DECEMBER 2022 news

Defense Aviation and Aerospace Industry


Canadian government clears USD5.4 billion budget to buy 16 F-35 Lightning IIs

The Canadian government has approved funding to purchase the first batch of Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter jets: Canada’s Treasury Board gave the Department of National Defence the green light to spend CA$ 7 billion (US$5,14 Billion) on the jets, Vakius Venckunas reports in Aero Time. News of the funding decision caught Saab unawares on Tuesday, December 20, CTV reports: "Given that Saab remains eligible for selection in the formal procurement process, we are surprised by today's media report," Saab Canada spokeswoman Sierra Fullerton said in a statement. "Saab is committed to the offer we made to the government of Canada, which was significantly less than the $19 billion budgeted for the full 88 aircraft requested."

EDA begins research into automatic air-to-air refuelling for hose and drogue system

The European Defence Agency (EDA) has kicked-off a new research project, led by Spain and in collaboration with Germany, to develop an automatic air-to-air refuelling (A3R) operation with the hose and drogue system. The two-year EDA project which has a budget of €4 million, will involve an industry consortium of Airbus Defence and Space (Spain and Germany), GMV, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and AES Technology (Germany). A limited number of flight tests will be carried out in 2024 with an Airbus A330 MRTT tanker and Tornado aircraft provided by the two participating countries.

Elbit Systems to supply F-16 mission training center to Polish Air Force

Elbit Systems announced on December 22 that it was awarded a contract valued at approximately $36 million to supply four F-16 Full Mission Simulators (FMS) to the Polish Air Force (PLAF). The contract will be implemened over a 28-month period.

Colombia shows interest in French Dassault Rafale fighter jet

According to a tweet published by the Colombian Minister of Defense on December 21, 2022, Ivan Velasquez said that the Rafale fighter jet is the most attractive in terms of price and efficiency.

Mali receives Turkish built Bayraktar TB2 UCAVs

According to a tweet published by Joseph Dempsey on December 22, 2022, Mali just became the latest confirmed operator of Turkish-built Bayraktar TB2 UCAVs.

Albania to officially purchase three Turkish Bayraktar TB2 UCAVs

According to a tweet published by Haluk Bayraktar on December 20, 2022, an agreement was signed between the President of Albania, Edi Rama, and Haluk Bayraktar, the CEO of Baykar for the purchase of three Bayraktar TB2 Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles.

Another upgraded Tu-160M Blackjack strategic bomber makes maiden flight

Another upgraded Tupolev Tu-160M strategic bomber made the maiden flight, the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) said on December 20: “In December 2022, another upgraded Tu-160M strategic bomber designed by the Tupolev Bureau made the first flight,” it said. The pilots maneuvered to test the stability and controllability of the aircraft, as well as systems and engines and electronic equipment.

Saab Gripen E fighter now in operation with Brazilian Air Force

The Brazilian Air Force (FAB) held a ceremony on 19 December at the Anápolis Air Base (BAAN) marking the beginning of operational activities of the Gripen E fighters (referred to as Gripen F-39 in Brazil) by the First Air Defense Group (1st GDA).

Saab to upgrade Gripen C/D fighters of Swedish Air Force

Saab and the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) on 16 December signed a contract and Saab has received an order to ensure the continued operability of and provide capability enhancements to the fighter aircraft JAS 39 Gripen C/D. The order value is approximately SEK 3.5 billion and the contract period is 2023-2029. The contract also includes options that enable FMV to place additional orders for capability enhancements during 2023.

Indian Air Force receives last of 36 Rafale fighters amidst border tensions with China

The Indian Air Force tweeted on 15 December that it had received the last of the 36 French-made Dassault Rafale fighters it had purchased, Arjit Garg reports in ZeeNews India. This event took place amidst the rising tensions at the Eastern Border with China after the clash in Tawang: "FEET DRY! 'The Pack is Complete' The last of the 36 IAF Rafales landed in India after a quick enroute sip from a UAE Air Force tanker. Shukran jazeelan," mentioned IAF.

Germany becomes latest country to join F-35 Lightning II global team

The German Ministry of Defense announced on December 15 it is procuring 35 Lockheed Martin 5th Generation F-35A Lightning II aircraft. "Congratulations to Germany on procuring the F-35A. Germany is the ninth foreign military sales country to join the program," said Lt. Gen. Michael Schmidt, F-35 Program Executive Officer. "We look forward to working with them to deliver the F-35 Air System to meet their national defense requirements."

Slovak Air Force likely to hand over MiG-29 fighters to Ukraine Air Force

According to website and other media, Slovakia is considering the possibility of transferring MiG-29 fighters to Ukraine. The process of preparing the transfer of aircraft may begin in the near future.

MBDA welcomes industrial agreement finalized to prepare Future Combat Air System

Following the first phases of the FCAS (SCAF, in French) work, the signing of this agreement is a change in scale for this programme and lays the foundations for a large-scale European industrial partnership.

Aeralis awarded £9M digital engineering contract from UK Ministry of Defence for digital engineering support services

The UK Ministry of Defence has awarded Aeralis, the transformational British military jet developer, a £9 million contract for digital engineering support services. The contract was awarded by the UK team within the new Global Combat Air Programme, which was announced by the Prime Minister on 9 December. Titled ‘Digital Aviation Learning from Experience,’ the contract will allow the MoD to access information that Aeralis will generate using its innovative, smart integrated digital enterprise system.

Remote Carrier demonstrator released and operated from flying Airbus A400M for the first time

The German army (Bundeswehr), Airbus, the German Aerospace Center DLR, and German companies SFL and Geradts announced on December 12 that they have jointly carried out the world’s first successful launch and operation of a Remote Carrier flight test demonstrator from a flying A400M. Multiplying the force and extending the range of unmanned systems will be one of the future roles of Airbus’ military transport aircraft in the Future Combat Air System (FCAS).

Myanmar Air Force receives first Guizhou FTC-2000 light fighter jets

The first shipment of Chinese Guizhou FTC-2000G Mountain Eagle fighter jets has been delivered to the Myanmar Air Force, according to reports in both local and international media echoed by Valius Venckunas on December 9 in AerotimeHub.

UK industry to play key role in new Global Combat Air Programme, delivering next phase of combat air fighter jet development

The UK’s sovereign industry partners, under Team Tempest, will support the significant endeavour announced on December 9 by the Governments of the UK, Japan and Italy, which will see the three nations build a truly international programme, with a shared ambition to develop a next-generation fighter aircraft under a new Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP).

Northrop Grumman completes 4th successful live fire of AARGM-ER Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile Extended Range

Northrop Grumman announced on December 8 that it has completed the fourth successful flight test of its AGM-88G Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile Extended Range (AARGM-ER). The U.S. Navy launched the missile from an F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft on November 30 at the Point Mugu Sea Range off the coast of southern California, successfully engaging an operationally representative, moving maritime target.

Australian Army selects Israeli Skylark I LEX Unmanned Aerial System

According to a PR published by Elbit Systems on December 7, 2022, the Australian division of the company was selected to provide the Australian Army with the Skylark I LEX Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) equipped with Electro Optical and Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) system.

US Army chooses Textron’s Bell V-280 Valor tiltrotor for FLRAA program

According to a PR published by Textron Inc on December 7, 2022, the company announced that Bell Textron Inc. has been awarded the development contract for the U.S. Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) program.

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