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First US fighter ace since Vietnam emerges in Red Sea conflict

As the skies over the Red Sea grow more volatile in light of recent attacks on international shipping in the region from Houthi-backed militants in Yemen, Capt Earl Ehrhart V – a USMC AV-8B Harrier II pilot – has intercepted and shot down seven confirmed Houthi drones since December 2023, becoming the first American fighter ace since the end of the Vietnam War

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Ethiopia acquires Su-30K fighters and Akinci drones

The Ethiopian Air Force (EAF) has taken delivery of two Russian-built Su-30K Flanker-F multi-role fighters and an unspecified number of Turkish-made Bayraktar Akinci unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAVs)

Pentagon confirms USAF MQ-9As are operating over Gaza

The Pentagon Press Secretary, Brig Gen Pat Ryder, recently confirmed that the USAF has been carrying out “unarmed UAV flights over Gaza” since October 7 in support of “hostage recovery efforts”

Turkey's Baykar kicks off Bayraktar TB3 UCAV flight testing

The new Bayraktar TB3 UCAV successfully completed its maiden flight at the Akinci Flight Training and Test Center in the Çorlu district of Tekirdağ, Turkey, on October 27, neatly presaging the nation’s 100th annual Republic Day celebrations

US Navy’s unmanned MQ-4C Triton fleet achieves IOC

Northrop Grumman’s MQ-4C Triton HALE UAV achieved Initial Operational Capability with the US Navy in early September

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Is Russia using its new S-70 Okhotnik-B UCAV against Ukraine?

While state testing of Sukhoi’s S-70 Okhotnik-B UCAV was not expected to conclude before the end of 2023, media reports have indicated that Russia may have already started using the platform to conduct operational missions over Ukraine

USMC’s VMU-3 achieves IOC with MQ-9A

The USMC’s Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 3 (VMU-3) ‘Phantoms’ celebrated reaching Initial Operational Capability with the MQ-9A Reaper medium-altitude, long-endurance UAV at MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, on August 4

USAF seeks to fly unmanned aircraft from RAF Fairford from 2024

In late July, British media channels reported that the USAF had applied to the UK’s aviation regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority, to change its airspace rules in order to allow RQ-4B Global Hawk HALE UAVs and MQ-9A Reaper MALE UCAVs to fly from RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire

UAE’s EDGE signs engine agreement with Brazilian developer

The UAE’s advanced military technology and defence group, EDGE, signed a strategic agreement with Turbomachine, one of Brazil’s foremost turbine engine developers, on August 11

US approves sale of more MQ-9A Reaper drones to the Netherlands

US State Department approval has been granted for the possible Foreign Military Sale of four General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-9A Block 5 Reaper UCAVs and related equipment to the Netherlands for an estimated cost of $611m