Ukraine conflict: UK sending helicopters to Kyiv

by Gareth Jennings

The UK is providing Ukraine with three surplus Sea King helicopters, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

The United Kingdom is donating surplus Westland Sea King helicopters to Ukraine as part of a wider raft of military support measures revealed on 22 November.

The planned transfer of the former military helicopters was made by UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace during a meeting with NATO allies in Oslo, Norway.

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the first delivery of Sea King helicopters had arrived in Ukraine, following training provided by the Royal Navy for 10 crews and ground personnel from the Ukrainian armed forces. According to the BBC, which cited an unnamed source, three helicopters are being transferred.

This transfer would represent the first time that the UK has provided manned aircraft to Ukraine, with unmanned aerial vehicles having previously been donated.


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UK Rivet Joint fleet ups tempo for Black Sea ops

by Richard Scott

The UK's RC-135W Rivet Joint fleet has been operating at almost 200% of the normal tempo. (Crown Copyright)

UK Royal Air Force (RAF) RC-135W Rivet Joint signals intelligence (SIGINT) aircraft have been operating at nearly three times their normal operating tempo to support intelligence-gathering operations in the Black Sea theatre, according to the service's senior operations officer.

Delivering the annual Sir Sydney Camm Lecture at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London on 1 February, Air Marshal Harvey Smyth, deputy commander (operations), added that operations over the last year had put crews “well within harm's way”.

Operated by No 51 Squadron at RAF Waddington, the three Rivet Joint aircraft – ZZ664, ZZ665, and ZZ666 – form part of a wider enterprise between the RAF and the United States Air Force (USAF). As part of the RAF's Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) Force, the RC-135W fleet is used to monitor, collect, and analyse communications and radar signals of interest.


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South Korean army showcases future fighting force

by Kapil Kajal

The RoK Army has created an Army Tiger Demonstration Brigade to test manned-unmanned operations that leverage technologies including AI and unmanned systems such as this 6×6 unmanned surveillance vehicle developed by Hanwha Defense. (Hanwha Defense)

The Republic of Korea (RoK) Army has showcased a new combat unit known as the Army Tiger Demonstration Brigade (ATDB) in a training exercise with the United States.

The exercise was held in Paju city, near the North Korean border. The US Army's quick reaction unit known as Stryker Brigade Combat Team also participated in the drills.

The ATDB is designed to integrate artificial intelligence (AI), unmanned systems, and intelligence-based concepts into the RoK Army combat brigades in the coming decade and beyond.

South Korea's Ministry of National Defense (MND) created the ATDB in 2022 within the RoK Army's 25th Infantry Division in Yangju, Gyeonggi-do province, which is responsible for command-and-control operations.

“Since declaring the first ATDB in 2022, the RoK Army is planning to gradually reform the structure and power system of its brigades and turn all combat brigades into ATDBs by 2040,” an MND spokesperson told Janes.


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India test-flies Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle

by Kapil Kajal

The HSTDV, seen here from a test in September 2020, uses an Agni-1 short-range ballistic missile as the solid rocket booster to place the vehicle into the altitude needed to ensure the operation of the scramjet. (DRDO)

India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has conducted a flight test of the Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV).

A DRDO official confirmed with Janes that the test was conducted from APJ Abdul Kalam Island off the northeastern coast of Odisha. However, the DRDO did not confirm the test results. It said it is assessing the test data and will share the results soon.

The HSTDV was tested for the third time with the current test. The first test flight of the HSTDV took place in June 2019. An Agni-1 short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) was used as the solid rocket booster to place the HSTDV into the altitude needed to ensure the operation of the scramjet.


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The United Kingdom is donating surplus Westland Sea King helicopters to Ukraine as part of a wider r...

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