Airbus and the Dutch industrial supplier VDL Group struck a partnership on January 10th to develop and manufacture a laser communication terminal for military aircraft. The communication terminal, known as UltraAir, would allow for more significant amounts of data sharing between ground terminals, satellites, and crewed aircraft or autonomous drones. The two organisations will begin preparing a prototype and aim for a first test flight in 2024 (Airbus, 2023).
After a year of negotiation and uncertainties, France and Germany found a new agreement for the development of the future air combat system (FCAS) next 6th generation aircraft (Vincent & Bezat, 2022). On Thursday 1st 2022, Airbus and Dassault, the main constructors for the FCAS, announced the launch of the next phase of development for the fighter jet. This phase is mainly about the design of the demonstrator for 2029.
On 25 March, Airbus Defence and Space has finally unveiled that the Italian Avio Aero will be the company that will power the Eurodrone aerial system with a new twin-turboprop propulsion engine. After years of negotiations about the project and following a competitive tender process, the European Medium Altitude Long Endurance Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems – MALE RPAS (Eurodrone) sees a step forward in its construction.
During a press release in early March, Airbus (2022a) announced the launch of its Tiger MkIII Helicopter programme. This program entails the construction of sixty “new Tiger attack helicopters for the French and Spanish armies” (Machi, 2022). Of those sixty, forty-two have been reserved for France, while the remaining eighteen will be given to Spain. Additionally, the contract signed with Airbus gives France the option to expand its initial order by another twenty-five. Although “first flight is expected in 2025”, France will not receive its first delivery until 2029, whereas Spain will have to wait until 2030.
In the era of the information revolution and the dominance of big data, ensuring full communication security is not an easy task. The major world powers have therefore begun to invest more resources in the field of quantum physics, exploiting its enormous potential to make unprecedented progress in several strategic areas, including cybersecurity, logistics, communication, healthcare, and others. The European Union also decided to row in the same direction. Indeed, on 31 May 2021, the European Commission finally selected a consortium led by Airbus and composed of several companies and research institutes, including Leonardo, PwC France and Maghreb, Orange, Telespazio, the Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica (Inrim) and the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) to study and design the future EU quantum communication network (Airbus, 2021). Through the new European Quantum Communication Infrastructure (EuroQCI), the EU aims to ensure ultra-secure communication between government institutions and critical infrastructures across the Union.