JANUARY 2023 news

Defense Aviation and Aerospace Industry


GA-ASI General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Eaglet flies new survivable Air-Launched Effect for the first time

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) flew a new survivable Air-Launched Effect (ALE) for the first time as part of a flight demonstration based out of the Dugway Proving Grounds, Utah, on Dec. 8, 2022. The ALE, known as Eaglet, was launched from a U.S. Army MQ-1C Gray Eagle Extended Range (GE-ER) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). The Eaglet flight was jointly funded by GA-ASI and the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development (DEVCOM) Army Research Laboratory (ARL) and Aviation & Missile Center (AvMC).

European Defence Agency supports two PESCO projects on future European airlift capabilities

The European Defence Agency (EDA) will support two Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) projects focused on shaping future European airlift capabilities, for both mid-sized and out-sized cargo, following a request from their project coordinators.

DARPA, AFRL, Lockheed Martin and Aerojet Rocketdyne team's second Hypersonic Air-Breathing Weapon Concept launched from B-52H accomplishes all test objectives

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Air Force Research Lab (AFRL), Lockheed Martin and Aerojet Rocketdyne team accomplished their primary objectives during its second Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) flight test doubling the amount of scramjet-powered vehicle data.

Aeralis signs MoU with AirTanker to examine capability to transform full spectrum of fast jet pilot training

Aeralis, the transformational British military jet developer, has signed a landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with AirTanker to evaluate opportunities for an aircraft service offering in the light fast jet defence market.

Boeing to supply 15 additional KC-46A Pegasus air tankers to US Air Force

The U.S. Department of Defense on January 27 announced that Boeing has been awarded a $2,255,625,408 modification (P00289) to previously awarded contract FA8625-11-C-6600 for KC-46A Air Force Production Lot 9 aircraft, subscriptions and licenses.

Netherlands considers offering F-16AM/BM fighters and paying for Leopard 2A6 tanks to Ukraine

According to NL Times, the Dutch government will look into supplying some of its 68 F-16A/B MLU fighter jets (it originally had 213 aircraft) to Ukraine if the Kyiv government asks for it. During a parliamentary debate on January 19, Minister of Foreign Affairs Wopke Hoekstra said the Cabinet would look at such a request with an “open mind.” In Davos, Minister of Defense Kajsa Ollongren also said that the Netherlands is willing to help pay for modern Leopard 2 tanks that other countries send to Ukraine, NL Times reports.

Lockheed Martin performs first flight of F-16 Block 70 fighter

Lockheed Martin on January 24 announced the successful first flight of the F-16 Block 70 at its Greenville, South Carolina site. The flight occurred Jan. 24 at 9:17 a.m. ET, with Lockheed Martin test pilots Dwayne "Pro" Opella and Monessa "Siren" Balzhiser at the helm. Total flight time was approximately 50 minutes and included airworthiness checks, such as engine, flight control and fuel system checks, as well as basic aircraft handling.

Elbit Systems to provide DIRCM Direct Infrared Counter Measures service center for NATO Multinational Multi-Role Tanker Transport fleet

Elbit Systems announced on January 24 the signature of a 5-year in-service support contract with the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) for the Direct Infrared Counter Measures (DIRCM) systems supplied to the Multinational Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) fleet. The contract includes the establishment of a service center, located at NSPA, to provide support and logistics to the system.

Israel willing to purchase 25 F-15EX Eagle II fighter jets to boost striking capability against Iran

According to Dario Leone in theaviationgeekclub.com, Israel has sent a formal request to the US to purchase 25 F-15IA (F-15EX) Eagle II fighter jets to boost its capabilities to strike Iran. Israel has sent a formal request to the US to purchase 25 F-15IA (F-15EX) Eagle II fighter jets with an eye to boosting its capabilities to strike Iran, Breaking Defense reports.

Sikorsky delivers 5000th Hawk medium lift helicopter

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, on January 20 delivered its 5,000th “Hawk” variant helicopter, a U.S. Army UH-60M Black Hawk. The iconic aircraft will continue to support medium-lift requirements for the U.S. military and international operators for decades into the future. Sikorsky celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.

Hensoldt from Germany develops SIGINT pod demonstrator for Eurodrone

German company Hensoldt is developing sensor equipment that can be integrated into a pod to give the recently commissioned Eurodrone a signals intelligence (SIGINT) capability. The sensor technology for reconnaissance of radio and radar signals is based on a combination of the latest technologies in digitisation, electronic beam steering and metallic 3D printing, some of which Hensoldt has already developed in its "Kalaetron" product family. The contract for the implementation and testing of a SIGINT demonstrator worth approximately 15 million euros has now been awarded by the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw).

Baykar wins contract to deliver Bayraktar TB2 UCAVs to Kuwait

According to information published by Daily Sabah on January 19, 2023, Turkish drone magnate Baykar signed a $370 million contract to export its Bayraktar TB2 unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) to Kuwait.

PLA Chinese Air Force Y-20 aircraft transport air defense missile unit for first time

According to Liu Xuanzun in Global Times, a surface-to-air missile unit of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force recently took part in a systematic confrontational exercise, in which it for the first time tested its quick deployment capability by flying with Xi’an Y-20 large transport aircraft. This method will significantly enhance China's air defense flexibility, analysts said on January 18.

Australian army to get 40 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters

Following months of speculation, Head Land Capability Major General Jeremy King confirmed the acquisition of 40 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters for the Australian Army, Liam Garman reports in Defence Connect.

Upgraded Russian Tu-95MSM strategic bomber successfully completes another test flight

According to en.newviz.ru, the strategic missile carrier Tu-95MSM made another flight as part of the test program after its modernization. During this flight, aircraft designers checked the operation of all systems and equipment installed on board, the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) reported. Work on the modernization of the Tu-95 bomber is being carried out at PJSC Tupolev and PJSC Beriev TANTK (part of PJSC UAC of Rostec State Corporation), UAC's press service said.

Iran Air Force to get 24 Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker-E fighter jets in Spring 2023

According to Tasnim news agency, Iran expects to take delivery of Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets from Russia early next Iranian year, which starts in March 2023, a lawmaker said. Speaking to Tasnim, member of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Shahriar Heidari said the Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets that Iran has ordered from Russia are going to arrive in early 1402 (begins on March 21).

Dassault Aviation delivers Rafale F3R fighter aircraft to French MoD

According to a PR published by Dassault on December 29, 2022, the company’s Mérignac plant delivered Rafale B359 (F3R standard) to the Direction Générale de l’Armement (French defense procurement agency).

Myanmar Air Force inducts new combat aircraft and helicopters

According to Asia Pacific Defense Journal, the Myanmar Air Force (MAF) has formally received and inducted several new air assets as it celebrated its 75th founding anniversary on 15 December 2022. The anniversary and acceptance ceremony was held at the MAF’s air base in Mithila. Among those inducted into service by the MAF were two Sukhoi Su-30SME heavy fighter aircraft from Russia, six Guizhou FTC-2000G Mountain Eagle light combat aircraft and four additional K-8 Karakorum jet trainers from China.

French Defense Procurement Agency DGA orders studies from Airbus Defense and Dassault for future maritime patrol aicraft

In a tweet posted on January 12, the DGA informs that it has notified Airbus Defense and Dassault of two future maritime patrol system architecture studies. Based on one of their aircraft (A320neo and Falcon 10X), each will offer a solution that meets the needs of the French Navy on the post-2030 horizon.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems flies multiple missions using Avenger UAS with Artificially Intelligent Pilots

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) further advanced its Collaborative Combat Aircraft (CCA) ecosystem by flying three unique missions with artificially intelligent (AI) pilots on an operationally relevant Open Mission System (OMS) software stack. A company-owned Avenger Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) was paired with “digital twin” aircraft to autonomously conduct Live, Virtual, and Constructive (LVC) multi-objective collaborative combat missions.

Page 1 of 2