AUGUST 2023 news

Defense Aviation and Aerospace Industry


India successfully Adapts ground-to-ground Spike NLOS missiles onto Russian Mi-17V5 Helicopter

The Indian Air Force has acquired Israeli-manufactured Spike Non-Line of Sight (NLOS) anti-tank guided missiles. These air-to-ground Spike Non-Line of Sight (NLOS) missiles possess an impressive range of up to 30 kilometers, rendering them a valuable asset for conducting precision strikes from a considerable distance. This acquisition coincides with a period of heightened geopolitical tensions, particularly due to the maneuvers of the Chinese Army in the vicinity of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) within the Eastern Ladakh sector.

Northrop Grumman and US Air Force modernize B-2 Spirit digital communication capabilities

Northrop Grumman, in partnership with the U.S. Air Force, successfully completed an integrated airborne mission transfer (IAMT) demonstration with the B-2 Spirit at Whiteman Air Force Base as part of the ongoing modernization efforts incorporating digital engineering.

French DGA launches test campaign to clear Reaper Block 5 drone to fly over France

In a series of tweets posted on August 4, the French DGA (Direction Générale de l'Armement, General Directorate for Armament), announced that it has carried out the test flights of the Reaper Block 5 drone in its software version called "2408" above the French territory. This software version is essential for the implementation of new capabilities (Armament and COMINT). These first tests will allow the realization of experimental flights by the military air expertise center CEAM for the benefit of the Air and Space Force.

Japan explores equipping C-2 transport planes with long-range missiles

According to an article published by the Japan Times on August 6, 2023, the Defense Ministry of Japan is currently assessing the potential of arming its C-2 transport planes, operated by the Air Self-Defense Force, with long-range missiles. This evaluation aims to strengthen the nation's ability to defend from a distance, as indicated by government sources.

Dutch PM Rutte suggests training Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighters

In a telephone conversation between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on August 8, there emerged discussions about reinforcing Ukrainian air defenses to protect the country against brutal and indiscriminate Russian attacks. According to insights from Elsa Court at The Kyiv Independent's news desk, Rutte conveyed the Netherlands' commitment to augmenting Ukrainian air defenses and exploring avenues of support. One tangible effort already underway is the collaboration to provide Ukrainian pilots with the skills to operate Western-supplied F-16 fighter jets.

Leonardo AW101 for Polish Navy achieves first flight from Yeovil

The Polish Navy’s first Leonardo AW101 (ZR285) achieved its first flight on July 19 at the Company’s site in Yeovil. The flight demonstrated functional checks of the main airframe systems as well as the control system, and engine-handling checks were taken throughout to monitor the speed range of the aircraft. The flight envelope will now be opened further with testing exploring the bespoke mission equipment fitted to the aircraft.

US Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 3 with MQ-9A Reapers now operational

U.S. Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 3 (VMU 3) introduced its new Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles in a ceremony at Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, last week. It is the first USMC UAV squadron to be operational in the Indo-Pacific region. Aaron-Matthew Lariosa reports in USNI News.

Russian Tupolev Tu-95MSM strategic bombers continue to operate in Ukrainian Skies

On July 26, 2023, the Ukrinform news agency reported that the Ukrainian government had issued an air alert in several regions of Ukraine following the takeoff of twelve Russian Tu-95MS strategic bombers. The Tupolev Tu-95SMS, also known as the Bear, is a long-range aircraft with strategic capabilities.

Royal Oman Police achieves 20,000 flight hours with Leonardo AW139 helicopter fleet

Strong collaboration between Leonardo and Royal Oman Police, dating back to the early 2000s, has led to an important operational milestone with the AW139, explains Colonel Pilot Bader Al Siyabi of the Directorate General of Police Aviation.

Joint US-Kenya Operation strengthens security against Al-Shabaab in Lamu County

On August 5, 2023, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced that in response to the escalating threat posed by the terrorist organization al-Shabaab, the United States and Kenyan military forces recently conducted a highly coordinated joint operation at the Magogoni Airfield located in Lamu County, Kenya. This strategic collaboration, overseen by the 475th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron, brought together the combined strength of both the US Army and the Air Force.

French SCALP Missiles Mounted on Ukrainian Su-24 Aircraft to target Russian forces

The Ukrainian armed forces have officially deployed the SCALP cruise missile. We'll provide you with more details on this development in an article by Army Recognition dated August 8, 2023. This significant step was confirmed during a recent visit by President Zelensky to a Su-24 Fencer unit tasked with launching these advanced missiles.

Australian Army Receives First Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk Helicopters

On August 4, 2023, the helicopter fleet of the Australian Defence Force was enhanced with the addition of the first two and subsequently a third Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter. This event marks the beginning of a change within the aerial capabilities of the Australian Defence Force.

First Czech-made serial combat training aircraft Aero L-39NG ready for Vietnamese Air Force

The Czech company Aero Vodochody begins deliveries of the latest L-39NG jet aircraft to Vietnam, on the eve of the Czechs showed the first aircraft intended for this country, reports. Moreover, the aircraft is already painted in the colors of the Vietnamese Air Force and has serial number 2303.

Chinese army WZ-10 attack helicopter to receive new engine to boost climb rate by 20% and acceleration by 10% reports that significant attention was recently drawn to the multimedia piece titled "Chasing Dreams," a collaborative effort by the Political Work Department of the Central Military Commission, the Cyberspace Administration of China, and China Media Group. The piece shed light on a groundbreaking development - the successful validation of a new engine that is set to be integrated into the WZ-10 armed helicopter.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited completes production of 15 LCH Prachand attack helicopters

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has achieved a significant milestone in the induction of the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) Prachand into the Indian Armed Forces. According to Ujjwal Shrotryia's report in Swarajya, HAL has successfully completed the production of 15 LCH units ahead of the contracted schedule. This development marks a crucial step in the LCH's deployment.

GA-ASI General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Mojave STOL UAS demonstrator completes first-ever dirt operation

On August 1, 2023, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) completed multiple successful takeoffs and landings with its Mojave Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) on a dirt strip near El Mirage, California. The ability to take off and land on unimproved surfaces demonstrates Mojave’s departure from traditional fixed-wing aircraft’s dependence on prepared runways. This new capability provides greater versatility and allows the aircraft to operate in areas previously deemed unsuitable for UAS operations.

Philippine Air Force to replace 8 Bell 412EPI helicopters

According to Defense Studies, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) of the Philippine Ministry of Defense has issued a Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) to procure Additional Utility Helicopters (Bell 412) for the Philippine Air Force. The initial funding of Php958,892,963.00 was released on August 3, 2023, representing 15% of the total contract cost. This funding will serve as the project's initial investment, with the remaining payments to be made through Multi-Year Contractual Allocations (MYCA) based on project milestones.

US Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force conduct bilateral training during Talisman Sabre 23

The U.S. Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force executed numerous high-end, multi-domain flying missions from bare bases across the Northern Territory and Western Australia during Talisman Sabre 2023, a biennial large-scale military exercise between Australia and the United States that started in 2005. This is the 10th and largest iteration of the exercise with more than 30,000 personnel from 13 countries participating. Capt. Margaret Kealy-Machella reports.

AFRL US Air Force Air Force Research Laboratory AI agents successfully pilot XQ-58A Valkyrie uncrewed jet aircraft

To reduce risk to aircrews by integrating their activities with uncrewed aerial vehicles with artificial intelligence capabilities, the Air Force Research Laboratory led a successful three-hour sortie, on July 25, demonstrating the first flight of artificial intelligence agents controlling an uncrewed jet aircraft – the XQ-58A Valkyrie.

Belarus Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters violate Polish airspace as provocation while Wagner Group threatens of imminent action reports that, 10 hours after the first sightings on August 1, the Polish Defence Ministry confirmed that two Belarusian helicopters – an Mi-8 and an Mi-24 – had violated the Polish airspace and announced that military reinforcements would be sent to the border. This incursion was a deliberate move intended to provoke Warsaw, according to a report published on August 1 in Polish media outlet Onet. Minsk’s taunt prompted Poland to send more troops to its border with Belarus.

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