September 2023 news

Defense Aviation and Aerospace Industry


Serbia proposes new 80mm laser-guided rocket for aircraft and helicopters

The Yugoimport's 80 mm Laser Guided Rocket (LGR) is a Serbian precision-targeting and engagement system featured at the Partner 2023 exhibition in Serbia. With an 80 mm caliber, it exhibits adaptability across different launching platforms, including helicopters and aircraft, suitable for both air-to-ground and air-to-air operations. This adaptability extends to its compatibility with various warhead types, such as Composite (COM), High Explosive (HE), and High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) variants, providing military operators with mission-specific choices.

Poland to become world's second largest Apache helicopter operator

On September 26, 2023, Mariusz Błaszczak, Poland's Minister of National Defense, toured Boeing's facility in Mesa, Arizona. The visit included an inspection of the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter production line. This follows Poland's decision to acquire 96 Apache helicopters, a move that has been approved by the U.S. Government.

BAE Systems receives 5-year contract from Lockheed Martin to sustain digital electronic warfare system of F-22 Raptor

BAE Systems has received a five-year contract from Lockheed Martin to sustain the AN/ALR-94 advanced digital electronic warfare (EW) system for the F-22 Raptor. Under the contract, BAE Systems will continue to manage EW system repairs and upgrades, supplier logistics, test equipment maintenance, and provide depot-level spares and engineering support to maintain F-22 EW readiness and relevancy for today’s air dominance mission.

US Air Force and Lockheed Martin complete first flight of U-2 spy plane avionics tech refresh

Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, in partnership with the U.S. Air Force, completed the first flight of the U-2 Dragon Lady's Avionics Tech Refresh (ATR) program.

Northrop Grumman to deliver SiAW Stand-in Attack Weapon air-to-ground missile for 5th-generation aircraft and beyond

Northrop Grumman announced on September 25 that the U.S. Air Force has awarded the company an approximately $705 million contract to deliver the Stand-in Attack Weapon (SiAW), an air-to-ground weapon that accelerates the pivot to a new generation of air power.

Chinese new KVD2002 reconnaissance and combat drone likely used in PLA exercises near Taiwan

The unveiling of an innovative Chinese Ground Force asset, reportedly named KVD002, has garnered attention due to its advanced capabilities. Sources indicate that this unmanned reconnaissance and strike aircraft has been actively engaged in operations near Taiwan since 2022, as reported by EurAsian Times.

F-35A and Typhoon demonstrate landing on Finnish highway

Lockheed Martin's F-35A fighter jets and Typhoon fighter jets have successfully landed on regular roads for the first time. These feats were part of military exercises conducted in Tervo, Finland, and marked an advancement in military aviation tactics. The exercises were not only a demonstration of expertise but also a strategic move to improve survivability and operational flexibility.

USAAF modernizes training fleet with first T-7A Red Hawk

The United States Air Force announced on September 21, 2023, that it had received the first T-7A Red Hawk aircraft, developed by Boeing Defense, Space & Security in partnership with the Saab group. This aircraft is intended to replace the aging Northrop T-38 Talon as the primary trainer of the United States Air Force (USAF).

Russia upgrades Ilyushin A-50U AWACS anticipating F-16 deliveries to Ukraine

According to the state corporation Rostec, the Russian Aerospace Force has acquired an upgraded version of the Ilyushin A-50U Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AWACS). In NATO jargon, this device is referred to as "Mainstay".

Argentine Air Force to acquire US CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters to replace Russian Mi-171Es

The Argentinian Air Force is exploring the possibility of acquiring decommissioned CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters from the United States. This development comes as the Argentinian military faces difficulties maintaining its Russian Mi-171E helicopters, mainly due to sanctions against Russia.

Congolese Air Force buys South African Paramount AHRLAC aircraft

The Congolese Air Force recently acquired four units of the Paramount AHRLAC (Advanced High-Performance Reconnaissance Light Aircraft), according to a company announcement dated September 12, 2023. In doing so, the Democratic Republic of Congo joins Mozambique as the operator of this multi-role aircraft. Manufactured in South Africa, the AHRLAC is designed for use in a variety of roles and is being considered by smaller air forces in Africa.

F-16 training programs for Ukrainian pilots underway according to the Pentagon

During a press conference on September 21, 2023, Pentagon spokesperson Brigadier General Pat Ryder emphasized the ongoing support of the United States for Ukraine, notably through specialized F-16 training programs for Ukrainian pilots. We will explore some of the key points of this interview.

French Air and Space Force close to stop operating C-135FR air tankers after receiving 12th Airbus A330 MRTT

Originally, Laurent Lagneau writes in Opex360, the French Air and Space Force’s intention was to order 14 tanker aircraft, but due to budget constraints, this figure was reduced to 12 before finally being increased to 15. The project to acquire Airbus A330 MRTT tanker aircraft to replace the Boeing C-135FRs, especially for the Strategic Air Forces, has undergone many changes since its launch over ten years ago.

Chinese President Xi Jinping says spirit of World War 2 Flying Tigers should live on

President Xi Jinping said that China and the United States, as major countries, will shoulder even more responsibility in the future for world peace, stability and development. So it is crucial for both countries to achieve mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation, Xi Jinping added, echoed by China Military.

Austrian Ministry of Defense selects the Embraer C-390 Millennium as its new multi-mission medium military transport aircraft

The Austrian Ministry of Defense announced on September 20, 2023, the decision to select the Embraer C-390 Millennium multi-mission medium military aircraft as its new tactical transport solution. Austria is expected to acquire 4 or 5 of these aircraft to modernize its fleet. The C-390 Millennium aircraft is set to replace Austria's aged fleet of Lockheed Martin C-130Ks.

US Army 12th Combat Aviation Brigade in Europe receives new AH-64E V6 Apache Guardian attack helicopters

On September 1, 2023, the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade of the U.S. Army stationed at Wiesbaden Army Airfield, Clay Kaserne, Germany, proudly welcomed two cutting-edge Apache helicopters, AH-64Es, heralding a new era in their aviation capabilities. David Overson, U.S Army, reports.

BAE Systems Australia expands with aircraft coating facility in Williamtown

The Commonwealth of Australia and BAE Systems Australia have jointly announced the establishment of a new Aircraft Coating Facility at BAE Systems' Williamtown Aerospace Precinct, situated to the north of Newcastle. This initiative is part of a broader expansion effort aimed at accommodating future sustainment needs for the Royal Australian Air Force's (RAAF) fleet of F-35 aircraft.

Slovenia enhances air transport capabilities with second Leonardo C-27J Spartan

On September 19, 2023, Slovenia's Ministry of Defense announced the signing of an agreement for the acquisition of a second C-27J Spartan tactical military transport aircraft from Leonardo. The agreement was formalized by Slovenian Defense Minister Marjan Šarec and Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto and was publicized on the official website of Slovenia's Ministry of Defense.

Indian Air Force plans major fleet expansion with 100 more LCA Mark 1A Fighter Jets

Air Marshal VR Chaudhari, chief of the Indian Air Force (IAF), recently announced plans to acquire around 100 more Mark 1A Light Combat Aircraft (LCA). The announcement was made during his visit to Spain, where he received the first C-295 transport aircraft. 

Bell SMA Special Missions Aircraft helicopters offer ready-now solutions for military uses

As countries look to take more prominent stances in defense, finding the best combination of capability and cost has created a market for civil helicopters modified for multi-mission military capabilities. These needs are amplified by growing international instability and require ready-now solutions with proven track records. Bell is leveraging its experience across civil, para-public, and military helicopter domains to meet this demand with the special mission aircraft, SMA, initiative.

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