OCTOBER 2023 news

Defense Aviation and Aerospace Industry


Northrop Grumman to create constellation of connectivity for US Air Force Research Laboratory

Northrop Grumman is working with the Air Force Research Laboratory to integrate commercial space internet into airborne platforms, advancing connectivity for warfighters and supporting the Department of Defense (DoD) vision for Joint All-Domain Command and Control.

Netherlands deploys MQ-9 Reaper drones to Romania for strengthening NATO's Eastern Defense

The Netherlands plans to deploy three MQ-9 Reaper drones to Romania, marking a significant step in strengthening NATO's eastern border defense. The move is part of the Netherlands' increased commitment to NATO, particularly following the invasion of Ukraine.

Russian Air Force to receive new batch of Ilyushin Il-76MD-90A transport aircraft

According to Russian social media, Rostec is planning to deliver a new batch of Il-76MD-90A military transport aircraft to Russian troops by the end of 2023. This aircraft is a modernized version of the original IL-76, and several units are currently in various stages of readiness at the Aviastar plant in Ulyanovsk, which is a part of Rostec's United Aircraft Corporation (UAC). This progress was recently reviewed by the Russian Minister of Defense, Sergei Shoigu, during his visit to the facility, which might indicate a priority, possibly in response to the Ukrainian attack on the Pskov airfield that led to the destruction of several Il-76s.

Nigerian Air Force receives last of four Diamond Aircraft DA 62 MPP Multi Purpose Platform

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has received all four twin-engine DA 62 MPP special mission aircraft from Austria's Diamond Aircraft, Guy Martin reported in defenceWeb. The first aircraft, registered as NAF260, was delivered in late February and showcased at NAF Day celebrations in May, equipped with surveillance equipment. The remaining three aircraft, registered as NAF261, NAF262, and NAF263, arrived in Nigeria from Austria on October 6th.

Norwegian Air Force F-35 fighters land for first time on Swedish soil

On Wednesday, October 11, for the first time, Norwegian F-35As landed in Sweden. It took place at the Vidsel base in Norrbotten and within the framework of the Cross Border Training agreement the Nordic countries have

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems advances aerial recovery for SUAS and ALE with MQ-20 Avenger

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) recently advanced its Aerial Recovery System for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems/Air-Launched Effects (SUAS/ALE) by deploying and retracting a towline with a “smart end feature” from a GA-ASI MQ-20 Avenger Unmanned Aircraft System in flight. The demonstration took place on Sept. 20, 2023, over Dugway Proving Ground, Utah.

Enhanced Boeing AH-64E V6.5 Apache completes first flight

Boeing on October 11 announced that the newest version of the AH-64E Apache has successfully flown with an upgraded capabilities suite as Boeing continues to modernize the platform. The upgraded E-model Apache, known as Version 6.5, or V6.5, is the next configuration of the world’s premier attack helicopter.

Belgium to deliver F-16s to Ukraine in 2025, maintain them, train Ukrainian pilots and mechanics soon

Ukrainian President Zelensky paid a double surprise visit in Brussels this Wednesday, October 11. First to take part in a NATO meeting, and second to discuss with Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder.

Greece to acquire up to 49 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters

Greece has initiated a significant upgrade to its military aviation capabilities by entering into talks to acquire up to 49 Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters. The move aims to replace the aging fleet of UH-1 helicopters currently in service with the Hellenic Army.

Honeywell Aerospace to supply T55 engines for South Korea's new CH-47F fleet

Honeywell has secured an order to supply 41 T55-GA-714A engines for South Korea's new CH-47F helicopters. This initiative is part of South Korea's replacement of its old CH-47D aircraft. Managed by the U.S. Army's Office of Foreign Military Sales, the case highlights Honeywell's long-standing relationship with South Korea.

Ecuador Army Aviation acquires 5 second-hand Airbus H225 Super Puma helicopters

Ecuador has officially confirmed its acquisition of five Airbus H225 (AS332) Super Puma helicopters for deployment within the Army. The aircraft will be deployed in anti-drug and anti-terrorist operations, Erich Saumeth reports in Infodefensa.

Chinese Air Force J-20 stealth fighter able to launch missiles in high-G maneuvers

Despite the need to conceal its munitions in an internal weapons bay for enhanced stealth capabilities, China's J-20 stealth fighter jet can still effectively launch missiles in extreme battlefield conditions, as revealed by the chief test pilot of the aircraft quoted by Liu Xuanzun in Global Times.

Israeli Air Force launches large-scale air attack on Gaza Strip

According to The Times of Israel, on the night of October 8-9, Israel intensified its airstrikes on the Gaza Strip to "devastate the capabilities of the Hamas terrorist group". Unlike previous operations where only the homes of commanders were targeted, this time the Israeli army also targeted the homes of all Hamas terrorist militants. 500 Hamas sites have been hit according to information from the Israeli air force.

US Marine Corps experimental Kratos XQ-58A Valkyrie ‘Loyal Wingman’ drone makes first flight

The U.S. Marine Corps conducted its first test flight of the Kratos XQ-58A Valkyrie unmanned aerial vehicle on October 2, 2023, from Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, Aaron-Matthew Lariosa reports in USNI News. This test flight, supported by the Air Force and Navy, is part of the Marine Corps' efforts to implement new concepts outlined in Force Design 2030, as proposed by former Commandant Gen. David Berger. These concepts include Expeditionary Advanced Basing Operations against near-peer adversaries.

US Air Force seals $35M deal with LiquidPiston for hybrid power systems

The US Air Force has awarded a $35 million contract to LiquidPiston, a Connecticut-based company specializing in compact engine technology and hybrid power systems. Administered by AFWERX, a Technology Directorate within the Air Force Research Laboratory in partnership with AFLCMC, the US Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, this contract aims to support the advancement of hybrid power systems.

GKN Aerospace to upgrade RM12 engine of Swedish Air Force JAS 39 Gripen fighters

GKN Aerospace has secured a contract from the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) for the enhancement and development of the RM12 engine, utilized in the Swedish fighter aircraft JAS 39 Gripen C/D. This collaborative effort will involve FMV and SAAB.

Sikorsky gets US Air Force contract to upgrade HH-60W Jolly Green II combat rescue helicopters

Sikorsky Aircraft, a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, has secured a substantial contract valued at $650 million aimed at advancing the long-term capabilities of the HH-60W Jolly Green II combat rescue helicopter, according to a report by Harry McNeil in Air Force Technology. This project is set to be headquartered in Stratford, Connecticut, which is the hometown of Sikorsky Aircraft, and it is scheduled for completion by September 20, 2030.

BIRD Aerosystems promotes AMPS Airborne Missile Protection Systems with American partner SNC at AUSA 2023

BIRD Aerosystems, a provider of innovative defense technology and solutions, will showcase its Airborne Missile Protection Systems (AMPS) family of solutions, including the Spreos Directional Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM) system, at next week’s AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington DC. This year's presence is BIRD’s biggest yet as it joins forces with American partner, SNC.

Czech Air Force receives second batch of AH-1Z Viper and UH-1Y Venom helicopters

On October 2, 2023, the Czech Air Force received its second batch of American AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters and UH-1Y Venom multipurpose helicopters. This delivery marks another step in the modernization of the Czech Armed Forces and is part of a series of planned deliveries aimed at transitioning from Russian to modern Western equipment.

Hindustan Aeronautics delivers first two-seater LCA Tejas to Indian Air Force

On October 4, 2023, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) delivered its first two-seater Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) to the Indian Air Force (IAF) in Bengaluru. The historic moment was marked by the presence of Minister of State for Defense Ajay Bhatt and Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari. The aircraft aligns with India's "Atmanirbhar Bharat" initiative, which aims for self-reliance in various sectors, including aviation.

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