FEBRUARY 2023 news

Defense Aviation and Aerospace Industry


HENSOLDT to strengthen CAE Aviation surveillance fleet with PrecISR high-performance radar

Sensor solutions specialist HENSOLDT will supply another multi-mission surveillance radar PrecISR to one of the biggest airborne surveillance providers, CAE Aviation, Luxembourg. CAE Aviation, which operates a large fleet of surveillance aircraft, has decided to renew its trust in HENSOLDT by awarding them with a contract to deliver one new PrecISR1000. This is the second order after HENSOLDT delivered the first PrecISR in 2021.

NAVDEX 2023: Turkish firm Baykar showcases Akinci UCAV for first time

Akinci UCAV is showcased by the Turkish drone manufacturer Baykar for the first time at NAVDEX, which began on February 20 and will continue till February 24.

Bell completes Bahrain AH-1Z attack helicopter program of record

Bell Textron has completed the AH-1Z program of record (POR) for the Kingdom of Bahrain. Bell delivered the final production aircraft to Naval Air Systems Command in December of 2022. The first Bahrain AH-1Zs made their in-country debut during the Bahrain Air Show and six have been delivered in the country. The final six helicopters will be prepared for shipment to Bahrain with the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) before being transported to Bahrain in 2023.

Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman sign Letter of Intent with Rheinmetall to manufacture F-35 center fuselages

Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman have signed a letter of intent with Rheinmetall AG as a promising strategic source of supply for the F-35 center fuselage. This potential partnership would establish a second F-35 center fuselage integrated assembly line (IAL) in Germany, expanding the significant role European industry plays in the F-35 program.

BAE Systems and Leonardo collaborate on interoperable aircraft survivability solution

BAE Systems and Leonardo UK recently received U.S. government approval to develop an interoperable aircraft survivability suite consisting of BAE Systems’ AN/AAR-57 Common Missile Warning System (CMWS) and Leonardo’s Miysis Directed Infrared Countermeasure (DIRCM) System. The combined capability will significantly enhance aircraft survivability against advanced threats.

Sukhoi designs bionic landing gear for Su-57 Felon fighter jet

The Sukhoi Design Bureau has created the first aircraft component by bionic design. It is an aluminum landing gear for Su-57 fighter jet, the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) said: “The first unit of the bionic design is an aluminum carrier (landing gear) for the Su-57. It is a fully domestic design, which was created on a super computer. The Pan-Russian Research Institute of Aviation Materials (VNIAM) used domestic aluminum powder to 3D print the unit,” it said.

Sikorsky delivers two more CH-53K King Stallion helicopters to US Marine Corps

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, delivered two CH-53K King Stallion helicopters to the U.S. Marine Corps in the final quarter of 2022. These CH-53K heavy lift helicopters join the seven already in operation at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

Northrop Grumman multi-platform demonstration showcased interoperability among F-35, MQ-4C Triton, E-2D Advanced Hawkeye and naval ships

Northrop Grumman successfully demonstrated its gateway technology in a flight test that proved the ability to connect airborne platforms with naval assets. The first-of-its-kind demonstration was conducted with Naval Air Systems Command, Office of Naval Research, Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific and BAE Systems.

Lockheed Martin VISTA X-62 advancing autonomy and changing the face of air power

The Lockheed Martin VISTA X-62A, a one-of-a-kind training aircraft, was flown by an artificial intelligence agent for more than 17 hours recently, representing the first time AI engaged on a tactical aircraft. VISTA, short for Variable In-flight Simulation Test Aircraft, is changing the face of air power at the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School (USAF TPS) at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

Polish Air Force receives MQ-A9 Reaper drones leased from General Atomics

According to a tweet posted on February 12 by Mariusz Blaszkzak, Polish Minister of Defense, it appears that General Atomics MALE (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) MQ-9A Reaper drones have been delivered this same day to Poland, leased from the USA as part of an urgent operational need. They will serve in the Air Force, conducting reconnaissance, among others, on Poland’s eastern border.

Hensoldt wins 100 millions contract for future project FCAS

According to a PR published by Hensoldt on February 10, 2023, sensor solutions provider HENSOLDT is developing essential core elements of the novel sensor network in the German-French-Spanish armament project FCAS (= Future Combat Air System).

Northrop Grumman-built Common Infrared Countermeasure Systems approved by US Army for early fielding on helicopters

Northrop Grumman‘s Common Infrared Countermeasures (CIRCM) system has achieved Initial Operational Capability (IOC). With IOC, the U.S. Army demonstrated the ability to field, employ and maintain CIRCM in significant quantities on its rotary wing platforms. This milestone advances the accelerated fielding of CIRCM systems on more than 1,500 Army aircraft. CIRCM has met the IOC requirements for UH-60M, HH-60M, CH-47F and AH-64Es.

Philippine Army to buy Fuji-Bell AH-1S Cobra attack helicopters from Japan

Max Montero on February 8 tweeted that, while the Philippine Army announced plans to acquire Fuji-Bell UH-1J Huey helicopters from Japan, it also showed interest to get at least 1 squadron of Fuji-Bell AH-1S Cobra attack helicopters, which are scheduled for retirement from the Japan Self Defense Force service soon.

Iranian Air Force unveils Asef new cruise missile mounted on Su-24 bomber

Tasnim news agency reported that the Iranian Air Force on Tuesday, February 7, unveiled a homegrown long-range cruise missile mounted on a Sukhoi Su-24MK tactical bomber. The “Asef” air-launched cruise missile is manufactured in Iran. The weapon was put on display during the unveiling of the Air Force’s first tactical underground airbase designated Oghab-44.

Leonardo from Italy to upgrade avionics of US Special Forces C-27J Spartan aircraft

The U.S. Department of Defense on February 7 announced that Leonardo Societa per Azioni (S.p.A.), Pomigliano d'Arco, Naples, Italy, is being awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract in the amount of $91,882,621 with firm-fixed-price requirements to design, modify, integrate and install the 1.2+ avionics update package on the C-27J fixed-wing aircraft of the US.S Special Operation Command.

Spanish Predator B drones to be finally armed with bombs and missiles

The Spanish Air Force will finally start arming its four Predator B drones with bombs and missiles, Chris King reports in euroweeklynews.com. It confirmed it on Monday, February 7. These UAVs are currently in service with the 233 Squadron at the Talavera la Real air base located in Badajoz.

Hensoldt Kalaetron Attack jamming system flight tested on PC-12 proves effectiveness

Sensor solution provider Hensoldt has proven the effectiveness of its jamming system "Kalaetron Attack" against air defence radars of various types for the first time in extended flight tests. In challenging near-mission scenarios, a demonstrator system on board a Pilatus PC-12 test aircraft proved that it can detect even the latest air defence radars in flight and interfere with them by means of precisely directed jamming signals.

BAE Systems delivers 1,000th F-35 Lightning II fuselage to Lockheed Martin

BAE Systems has delivered the 1,000th rear fuselage to Lockheed Martin for the F-35, the world's most advanced and capable fifth generation fighter. More than 1,500 employees at the Company’s facilities in Samlesbury, Lancashire, produce the rear fuselage for every F-35 in the global fleet. The first fuselage was delivered to Lockheed Martin in 2005.

Iran Air Force unveils Oghab-44 underground air base

Tasnim news agency reports that the Iranian Air Force unveiled its first underground military base on Tuesday, February 7. Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri, and Iran’s Army Commander, Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi, visited the subterranean air base, named Oghab-44 (Eagle-44). The tactical airbase can accommodate and prepare various aircraft, including fighter jets, bombers, and unmanned aerial vehicles, for missions.

Australia orders 40 Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawks

Australia will acquire 40 Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawks, which are designed and manufactured by Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company. The deal between the Australian and United States governments for a foreign military sale of 40 UH-60Ms for the Australian Army is valued at approximately $1.95 billion. Deliveries are slated to begin early this year.

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