FCAS contract, Airbus battle, Maxar privatization - Dec 16 Aero News
Joint venture wins $3.4 billion contract for next phase of FCAS European fighter jet program
A joint venture between several major aerospace firms was awarded a $3.4 billion contract earlier today for the next phase of the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) European fighter jet program. The joint venture includes Airbus, Dassault Aviation, Indra, and the Eumet joint venture between Safran and MTU Aero Engines.
FCAS was announced in 2017 by French President Emmanuel Macron and then German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The program is intended to design and produce a replacement for the nations' Eurofighters and Dassault Rafales with a combination of manned and unmanned aircraft beginning in the 2040s.
SpaceX launches US-French water survey satellite
SpaceX launched a US-French Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) satellite Friday morning intended to conduct a world-wide study of the Earth's surface waters. The study aims to produce findings about the mechanics and consequences of climate change.
Elon Musk's company used a company-owned-and-operated Falcon 9 booster to launch the satellite from Vandenberg U.S. Space Force Base, about 160 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The satellite itself was primarily built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and French space agency CNES.
Shortly after the satellite reached orbit, CNES confirmed from Toulouse, France, that it received initial signals from the satellite, ensuring it is operational. The American and French space agencies expect the satellite to begin producing usable data within months.
Airbus and Qatar Airways prepare for renewed legal battle
Legal proceedings began again in London between Airbus and Qatar Airways over damage to painted surfaces and lighting protection issues Qatar found on its A350 jets, currently grounded by the airline. Friday's High Court hearing is a procedural one before a corporate trail scheduled for June. Combined claims for the core disputes are worth nearly $2 billion.
Advent International to purchase Satellite-owner-operator Maxar Technologies
Advent International agreed to purchase Maxar Technologies ($MAXR) at a $4 billion valuation. Including debt, the transaction is worth $6.4 billion. Maxar owns and operates a system of 90 satellites used for detailed imaging from space. The satellite technology is utilized for geospatial intelligence and defence, as well as by major corporate users like Google Maps.
Air India order to include more than 200 Boeing jets
Details of upcoming Air India orders of some 500 new Airbus and Boeing ($BA) jets have revealed that the orders include more than 200 Boeing jets. Among these are 190 narrowbody 737 MAXs and 30 widebody 787s. Specifics of Airbus orders have yet to be announced.
General Electric site in France searched in connection with possible tax fraud
French financial prosecutor Antoine Jocteur-Monrozier said Friday that General Electric's ($GE) site in Belfort, France, was searched in connection to an ongoing probe into possible tax fraud. GE contends it has complied with all laws.