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02 Dec 22. AAD 2022 attendance lower than 2018. The 2022 edition of the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition saw a drop in numbers from 2018, but the figures need to be understood in the context of this September’s event being the first since the Covid-19 pandemic.
The AAD 2022 organisers, led by the South African Aerospace, Maritime, and Defence Industry Association (AMD) and supported by Armscor, CAASA and the Department of Defence, this week released their audited figures for the 21-25 September event at Air Force Base Waterkloof. The numbers show that 203 exhibitors from 24 countries attended this year’s show, down from 486 exhibitors from 40 countries in 2018 and 532 exhibitors from 34 countries in 2016.
There were nine national pavilions this year, including China, the USA, Turkey (with two pavilions), Italy, Belgium, and India. This compares to 15 national pavilions in 2018.
African countries were once again relatively well represented in the exhibitors’ list, with Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, Uganda, Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) amongst the 24 countries exhibiting – there were seven African countries that exhibited at the 2018 edition.
Delegations were down slightly, to 51 from 29 countries, compared to 62 official delegations in 2018. During 2018, over 300 members of the local and international media attended the event to provide coverage, while AAD 2022 attracted 176 accredited local and international members of the media.
Trade visitors in 2022 amounted to 23 000 people from 76 countries, versus 32 538 in 2018 (112 countries) and 33 862 in 2016 (105 countries).
The public days were well attended, with 51 228 general public visitors coming for the air show on the weekend days of 24 and 25 September – down only slightly from the 55 063 air show visitors in 2018.
Although numbers were down this year, the organisers noted that they had to work against the clock in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The exhibition was only officially launched in May this year, whereas the official launch usually takes place a year before the show.
Held under the theme “Exploring New Paths, Sharing Solutions, Showcasing Innovation and Capabilities,” AAD 2022 followed the same pattern as previous events, with three trade days and two air show days along with a static aircraft park, mobility demonstrations for land and air technologies, and conferences and seminars, which covered unmanned aerial vehicles, counter-terrorism, and general aviation. A new addition, however, was the introduction of unmanned aerial vehicle flight displays.
Other firsts/highlights for AAD 2022 included a general aviation hub, full participation by the South African Police Service (SAPS) in both a display and demonstration, a Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (dtic) pavilion dedicated to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), as well as the online defenceWeb official Show Daily, and a new media partner (CNBC Africa). Some highlights noted by South African Air Force (SAAF) officers were the participation of the SAAF Gripen fighter and in-flight refuelling of a US Air Force Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawk by an HC-130J Super Hercules.
With a target of 10 000 learners, this year’s Youth Development Programme initiative reached 9 100 learners and students from around the country, including from Cape Town and Durban who arrived courtesy of South African Airways (SAA). Whilst at AAD 2022, these youth were exposed to civil and military career opportunities in the aerospace and defence sectors. Pilots from the United States and South African air forces, as well as scientists from South Africa’s CSIR and America’s National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) briefed learners on aviation and space technology and careers, as well as the importance of embracing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects at school.
“In spite of the long hiatus since the last edition of AAD (2018), coupled with the many global uncertainties that prevailed post the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, all efforts paid off,” the organisers said.
While AAD 2022 was smaller than previous editions and did not have as many large foreign defence companies or much of a commercial aviation presence, most feedback has been fairly positive, except for concern over the declining local defence budget that is forcing local companies to rely on exports for survival.
After few exhibition opportunities since Covid-19, the local industry was enthusiastic to be showing its wares, and this included Denel, which has just received more bailout money and is implementing another turnaround strategy. The resilience of the local industry could be seen in the launches of new products, such as OTT’s Ratel Service Life Extension Programme (SLEP) vehicle, Paramount’s Maatla armoured vehicle, SVI’s 6×6 light armoured vehicle, and Rheinmetall Denel Munitions’ green hydrogen solution. Other industry highlights were Paramount delivering the first Mwari aircraft to its launch customer, Hensoldt unveiling new radar, gimbal and electronic warfare products, Milkor exhibiting new weapons and payloads on its Milkor 380 unmanned aerial vehicle, and Truvelo exhibiting for the first time since exiting business rescue.
There were many new exhibitors like Evotex and Sherq Engineering at AAD, while the dynamic of the national pavilions had changed dramatically, with Turkey being the dominant force, outshining smaller Russian, Chinese and American stands.
The next edition of AAD is scheduled for 18 to 22 September 2024, when Armscor will be the lead partner. (Source: Google/ https://www.defenceweb.co.za/)
28 Nov 22. The 2022 edition of the Airbus Summit will take place over two days on 30 November and 1 December. Building on the momentum of the 2021 Summit, this year’s event will seek to showcase the tangible progress and achievements made by the aerospace sector as it gathers pace towards a more sustainable future.
Expert guests from the world of business, science, automotive and energy industries as well as the aviation sector will join Airbus speakers to explore promising innovations, disruptive technologies and cross-sector initiatives that are accelerating the pathway towards net-zero aviation.
Sessions will include discussions on the next steps in space technologies, hybrid energies, innovative new vertical flight features, cross-industry partnerships, sustainable aviation fuels, as well as the latest on Airbus’ ZEROe hydrogen-powered aircraft. The 2022 Summit will also tackle the need for robust European defence and security – and discuss why this is a prerequisite to achieve our sustainability targets.
Starting from 09:00 CET (Paris time) on 30 November, the event will be webcast live on Youtube at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OGdJlzOAP0
On 1 December, the webcast will also begin at 09:00 CET (Paris time) and will be streamed at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AH9E02842c
Online audiences will be able to ask questions live to the speakers using Youtube’s dedicated Q&A function. Both links will remain available for playback after the event.
More information about the Summit’s themes and agenda, as well as key announcements and press releases published during the event, will be available on the Airbus website via this link. https://www.airbus.com/en/airbus-summit
28 Nov 22. Australian Space Summit to return in May 2023.
The Australian Space Summit will return in 2023 with speakers including senior leaders from Amazon, LeoLabs and KPMG, alongside Australia’s first astronaut, Dr Paul Scully-Power.
Topics for discussion this year will include a deep dive into the potential of space-based solar power, our booming new launch sector and just how much Australia can further human space exploration.
The event, supported by principal partner Thales, sold out earlier this year but is now confirmed to come back with an even bigger program on 17 May 2023 at the ICC in Sydney.
You can find more information on the Summit’s website, while tickets can be purchased here. Swinburne University astronomer Professor Alan Duffy will again emcee.
Other speakers confirmed for 2023 include:
- Dr Cassandra Steer, FHEA, deputy director – mission specialists at ANU Institute for Space (InSpace);
- Jacob Hacker, director, space industry lead, at KPMG;
- Dr James Bennett, executive vice president at EOS Space Systems;
- James Palmer, founder and CEO at Space Centre Australia;
- Mani Thiru, head of space and satellite, Asia Pacific at Amazon Web Services;
- Matt Ryall, CEO and co-founder of Mawson Rovers, which designs and builds robotic vehicles to support human exploration of space;
- Mike Gallagher, director of defence and aerospace NSW, at Investment NSW;
- Newton Campbell, computer scientist and space program director at the Australian Remote Operations for Space and Earth (AROSE);
- Phillip A Ridley, CEO of Quasar Satellite Technologies, which uses ground stations to talk to hundreds of satellites at once;
- Dr Sarah Cannard, senior engineer at Nova Systems, an Australian-owned and controlled engineering services and technology solutions company;
- Terry van Haren, managing director at mapping platform for space, LeoLabs Australia;
- Dr Will Crowe, co-founder and CEO of space technology provider HEO Robotics.
The Summit will kick off with an industry update on the current state of play in the sector, followed by a discussion on the future of launch in Australia.
In a session titled Moon to Mars and beyond, attendees will learn about the $150 m Australian initiative and how it could bolster the space supply chain, grow the space industry and businesses, and provide new international opportunities for space engagement.
The latestvelopments in satellite manufacturing and capabilities and Australian-based manufacturing hubs will also be in focus, as will the latest in Earth observations technology.
(Source: Space Connect)
25 Nov 22. US Launches Unmanned & AI Systems Integration Event.
The U.S. 5th Fleet began a three-week unmanned and artificial intelligence integration evnt in Bahrain, Nov. 23, that will involve employing new platforms in the region for the first time.
The event, called Digital Horizon, will advance the command’s efforts to integrate new unmanned technolgies while establishing the world’s first unmanned surface vessel fleet by end of next summer. U.S. 5th Fleet’s efforts are focused on improving what U.S. and regional navies are able to see above, on and below the water.
“I am excited about the direction we are headed,” said Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces. “By harnessing these new unmanned technologies and combining them with artificial intelligence, we will enhance regional maritime security and strengthen deterrence. This benefits everybody.”
Cooper established a staff called Task Force 59 in September 2021 to speed new tech integration across U.S. 5th Fleet. Since its launch, the task force has deployed a suite of new unmanned systems from operational hubs in Bahrain and Aqaba, Jordan.
Digital Horizon will include 17 industry partners bringing 15 different types of unmanned systems, 10 of which will operate with U.S. 5th Fleet for the first time.
The unmanned aerial vehicles will include two vertical take-off and landing systems, Aerovel’s Flexrotor and Shield AI’s V-BAT as well as Easy Aerial’s tethered UAV. The unmanned surface vessels will include the Elbit Systems Seagull, Exail DriX, L3Harris Arabian Fox MAST-13, Marine Advanced Robotics WAM-V, MARTAC T-38 Devil Ray, Ocean Aero TRITON, Open Ocean Robotics Data Xplorer, Saildrone Explorer, Seasats X3 and SeaTrac SP-48.
Industry partners Accenture Federal Services and Big Bear AI will also employ data integration and artificial intelligence systems during the event, and Silvus Technologies will provide line-of-sight radio communications while an unmanned surface vessel from Ocius participates from off the coast of Western Australia.
“The pace of innovation is amazing,” said Capt. Michael Brasseur, commander of Task Force 59. “We are challenging our industry partners in one of the most difficult operational environments, and they are responding with enhanced capability, fast. I am extremely proud of the entire team, including our many partners across government, academia, and industry for their commitment to Digital Horizon, as we discover new capability together.”
Over the past year, Task Force 59 operated USVs in regional waters for more than 25,000 hours, which equates to 12 years of nine-to-five testing five days a week. The Saildrone Explorer USV in particular has operated at sea for as long as 220 consecutive days without refueling or maintenance.
NAVCENT is headquartered in Manama, Bahrain and includes maritime forces operating in the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea, parts of the Indian Ocean and three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, Suez Canal and Bab al-Mandeb. (Source: UAS VISION)
DSEI 2023 – POWERING PROGRESS, DEFINING YOUR FUTURE
DSEI connects governments, national armed forces, industry thought leaders and the entire defence & security supply chain on a global scale. With a range of valuable opportunities for networking, a platform for business, access to relevant content & live-action demonstrations, the DSEI community can strengthen relationships, share knowledge and engage in the latest capabilities across the exhibition’s Aerospace, Land, Naval, Security & Joint Zones.