SpaceX Plans Resumption of Rocket Flights for November | Saudi-led Forces Bomb Yemeni Industrial Site | Aermacchi M-346 Heading to Poland SoonSep 15, 2016 00:58 UTC
- SpaceX aims to resume rocket flights in November following a launch pad fire that destroyed a Falcon 9 rocket and an Israeli communications satellite it was due to lift into orbit earlier this month. The company stated that it has suspended Falcon 9 flights until it completes its investigation into why the rocket burst into flames during fueling for a routine prelaunch test at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. SpaceX had previously stated that a nearly-completed second launch site in Florida, located at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC), would be finished in November. The pad was last used to launch NASA’s space shuttles five years ago.
- Boeing has landed a $700 million US defense contract for Small Diameter Bomb Increment 1 weapons. The USAF deal will see the company deliver the munitions by December 12, 2021 and includes foreign military sales.
- Documents endorsed by retired top US military officers and former national security officials warn of the potential danger posed to US military operations by climate change. A statement in support of the findings was released yesterday and signed by more than a dozen former senior military and national security officials, including retired General Anthony Zinni, former commander of the US Central Command, and retired Admiral Samuel Locklear, head of the Pacific Command until last year. They called on the next US president to create a cabinet level position to deal with climate change and its impact on national security.
- The first units of the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) Alternative Warhead rocket has rolled off Lockheed Martin’s production line. A company statement said the warhead was designed to engage the same target set and achieve the same area-effects requirement as the old MLRS submunition warhead, but without the lingering danger of unexploded ordnance. Lockheed received a US Army initial production contract for the warheads in June 2015.
Middle East & North Africa
- A Yemeni industrial site, supposedly a rebel missile manufacturing site, has been bombed by Saudi-led coalition forces. The bombing, which occurred on Tuesday in the capital of Sanaa, caused a fire that destroyed half the premises and resulted in several million dollars worth of damage. Local businessmen claim that plants located on the site were only used for the manufacture of piping and building supplies.
- South Africa’s Defense Minister announced plans to update the country’s indigenous Rooivalk attack helicopter. Speaking at this year’s African Aerospace & Defence Show, Nosiviwe Masipa-Nqakula said the helicopter has “blooded” itself having carried out a series of successful operations as part of the United Nations’ peacekeeping missions in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Manufacturer Denel is also working on marketing the helicopter to other African governments who are fighting insurgencies, namely Nigeria and Egypt, and further afield governments like India and Brazil.
- Deliveries of the Leonardo Aermacchi M-346 advanced jet trainer destined for Poland will soon be underway following the successful conclusion of electromagnetic testing in an anechoic chamber. The next phase of experimental and certification flights will see two Polish aircraft have their communications and avionics systems tested, before moving on to trials of their embedded tactical training simulation (ETTS) equipment. The first of eight aircraft will touch down in Poland in November.
- Weapons Experts have warned of the ramping up of uranium enrichment by North Korea. The new uranium, when combined with current plutonium stocks, will give the regime enough material for 20 nuclear warheads. Pyongyang’s ability to evade a decade of UN sanctions has allowed it to develop the uranium enrichment process, enabling it to run an effectively self-sufficient nuclear program that is capable of producing around six nuclear bombs a year.
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