World Aviation in 2003

1 February
The United States Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates on re-entry, killing all seven astronauts. The wreckage falls over California, Arizona and Texas.

Also this year…
The United States Department of Defense agrees to lease 100 Boeing KC767 tankers.

The first deliveries of the F/A-22 Raptor aircraft are made to 422nd Test & Evaluation Wing based at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

The MBDA Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) is officially launched, with plans that the missile will enter service in 2011.