The US Navy's Next Generation Jammer, built by Raytheon and L3Harris Technologies to equip EA-18G Growlers, is being touted for its ability to combine electronic warfare systems and cyber operations. A low-rate initial production contract for the Jammer is coming this summer.
A $3.59 billion program to develop a European military drone has received budget committee approval in Germany. The joint project with Italy, Spain and France will enlist Leonardo, Airbus and Dassault as contractors and produce 21 drones for Germany's military.
The RotorX Palledrone autonomous resupply aircraft is being reviewed by the US Army under the Expeditionary Warrior Experiments program. The aircraft, which sets up within a few minutes, has a capacity of up to 45 kilograms and an eight-kilometer range.
Virgin Australia is adding another 10 Boeing 737-800s to its fleet in response to the ongoing recovery in air travel from the lows of the coronavirus pandemic. Some 220 new return flights per week are also planned to start this summer.
Manna Aero has plans to expand its drone delivery service across Ireland within 18 months following a trial in Galway that sees a delivery time of about three minutes. CEO Bobby Healy says the delivery network will be a "massive job creator."
Blue Origin has successfully completed the 15th uncrewed test flight of its New Shepard suborbital vehicle, with the latest test following procedures that will be used by future astronauts. The company's Ariane Cornell characterized the test as "a critical step in our march towards first human flight."
Acknowledging the growth potential of the space sector, Sierra Nevada plans to spin off its Space Systems unit into a separate company called Sierra Space. "Our teams and technologies are uniquely positioned to realize this significant current market opportunity to build the new space economy," said President Eren Ozmen.
Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines and FBI Director Christopher Wray were among top intelligence officials who recently briefed the Senate Intelligence Committee on the serious threats posed by China. Haines characterized China as "a near-peer competitor challenging the [US] in multiple arenas" such as hacking and social media.
Former Defense Science Board member Jill Hruby is President Joe Biden's nominee to head the National Nuclear Security Administration. If confirmed, she would succeed Acting Administrator Charles Verdon and would be the second woman to lead the agency.
A new CDC report concluding that blocking middle seats on aircraft could reduce coronavirus transmission did not consider safety measures such as mandatory face coverings, prompting ventilation expert Joseph Allen of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health to say he is perplexed by the analysis excluding masking's impact because it's "the single most effective measure at reducing emissions of respiratory aerosols." A spokesperson for Airlines for America said, "Multiple scientific studies confirm that the layers of protection significantly reduce risk, and research continues to demonstrate that the risk of transmission onboard aircraft is very low." Importantly, the report, which was grounded in pre-pandemic data, did not assess transmission but rather exposure to a surrogate virus, not Covid-19.
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