Drone Refuels Aircraft | Turkey Will Unveil 5th Gen Combat Aircraft Prototype in 2023 | Pentagon Starts Tunisian T-6C Sales Process
Sikorsky won a $9.5 million order, which provides systems engineering and program management services in support of CH-53K low rate initial production Lots 5 and 6 aircraft rate tooling. The CH-53K is the United States Marine Corps’ (USMC) heavy lift replacement for the CH-53E. It is a new-build helicopter that will expand the fleet’s ability to move more material, more rapidly throughout the area of responsibility using proven and mature technologies. Work will take place in the UK, Washington, Connecticut and Spain. Estimated completion is in December 2024.
The American MQ-25 programme has successfully conducted the first ever aerial refueling operations between a crewed receiver aircraft and an uncrewed tanker. According to the US Navy, the successful flight “demonstrated that the MQ-25 Stingray can fulfill its tanker mission using the Navy’s standard probe-and-drogue aerial refueling method”.
Middle East & Africa
Turkey is working on its ambitious TF-X National Combat Aircraft. Temel Kotil, general manager of Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), which is the main contractor of the project, told government-owned Anadolu Agency that the production process is progressing well and that the prototype, which includes avionics, control and hydraulic systems, will be unveiled for the first time on March 18, 2023.
Textron won a $12.5 million firm-fixed-price, undefinitized contract action for Tunisia T-6C long lead items procurement and site survey. This contract provides for the procurement of long lead production items and spares to support delivery of eight T-6Cs in 2022 and conducting a site survey in Tunisia. Work is expected to be completed October 2022.
According to the UK Defence Journal, an F-35B Lightning from British Carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth has conducted the UK Lightning Force’s first ‘austere forward refuellng’ in an overseas environment, whilst operating from the aircraft carrier. The RAF aircraft flew to the Italian island of Pantelleria where it conducted a fast ground refuel from an Italian KC-130J.
Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) is assembling five more prototypes of its KF-21 fighter jet after the first prototype was rolled-out on April 9. The first prototype is currently in the building opposite the assembly line, where its insides are exposed for ground testing which will take another year or so, a report in South Korean media outlet Hankyoreh, which was granted access to the assembly line, said.
Watch: T-6A Texan II Inflight Cockpit Vid • 80th Flying Training Wing