Boeing is providing engineering support for a weapon system installation on the Hornet and Growler 
The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Missouri, is awarded a USD 11,995,313 cost-plus-fixed-fee order against a previously issued basic ordering agreement to support the integration and installation of weapon systems on the F/A-18 E/F and EA-18G aircraft for the Navy. Read More>>
The UK to buy 13 additional General Atomics protector unmanned aerial vehicles 
The UK Ministry of Defence has exercised the clause in its contract with General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. to build and deliver 13 additional Protector RG Mk1 remotely piloted air systems that had previously been identified as options. Read More>>
Raytheon awarded USD 90 Mn missile defense agency contract 
The contractor will complete the transition to production activities for previously awarded Guidance Electronic Unit engineering development activities that include testing, development, systems engineering tasks, software load capability development, converting legacy test equipment to test configured hardware, and developing new common platform test equipment. Read More>>
Executive Movement
GKN Aerospace appoints David Paja as CEO 
David joins GKN Aerospace from Aptiv plc, where he was President of the USD 4 Bn+ Advanced Safety and User Experience business. David will succeed Peter Dilnot, who has been leading GKN Aerospace as Interim CEO since September 2020. Read More>>
Boeing exec Jeff Shockey to join Raytheon as global Government Relations SVP 
Shockey will succeed Timothy McBride, who will formally depart his role later this year and communicate Raytheon’s business interests to the U.S. and international policymakers. His corporate responsibilities there also included coordination with embassies and oversight for foreign military sales. Read More>>
MBDA and Naval Group join forces to develop new remote assistance solutions  
The remote assistance service deployed by Naval Group and MBDA for the French Navy provides diagnostics and a repair solution to naval systems users in all locations and all circumstances. Read More>>
Airbus signs MoU with Canadian consortium to develop green aviation fuel  
MoU signifies the start of the creation of a Canadian SAF ecosystem. It links Airbus with leading Canadian participants across the entire aviation value chain. Airbus will be investing in the joint endeavor in kind, with advocacy and communications, economic analysis, and technical and certification expertise. Read More>>
Mergers and Acquisitions
Rocket startup could get a massive boost from Lockheed Martin buying Aerojet Rocketdyne 
The acquisition will leave the U.S. without an independent rocket supplier when Congress pushes to eliminate Russian-made engines for U.S. rockets. Ursa Major Technologies will 3D print and assemble small rockets and scale its technology to build larger ones. Read More>>
Ultra Electronics is set to accept GBP 2.6 Bn (USD 3.61 Bn) takeover from rival Cobham 
Ultra provides the Royal Navy with submarine-hunting sonobuoys and sonar equipment capable of detecting torpedos for military patrol aircraft and warships — programs that the UK taxpayer has underwritten. Read More>>
Mass Hiring
Spirit AeroSystems plans to hire 4,600 workers by 2024 
The company expects to hire more than 4,600 workers in Wichita by 2024, after losing more than 5,000 jobs during the coronavirus pandemic and since the 737 Max was grounded. Read More>>
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