Here Are All The Most Interesting Military News From Paris Air Show 2023

Le Bourget


Le Bourget
The Dassault Rafale on show at Le Bourget (All photographs: Creator, except in any other case acknowledged)

We have now attended the 54th Worldwide Paris Air Present at Le Bourget.

After 4 years the plane trade reunited once more at Le Bourget, for the 54th Paris Air Present. A complete of 380,000 guests gathered on the present floor throughout your complete week. The present began on Monday, June 19, and ended on Sunday, June 25 (the primary 4 days are reserved for commerce guests and the weekend for most of the people). About 2,500 exhibitors from 46 international locations and 150 plane occupied an space of 125,000 sqm. The quantity of contracts signed throughout the commerce days was greater than spectacular, totalling roughly 150 billion USD; that’s greater than the GDP of Morocco! Here’s a fast abstract, removed from full, of what was on show and a very powerful information from the present, focusing solely on the army sector.

Dassault Rafale (Picture credit score: Anthony Guerra)

As all the time, the present was inaugurated on Monday morning by the French President Emmanuel Macron. There have been loads of delegations within the chalets and on the static show space throughout the commerce days: the organizers reported 222 Official Defence and Institutional Delegations from 97 international locations. Russia was, after all, the nice absent. In comparison with the earlier version in 2019 (the air present was cancelled in 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic), there have been additionally much less “unique” plane just like the JF-17 Thunder or the Kawasaki P-1.

Flight shows

Throughout the commerce days the flight program was restricted to round three hours and even shortened on Thursday due to dangerous climate. It was however doable to admire the standard however all the time fascinating demo of the Dassault Rafale. The spectacular F-35A of the USAF showcased the capabilities of this plane, presenting its nice qualities additionally at low speeds and excessive g-s. The one two different fighter show throughout the commerce days have been on Wednesday and Thursday, with the Belgian F-16 Solo Show in “Dream Viper” livery and the Spanish Eurofighter Storm (solely Wednesday).

Eurofighter Storm throughout its show (Picture credit score: Alex Marc)

Airbus and Embraer confirmed off their airlifters, the A400M and KC-390 Millennium respectively (with stickers to rejoice the total operational functionality reached by this sort of plane). A particular point out goes additionally to the A400M with the tail artwork “Defender Europe 2023” of the German Luftwaffe that paid a fast go to on Wednesday and took off throughout the exhibition of the Pipistrel Velis Electro.

The helicopter shows of the H-665 Tigre and the NH-90 have been enriched by a fairly spectacular civilian H160 (the army model of which is scheduled to be delivered to the French Armed Forces ranging from 2026).

Static show and chosen bulletins

The army static show was additionally dominated by French/European made plane. Airbus showcased an A330MRTT already within the livery of the French Air Pressure (the plane it’s the eleventh tanker of this sort to enter service within the Armée de l’Air and was delivered to its new dwelling in Istres in the beginning of July); a Spanish Eurofighter Storm; a C295 MSA with provisional Spanish markings that was then delivered to the Irish Air Corps on June 27, 2023; a German H145M with shark nostril artwork; a Hungarian H225M; a mock-up of the H125M and a H175M on the stand of the French Armed Forces.

The Airbus static show

The drones have been introduced too, with the mock-up of the Eurodrone (the primary flight is scheduled in 2025) and of the usVSR700 developed to function particularly on board frigates and destroyers. The French Armed Forces introduced additionally a Dassault Rafale M of the French Navy and a Dassault Mirage 2000 with the particular livery “Banc d’essais Rafale 1993-2023” (Rafale testbed), an NH-90 and one other A400M.

The US had a powerful presence, with the already talked about F-35A, two F-16s from Spangdahlem and an F-15 from RAF Lakenheath accompanied by a C-130J Hercules, a KC-46 tanker, a P-8 Poseidon and three helicopters: the CH-47F Block II (latest addition within the Chinook household), the most recent growth of the Apache, the AH-64E V6 and an UH-60 Black Hawk.

P-8 Poseidon and C-130J Tremendous Hercules.
CH-47F Chinook (Picture credit score: Anthony Guerra)

Embraer proudly confirmed two KC-390, together with the primary KC-390 Millennium for the Portuguese Air Pressure (the plane arrived in Portugal the earlier October and will enter service, after being fitted with varied gear by OGMA and passing the routine certification exams, later this 12 months) and an A-29 Tremendous Tucano.

The Brazilian firm is in search of extra purchasers for his or her Millennium, after the primary export successes. Austria might be the subsequent European nation to order the KC-390, as they must exchange their getting older C-130K quickly. Not removed from the Tucano, Pilatus introduced the PC-21. This kind is in use additionally within the French Armed Forces.

Portuguese Air Pressure KC-390.

One other turboprop coach was on show at Diamond’s stand. The Dart-750 took off for the primary time on June twelfth and flew to Le Bourget some days later. It’s powered by a Pratt&Whitney Canada PT6A-25C turboprop. The Dart-750 ought to get EASA certification in 2024 and is without doubt one of the varieties thought of by the Belgian Air Pressure to switch their getting older SF.260s.

Dart 750.

Leonardo delivered to Paris an M345, an M346FA, an AW169M of the Italian Guardia di Finanza with skids and a Falco Xplorer that was showcased for the primary time armed with a Brimstone missile. Notable point out to the AS169M on which you possibly can spot an enormous primary that celebrated the truth that was the primary the helicopter of this sort to be delivered to Guardia di Finanza again in January. The helicopter is predicated in Pratica di Mare (close to Rome).


Persevering with with drones, Paris was the stage for the premiere of the Turgis&Gaillard Aarok, a 5,5t French constructed MALE UCAV for surveillance and assault missions. The UAV will begin flying earlier than the tip of this 12 months with a projected endurance of as much as 24 hours and a most payload of 3t.

The Aarok,

One other new sight on the present was the mock-up of the 11t helicopter T925, which was first introduced to the general public on Monday, Jun. 19. The T925 goals to enter service within the Turkish Armed Forces and will probably be powered by two Motor Sich TV3-117VMA-SBM1V engines.

Mock up of T925

Because the scenario in Ukraine remains to be very tense, TAI (Turkish Aerospace Industries) is able to develop a brand new sort of engine by itself. Motor Sich engines are additionally powering the assault helicopter ATAK II, a mock-up of which was displayed too. The primary prototype made its first flight in April.

ATAK II mock up.

TAI showcased the mock-ups of the UAV Anka and its largest growth, the dual engine Aksungur. The newest can carry guided and unguided weapons on six hardpoints and is already in service with Turkey and Kyrgyzstan, with additional orders from Algeria and Angola. As well as, TAI confirmed a scale mannequin of the ANKA III UCAV, which ought to conduct its maiden flight in July.

The AVIC (Aviation Trade Company of China) formally unveiled a 1:10 scale mannequin of the Wing Loong-X (WL-X), the latest addition within the Wing Loong UCAV household. Their stand was filled with fashions representing their precise and future manufacturing. The curiosity for the Chinese language merchandise was excessive as many delegations have been seen visiting AVIC’s sales space and different Chinese language firms.

However China was not the one Far Jap nation with a powerful presence. After the South Korean success in Poland (the nation ordered 48 KAI FA-50 mild fight plane in 2022 plus a wide range of different weapons, together with tanks and self-propelled howitzers) the Asian nation is in search of to spice up their defence exports much more. Japan didn’t ship any plane this time (in 2019 we may admire each the Kawasaki C-2 and the P-1 – each varieties have been thus far marketed with out success however already are two confirmed platforms that deserve extra consideration from worldwide prospects).

An attention-grabbing sight within the static show was additionally a Beechcraft Tremendous King Air 200 of the Armed Forces of Malta Air Wing. The aircraft is supplied with a maritime surveillance radar. The Austrian firm Airborne Applied sciences and De Havilland Canada showcased the DHC-6 Guardian 400 demo plane that was already on show in 2019 and is, in accordance with Airborne Applied sciences web site, at the moment on sale. The Austrian firm will set up its LINX Surveillance System into two DHC-6-300 leased by the Danish Ministry of Defence from Zimex Aviation. The 2 Twin Otters will probably be delivered in 2024. De Havilland Canada introduced additionally the launch of the brand new model named DHC-6 Twin Otter Traditional 300-G aiming the civilian market. It is just a matter of time once we will see a army model of it too…

Twin Otter.

Air defence

The struggle in Ukraine is proving, as soon as once more, that within the trendy battlefield, air defence is key. Weapon techniques, that have been withdrawn from service just like the German Gepard, at the moment are enjoying an important function in downing loitering munitions because the Shahed – Geran 2. On the opposite aspect there may be additionally a rising give attention to digital warfare.

An enormous variety of missiles have been despatched to Ukraine from varied NATO international locations that may have now to restock their depleted warehouses. The Armed Forces at the moment are specializing in strengthen their air defences and buying new gear. The trade can be finding out new techniques and a few of them have been formally introduced on the present.

MBDA debuted with the idea of a hypersonic missile interceptor, the Aquila, showcasing a three-stage mannequin, the results of 5 years of inside analysis. The mission is supported by France, Italy, Germany and The Netherlands and will enter service in 2030.

One other new interceptor, this time from Rafael, is the Sky Sonic and it was introduced earlier in June. The Sky Sonic is a multi-stage interceptor that ought to efficiently counter hypersonic weapons. The missile was developed in secret for a number of years and has nonetheless to be examined. The Israeli firm additionally unveiled the brand new air-to-air Sky Spear missile, particularly designed for use each for short- and long-range engagements. Additional particulars weren’t offered, however the mission is within the last growth stage.

On Monday, June 19, 5 nations (France, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia and Hungary) signed a LOI with MBDA for the joint acquisition of the Mistral 3 ground-based short-range air defence system.

Safran signed a contract for 2 Floor Grasp 400 Alpha radars for the Estonian Air Pressure. The GM400 Alpha has a variety of as much as 515 km and can be part of the GM400 radars already in service in Estonia.

Raytheon Applied sciences rebranded itself as RTX (RTX was already the inventory ticker of the corporate) on the primary day of the present. The mother or father firm has three (large) subsidiaries: Collins, Pratt&Whitney and Raytheon. The later was awarded a document $1.15 billion contract for AIM-120 D-3 and C-8 AMRAAM missiles from the US DoD. The missiles from the contract will probably be provided to 18 international locations, together with Ukraine.

The DoD additionally signed a $264 million modification to a contract initially awarded in December 2022 to supply and ship 571 AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles and related elements for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Pressure, and international army gross sales prospects. Though the contracts weren’t signed on the Paris Air Present, however throughout the week of the present, they’re a transparent indication of the massive effort the US and different companions are making to resupply their Armed Forces with new air to air and floor to air missiles.

Some extra information from the present and conclusions

Let’s finish the report with just a few extra bulletins and orders from the present that weren’t already talked about above. T

he FCAS (Future Fight Air System) mission has been allotted a 3.2 billion Euro value contract in December 2022 and the full-scale mannequin of the NGF (Subsequent Era Fighter) was uncovered on the similar place as in 2019. Belgium formally entered this system as an observer and the announcement was made throughout the present. The sixth-generation fighter is scheduled to start out flying on the finish of the last decade.

On June 21, Airbus introduced that Spain authorised the procurement of six C295 MPAs that may exchange the already decommissioned P-3 Orions and ten C295 MSAs which are set to switch the getting older fleet of CN235 MSAs.

The Greek Military ordered 4 Safran Patroller UAVs by means of NATO’s Help and Procurement Company and thereby strengthening the already glorious relationship with France, Greece being a long-time operator of Dassault made fighters and different French weapon techniques.

Leonardo and Airbus introduced a MoU to collectively method the built-in coaching techniques market. The settlement may cease the event of the Airbus Future Jet Coach and push gross sales of the M346 and its variants. Extra about that in our dedicated article.

The Italian firm can be rising their share within the Eurodrone programme and has signed a contract with Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) to offer an undisclosed variety of extra MCH-101 naval helicopters to the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Pressure (JMSDF) which already operates ten MCH-101 and three CH-101 helicopters that may all endure a mid-life improve.

The Paris Air Present reveals the traits and merchandise that may dominate the aerospace trade within the subsequent years. It’s the place the place main contracts are signed, particularly within the civilian trade, because the state actors have (understandably) an extended approval process. Nonetheless it is a crucial assembly level additionally for the defence trade, confirmed by the quite a few delegations that attended Le Bourget.

Enthusiastic about aviation from a lifetime, contributor of the Slovenian aviation web site sierra5.web. Sometimes author for blogbeforeflight.web, and different media.


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