MARCH 2023 news

Defense Aviation and Aerospace Industry


Slovakia receives offer of 12 new AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters and Hellfire II missiles from the United States

On March 23, the Slovakian Ministry of Defence confirmed that the US has offered to provide 12 new AH-1Z Viper combat helicopters along with AGM-114 Hellfire II air-to-ground missiles to the Slovak Republic Armed Forces. The offer is valued at over $1bn, of which around $660m will be provided to Slovakia from the US’ FMF funding initiative.

NATO Secretary General welcomes launch of MRTT multinational Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft fleet

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on 23 March 2023 welcomed the launch of a multinational Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft fleet (MRTT) that is "now ready for a full range of missions" at Eindhoven Air Base in the Netherlands.

Northrop Grumman demonstrates platform agnostic in-flight connectivity for US Air Force

Northrop Grumman successfully demonstrated the technical capability to connect a full aircraft ecosystem. The company showcased its Software Programmable Open Mission Systems Compliant (SPOC) multifunction processor in a flight test for the U.S. Air Force, highlighting the ability to integrate existing and future platforms using advanced data links.

Indonesia reportedly purchased 12 Turkish TAI Anka UAVs

According to information published by MaxDefense Philippines on March 22, 2023, Indonesia reportedly purchased 12 TAI Anka Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

US Air Force to buy JSM cruise missiles to arm F-35 Lightning II fighters

In 2022, reminds, Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace (KDA) made huge strides with its NSM (Naval Strike Missile) cruise missile, which became the de facto replacement for Harpoon anti-ship missiles on surface ships around the world. In 2023, the victorious pace of the products of the Raytheon-Kongsberg consortium continued on the planet.

1st production Boeing CH-47F Chinook Block II intended for US Army enters final assembly stage

The first production CH-47F Block II Chinook helicopter has reached the final assembly phase of production, the last step in production before the aircraft will be delivered to the U.S. Army. This is the first of many CH-47F Block II aircraft, the newest variant of the trusted Chinook helicopter series.

Russian Su-35 Flanker-E fighters intercept US B-52H bombers over Baltic Sea

Russia scrambled two Su-35 fighters of the Western Military District (some sources mention a single Su-35) to intercept two US Air Force B-52H bombers (some sources mention one B-52H) over the Baltic Sea, the Russian National Defense Control Center told on Monday, March 20: “On March 20, 2023, radars of the Western Military District Air Defense force on duty detected two airborne targets over the Baltic Sea, flying towards the state border of the Russian Federation. The targets were identified as two U.S. Air Force B-52H strategic bombers,” the Russian Defense Ministry said.

UK offers to help Poland protect its airspace following donation of MiG-29s to Ukraine

As reminded by Laurent Lagneau in Opex360, Poland announced last week that it would donate four MiG-29 Fulcrum fighter jets to Ukraine, with six more to come. Slovakia also followed suit, indicating that it would donate 13 similar aircraft that were retired on August 31st, 2022, after an agreement with Warsaw and Prague was reached to secure their airspace.

Turkish Aerospace unveils Anka 3 UCAV Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle

The Anka 3 Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) is a next-generation drone developed by the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI). The prototype was unveiled on February 28, 2022, during a ceremony attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Northrop Grumman to produce MESA Multi-role Electronically Scanned Array sensor for US Air Force E-7 Wedgetail

Northrop Grumman will enter into the production of the Multi-role Electronically Scanned Array (MESA) sensor for the U.S. Air Force E-7 Wedgetail aircraft. As part of the E-7 weapons system, the combat-proven MESA sensor will provide critical long-range sensing, detection and identification in challenging environments equipping the U.S. Air Force with simultaneous air and maritime sensing capabilities, critical early warning and air battle management capabilities.

FN Herstal to equip US Air Force HH-60W next generation combat rescue helicopter

In 2016, the U.S. Air Force launched a major program for 113 helicopters to replace their ageing HH-60G Pave Hawk. Lockheed Martin won the competition with their newly designed HH-60W “Whiskey”, built on the state-of-the-art UH-60M Black Hawk.

Boeing to produce 184 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters for US Army and foreign customers

Boeing will build 184 AH-64E Apaches for the U.S. Army and foreign customers, including the first Apaches for Australia. This $1.9 billion award brings the total current funded value of the contract to $2.1 billion and has the potential to increase to more than $3.8 billion with future obligations.

Slovakia to donate 13 MiG-29 jet fighters to Ukraine

The Government of the Slovak Republic on March 17 announced that it has decided to provide Ukraine with MiG-29 fighter jets that are grounded and no longer usable for Slovakia. In accordance with the UN Charter and good, friendly relations with Ukraine, it decided by consensus and fully with the Constitution of the Slovak Republic in favor of donating planes - protecting human lives.

Poland buying 800 AGM-114R2 Hellfire missiles

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency on March 16 announced that the State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Poland of AGM-114R2 Hellfire missiles and related equipment for an estimated cost of $150 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale.

Poland to transfer four MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine Air Force

Poland will send four of its MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine, becoming the first NATO country to send planes to thi country since Russia invaded it on February 24, 2022. Polish President Andrzej Duda said they would be sent in the coming days, and more units to be given in the future.

Belgian Defense launches task force for Next Generation Combat Aircraft Technologies

In the coming weeks, the Belgian Royal Higher Institute for Defense(IRSD) will bring together important players from the Belgian industry within the framework of the “Next Generation Combat Aircraft Technologies” working group. As foreseen in the “Defence, Industry & Research Strategy” of the Minister of Defense Ludivine Dedonder, this working group will examine the possibilities for the Belgian industry to participate in projects for the development of new-generation combat aircraft. The objective is to be able to formulate an opinion during the month of June to the federal government on the industrial possibilities of our country in this context.

ADASI from United Arab Emirates unveiled Jeniah UCAS unmanned combat drone at IDEX 2023

At the International Defence Exhibition and Conference IDEX (IDEX 23) that took place in Abu Dhabi (UAE) last February, the Abu Dhabi Autonomous Systems Investments company (ADASI), a member of the EDGE group, unveiled a mock-up of its Jeniah Unmanned Combat Aerial System (UCAS).

Iranian Air Force to get Sukhoi Su-35 jets from Russia

Iran will purchase Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets from Russia, Iranian state media said on March 11, echoed by Jewish News Syndicate on March 12: “The Sukhoi-35 fighter planes are technically acceptable to Iran and Iran has finalized a contract for their purchase,” the IRIB news outlet quoted Iran’s mission to the United Nations as saying. Details of the reported deal were not disclosed.

Russian Su-27 Flanker fighter jet strikes US MQ-9 Reaper UAS over Black Sea

On March 14, David Vergun, U.S. Department of Defense, reports that a Russian Su-27 aircraft struck a U.S. Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicle's propeller, causing U.S. forces to bring it down into international waters of the Black Sea early in the morning, according to U.S. Air Force Gen. James B. Hecker, commander, U.S. Air Forces Europe and Air Forces Africa in a statement.

US Department of the Air Force 2024 budget proposal invests in modernization and transformation

The U.S. Department of the Air Force unveiled a $259.3 billion budget request on March 13 designed to continue modernizing the Air Force and Space Force to meet evolving threats while also nourishing current needs that include training, readiness and fostering new technology.

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