Paris Air Show 2023: Lockheed Martin maps out Black Hawk upgrade path to 2070

by Gareth Jennings

With the Black Hawk still being built by PZL Mielec in Poland (pictured) and by Sikorsky in the US, parent company Lockheed Martin and the US Army have mapped out an upgrade path to keep the helicopter in operational service through to 2070. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

Lockheed Martin has mapped out an upgrade plan that will keep the S-70 Black Hawk medium-lift helicopter in operational service with the US Army and international customers through to 2070.

Speaking to Janes and other defence media ahead of the Paris Air Show 2023 in early June, Anthony Tite, head of Business Development at Lockheed Martin UK, said that despite having half a century of operational life under its belt, the Black Hawk will continue to serve for another half century under plans outlined by the US Army.

“The Black Hawk has 50 years behind it and 50 years ahead of it, it is a mid-life aircraft!” he said.

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Singapore attributes F-16 crash to ‘rare' gyroscopic failure

by Akhil Kadidal & Raghuraman C S

The crash of an RSAF F-16 on 8 May shortly after take-off has been attributed to an unusual gyroscopic malfunction. While the variant involved in the crash is not known, it is likely the single-seat ‘C' version (as depicted in this 2016 file photo) was involved. (Roslan Rahman/AFP via Getty Images)

A Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Lockheed Martin F-16, which crashed on 8 May, was found to have suffered simultaneous gyroscopic failure soon after take-off, according to the Singapore Ministry of Defence (MINDEF).

MINDEF said in a statement that the F-16 crashed on 8 May soon after it took off from Tengah Air Base. A joint RSAF-Lockheed Martin investigation has determined that the aircraft's pitch rate gyroscopes are to blame, MINDEF added on 18 May.

“The flight data recorder recovered from the crashed F-16 showed that its pitch rate gyroscopes gave erroneous inputs to the flight control computer (FLCC),” MINDEF said. “This led to the pilot being unable to control the plane at take-off.”

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Poland completes receipt of Turkish UAVs

by Gareth Jennings

Poland now has all 24 of the TB2 UAVs it ordered from Türkiye, operating them across four systems based at the 12th Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Base at Mirosławiec. (Polish MND)

Poland has received the last of 24 Baykar Bayraktar TB2 armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Türkiye.

The Polish Armaments Agency (AA) announced the milestone on 16 May, saying that the last four unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), each comprising six UAVs, had been received into the 12th Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Base at Mirosławiec on the same day.

“The Secretary of State in the Ministry of National Defense, Paweł Bejda, together with representatives of the Polish Armed Forces, took part in the ceremony of completing the delivery of the last, fourth set of the Bayraktar TB2 unmanned reconnaissance and strike system,” the AA said.

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Edge unveils Hunter 5 loitering munition prototype in test video

by Jeremy Binnie

The Hunter 5 prototype before its first test flight at the X Range. (Edge Group)

The United Arab Emirates' (UAE's) Edge Group has updated the product page for its Hunter 5 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with a video showing its first test flight.

The video said the flight took place in November 2023 at the company's X Range testing facility on Abu al Abyad island. It showed a prototype fitted with fixed undercarriage and non-folding wings, having its two-cylinder petrol engine manually started before it took off and flew around the range's runway.

The promotional image of the Hunter 5 on the Edge website shows it with folding wings, no undercarriage, and a probable rocket booster for launching it from a rail or canister.

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