AUGUST 2023 news

Defense Aviation and Aerospace Industry


Royal Australian Air Force conducts unprecedented air-to-air refuelling with Indonesian F-16s

A RAAF KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport refuelled seven F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft of the Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU). This included about 60 flying sorties, both day and night, within Indonesian air space.

Israel begins test flights of Oron multi-domain AI-enabled spy surveillance aircraft

Israel's Ministry of Defense has begun test flights for its newly developed Oron surveillance aircraft, described as "the world’s most advanced aircraft of its kind" by Israeli authorities. The aircraft is a collaborative effort involving multiple Israeli defense and aerospace entities.

Ukrainian reconnaissance drone Gekata to reach battlefield by late 2023

On August 30, 2023, the Gekata, a high-range reconnaissance drone, is in the testing phase and is expected to be deployed on the battlefield by the end of the year. Integrated into the PD-2 drone complex of the Ukrainian company Infozahyst Research and Production Center, the Gekata is designed to provide defense forces with new intelligence capabilities.

Lockheed Martin Australia selected as Australian Defence Force’s strategic partner for AIR6500

Lockheed Martin Australia has received with enthusiasm the recent announcement by the Australian Department of Defence, made on August 28th, designating them as the strategic partner for overseeing the AIR6500 Phase 1 (AIR6500-1) initiative.

Nigeria to acquire Turkish Bayraktar TB2 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

On August 20, 2023, the Twitter account DefenseNigeria released photos showcasing a complete Bayraktar TB2 system, announcing its delivery scheduled for October. This confirmation aligns with Military Africa's report from September 2022.

Indian Air Force's quest for new Medium Transport Aircraft

On August 23, 2023, coinciding with the B20 Summit, Indian media reported that the Indian Air Force (IAF) is in the process of procuring new Medium Transport Aircraft (MTA) to enhance its multi-mission capabilities. The race has been narrowed down to three leading aircraft manufacturers from the United States, South America, and Europe. This acquisition aligns with India's "Make in India" initiative, aimed at promoting local manufacturing and enabling technology transfer.

Ukrainian drones damage several Ilyushin Il-76MD transport aircraft

On August 30, 2023, Russian authorities confirmed that a drone attack last night on a military airfield deep within Russian territory likely led to the destruction of four Ilyushin Il-76MD Candid transport aircraft.

Thales and Schiebel completes Factory Acceptance Test of Camcopter S-100 UAS for UK's Peregrine programme

On August 30, Thales and Schiebel jointly announced the successful completion of the Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) for the Peregrine Programme, commissioned by the British Ministry of Defence (MOD). This significant milestone in the program's advancement represents a crucial stride towards the final deployment of the state-of-the-art Camcopter S-100 UAS Peregrine System. This groundbreaking rotary wing Uncrewed Air System (UAS) is designed to offer a vital "eye in the sky" capability for Royal Navy warships.

Royal Air Force 54 Squadron undergoes specialized training on Protector RG Mk 1 UAV

On August 28, 2023, the Royal Air Force (RAF) revealed that instructors from its 54 Squadron have commenced the inaugural Instructor Operating Course (IOC) for the Protector RG Mk 1 drone. This specialized training is being conducted at General Atomics - Aeronautical Systems Inc's (GA-ASI) Flight Test & Training Center in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Sentient’s AI-enabled ViDAR optical sensors soar on Edge Autonomy’s VXE30 Stalker UAS

Sentient Vision Systems (Sentient) has successfully completed live demonstrations of its AI-enabled ViDAR (Visual Detection and Ranging) payload deployed on Edge Autonomy’s VXE30UAS. The VXE30 vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) solution is the latest and most advanced version of the “Stalker” series of small uncrewed aerial systems (sUAS) from Edge Autonomy. When coupled with Sentient’s ViDAR, the VXE30 provides a passive, wide-area search capability, enabling it to serve a myriad of maritime operations

Japan Britain and Italy forge tri-nation partnership for next-generation air-to-air missile

Japan has initiated a joint project with NATO members Britain and Italy to develop a new generation of air-to-air missile for upcoming fighter jets. This collaboration is set against the backdrop of increasing global security issues, such as Russia's activities in Ukraine and China's military expansion.

Northrop Grumman demonstrates Deep-Sensing and Targeting DSaT for US Army

Northrop Grumman successfully demonstrated its Deep-Sensing and Targeting (DSaT) platform at the Experimental Demonstration Gateway Event (EDGE) ’23, hosted by the U.S. Army.

US clears sale of 50 AGM-158B/B-2 JASSM-ER air-to-ground missiles for Japanese Air Force

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency on August 28 announced that the State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Japan of Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles with Extended Range (JASSM-ER) and related equipment for an estimated cost of $104 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale.

NSPA and Indra partner to modernize Spanish Air Force Airbus C295 fleet

On August 23, 2023, the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) announced a major contract award to Indra, a leading Spanish technology firm. The contract is centered on enhancing the radar warning and self-protection systems of the C295 medium tactical transport aircraft operated by the Spanish Air and Space Force.

Nigerian Navy to induct second of three italian Leonardo AW109 SP GrandNew helicopters

The Nigerian Navy is set to receive the second of three Leonardo AW109 SP GrandNew helicopters, as the aircraft was recently spotted at Varese-Venegono Airport in Italy. The helicopter, likely to be designated NN411, features a new camouflage pattern.

NATO countries so far pledged a total of 103 fighter jets for Ukraine

According to a tweet from Oryx, NATO countries already pledged the delivery of 103 fighter jets to Ukraine, of which 45 have already been delivered.

Brazil to acquire 34 additional Saab JAS-39 Gripen E/F fighter jets

On August 25, 2023, Brazil announced its intention to order an additional 34 JAS-39 Gripen E/F fighter aircraft, further expanding an already substantial acquisition. This decision stems from a series of events that began in 2014 when a tender resulted in the initial order of 36 JAS-39 Gripen E/F fighter aircraft from the Swedish manufacturer Saab. This contract also included significant technology transfers, with Embraer committed as a strategic partner for the assembly of 15 of these aircraft at its facility in Gavião Peixoto, São Paulo State.

Royal Australian Air Force welcomes first Japanese F-35A international deployment

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has welcomed a visit by Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) F-35A Lightning II aircraft and personnel to Australia, marking the first time Japan has deployed these aircraft overseas. Two F-35As and a contingent of 55 personnel from the JASDF are being hosted at RAAF Base Tindal from 26 to 29 August after making the 6,400-kilometre trip to Australia’s top end.

US Marine Corps successfully refuels unmanned MQ-8C helicopter in mid-flight

According to Defense Advancement on August 25, 2023, the U.S. Marine Corps successfully conducted a mid-flight aerial delivered ground refueling (ADGR) trial of an autonomous MQ-8C Fire Scout helicopter using a Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion heavy helicopter.

Iran Has Developed New Unmanned Version of its Qaher-313 Stealth Fighter Jet

Iran's defense industry is set to make a significant leap with the forthcoming unveiling of its new unmanned stealth fighter aircraft, the "Qaher-313" (Conqueror-313). Afshin Khajehfard, the chief of the Iran Aviation Industries Organization (IAIO), confirmed that the aircraft is in its final stages of development and will be displayed in the coming months.

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