The 54th edition of the Paris Air Show was due to take place in 2021, but the pandemic led to the cancellation of that year edition, postponing what for French people remains the Salon du Bourget to 2023.
With the commercial aviation picking up pace after the nearly complete stop due to COVID, the Paris Air Show 2023, PAS 23 in short, saw a considerable activity also in the defence domain, due to the new geopolitical climate established in Europe following the Russian aggression to Ukraine.
With the 5th generation combat systems, the definition aircraft does not apply anymore, in the background, generating numerous briefings as even models are still some years away, a few topic of interest could be identified.
One is definitely the defence against hypersonic weapons, Russia having been the first nation to use operationally this new category of weapon. Currently Europe seems only oriented towards defensive ones. In Paris the French State R&D centre, the ONERA, was showing the concept of a hypersonic aircraft, which will quite probably be unmanned; is this to be considered necessarily offensive, as missiles are? Probably partly yes.
Another result from recent confrontations is loitering munitions. Their effectiveness was proved even before the start of Putin’s “special military operation” and more than more players are showing up in that arena, proposing conventional as well as less conventional solutions. Of course unmanned air systems are still multiplying, especially those carrying ordnance.
In a changing world trends are also changing, and at PAS 25 it will probably be clearer which are the incoming development trends.
Hereafter our readers can find a selection of topics among the many news proposed on the historical airport of Le Bourget.