MARCH 2023 news

Defense Aviation and Aerospace Industry


Boeing to produce 184 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters for US Army and foreign customers

Boeing will build 184 AH-64E Apaches for the U.S. Army and foreign customers, including the first Apaches for Australia. This $1.9 billion award brings the total current funded value of the contract to $2.1 billion and has the potential to increase to more than $3.8 billion with future obligations.

Slovakia to donate 13 MiG-29 jet fighters to Ukraine

The Government of the Slovak Republic on March 17 announced that it has decided to provide Ukraine with MiG-29 fighter jets that are grounded and no longer usable for Slovakia. In accordance with the UN Charter and good, friendly relations with Ukraine, it decided by consensus and fully with the Constitution of the Slovak Republic in favor of donating planes - protecting human lives.

Poland buying 800 AGM-114R2 Hellfire missiles

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency on March 16 announced that the State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Poland of AGM-114R2 Hellfire missiles and related equipment for an estimated cost of $150 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale.

Poland to transfer four MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine Air Force

Poland will send four of its MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine, becoming the first NATO country to send planes to thi country since Russia invaded it on February 24, 2022. Polish President Andrzej Duda said they would be sent in the coming days, and more units to be given in the future.

Belgian Defense launches task force for Next Generation Combat Aircraft Technologies

In the coming weeks, the Belgian Royal Higher Institute for Defense(IRSD) will bring together important players from the Belgian industry within the framework of the “Next Generation Combat Aircraft Technologies” working group. As foreseen in the “Defence, Industry & Research Strategy” of the Minister of Defense Ludivine Dedonder, this working group will examine the possibilities for the Belgian industry to participate in projects for the development of new-generation combat aircraft. The objective is to be able to formulate an opinion during the month of June to the federal government on the industrial possibilities of our country in this context.

ADASI from United Arab Emirates unveiled Jeniah UCAS unmanned combat drone at IDEX 2023

At the International Defence Exhibition and Conference IDEX (IDEX 23) that took place in Abu Dhabi (UAE) last February, the Abu Dhabi Autonomous Systems Investments company (ADASI), a member of the EDGE group, unveiled a mock-up of its Jeniah Unmanned Combat Aerial System (UCAS).

Iranian Air Force to get Sukhoi Su-35 jets from Russia

Iran will purchase Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets from Russia, Iranian state media said on March 11, echoed by Jewish News Syndicate on March 12: “The Sukhoi-35 fighter planes are technically acceptable to Iran and Iran has finalized a contract for their purchase,” the IRIB news outlet quoted Iran’s mission to the United Nations as saying. Details of the reported deal were not disclosed.

Russian Su-27 Flanker fighter jet strikes US MQ-9 Reaper UAS over Black Sea

On March 14, David Vergun, U.S. Department of Defense, reports that a Russian Su-27 aircraft struck a U.S. Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicle's propeller, causing U.S. forces to bring it down into international waters of the Black Sea early in the morning, according to U.S. Air Force Gen. James B. Hecker, commander, U.S. Air Forces Europe and Air Forces Africa in a statement.

US Department of the Air Force 2024 budget proposal invests in modernization and transformation

The U.S. Department of the Air Force unveiled a $259.3 billion budget request on March 13 designed to continue modernizing the Air Force and Space Force to meet evolving threats while also nourishing current needs that include training, readiness and fostering new technology.

Lockheed Martin and Royal Bahraini Air Force celebrate delivery of Bahrain's first F-16 Block 70 fighter

Bahraini, American and Lockheed Martin officials on March 10 celebrated the first F-16 Block 70 for the Royal Bahraini Air Force today at Lockheed Martin in Greenville, South Carolina. The Kingdom of Bahrain has a unique history with the F-16: it was the first F-16 operator in the Gulf Cooperation Council beginning in the early 1990s, and now is receiving the first F-16 Block 70.

South Korean KF-21 Boramae fighter prototypes perform first nighttime flights

South Korea's homegrown KF-21 Boramae fighter jet prototypes have successfully conducted their first nighttime flights, the state arms procurement agency said on March 10. The 3rd and 4th prototypes of the KF-21 conducted the test flights the previous night, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA). It marked the first time that the KF-21 conducted a night flight.

Belgian Defense launches purchase procedure for 20 new helicopters

On March 10, on the proposal of the Belgian Minister of Defense Ludivine Dedonder, the Council of Ministers gave the green light to launch the procedure for the acquisition of 15 "light utility" helicopters through the central purchasing office of the NATO, as well as the purchase of 5 additional helicopters for the Federal Police. This is an important step towards the replacement of part of the Defense helicopter fleet, as part of Minister Ludivine Dedonder's STAR plan.

Slovakia and Poland are ready to deliver Ukraine MiG-29 fighter aircraft

On March 9, 2023, the Slovak Minister of Defense, Jaroslav Nad, announced that Slovakia is ready to provide Ukraine with MiG-29 fighter jets from the Slovak Air Force inventory. These fighters retired last summer, but some of them are still in operational condition. At the same time, Poland could also deliver an undisclosed number of Soviet-made MiG-29 fighters to Ukraine.

Airbus Corporate Helicopters delivers first example of the ACH160 Exclusive helicopter

Airbus Corporate Helicopters has delivered the first example of the ACH160 Exclusive helicopter. The helicopter is not only the first ACH160 in Exclusive configuration to be delivered globally but also the first ACH160 of any version to be delivered in Europe. It was accepted by a private customer based in France and entered service immediately.

Lockheed Martin, Korea Aerospace Industries and Red 6 Aerospace form emerging technology partnership

Lockheed Martin, Korea Aerospace Industries and Red 6 Aerospace on March 7 announced a new partnership that will deliver advanced 21st Century Security capabilities across a spectrum of training and combat aircraft. The partnership will initially bring Red 6's revolutionary augmented reality platform, the Airborne Tactical Augmented Reality System (ATARS), into the TF-50 and its variants. The system gives pilots and ground operators new capabilities to see and interact with synthetic threats in real-time, high-speed environments.

First Dassault Rafale F4 delivered to French Air and Space Force

Four years after the formalization of the development of the French Air Force’s Rafale F4, the CEAM (Centre d’expertise aérienne militaire, Military Air Expertise Center) has just received the first Rafale to the F4.1 standard on the air base 118 of Mont-de-Marsan, Victor Riou reports in Air & Cosmos.

Elbit Systems receives order for 120th Hermes 900 UAV Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

ElbitSystems has received and order for its 120th Hermes 900 Medium-Range Long-Altitude (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The family of the Hermes 900 multi-role MALE UAV is Elbit Systems' largest unmanned aerial vehicle and is capable of performing a wide range of missions including persistent intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR). The advanced UAVcan also can perform ground support and maritime patrol missions, and provides the capabilities for integrated multi-platform, multi-sensor operations.

Northrop Grumman selected to build and demonstrate backbone of connected battlespace for US Air Force

Northrop Grumman will participate in Phase 1 of the Common Tactical Edge Network (CTEN) consortium, an opportunity to leverage digital engineering to build and demonstrate the backbone of a connected battlespace for the U.S. Air Force.

RSAF Singapore Air Force to get 8 more F-35B Lightning IIs

According to the Singaporean Ministry of Defense, exclusive access to the F-35’s full-scale features persuaded the government to procure additional jets. The access comprised details of the F-35B’s information and facilities and was granted to the RSAF and the Singaporean Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA), Rojoef Manuel reports in The Defense Post.

Australia purchasing Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missiles-Extended Range worth US$506Mn

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency on February 27 announced that the State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Australia of Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missiles-Extended Range (AARGM-ERs) and related equipment for an estimated cost of $506 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale.

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