Lockheed Martin won a $108,3 million deal for the Mk21A Reentry Vehicle program. The contract is to conduct technology maturation and risk reduction to provide a low technical risk and affordable RV capable of delivering the W87-1 warhead from the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent Weapon System. The Air Force Nuclear Weapon Center has determined it necessary to develop a Reentry Vehicle for the W87-1 warhead that will be deployed on the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent Weapon System. The W87 is a thermonuclear missile warhead. Work will take place in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania and is expected to be finished by October 2022.
The first Dream Chaser cargo spacecraft to go into space has been delivered to Sierra Nevada Corporation for final assembly and testing. It was built by Lockheed Martin. The spacecraft’s two wings and cargo module are to be delivered later. The schedule calls for the Dream Chaser to launch into orbit as early as September 2021. At a media event at a company facility, SNC took possession of the primary structure of the first orbital Dream Chaser vehicle. That structure was recently shipped from a Lockheed facility in Fort Worth, Texas, to SNC. Lockheed Martin contributed to the construction using both its space and aeronautics expertise, the latter coming from a facility that makes composite structures for the F-35 fighter aircraft.
Middle East & Africa
US F-15s and Apache attack helicopters carried out a ‘show of force’ near Ayn Issa, Syria after Turkish militia came close to a US base, threatening troops there. The incident underscores the complex battlefield in Syria as 1,000 American troops are withdrawing from the country in the middle of fighting between Turkish forces and Syrian Kurds. The Turkish-backed fighters had violated an agreement with the US to not get too close to US forces and threaten them, officials said. The US military also formally contacted the Turkish military to protest the risk posed to the American forces by the nearby presence of Turkish-backed fighters.
India delivered the final two of four refurbished Russian-built Mil Mi-24 ‘Hind’ attack helicopters it had promised the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) in early 2018 to boost their counter-insurgency capabilities. The two Mi-24Vs, which were purchased from Belarus, were officially handed over by Vinay Kumar, India’s ambassador to Afghanistan, during a ceremony held on October 15 at the Afghan Air Force (AAF) base in Kabul, according to the Indian Embassy in Kabul. These helicopters are a replacement for the four attack helicopters previously gifted by India to Afghanistan in 2015 and 2016. In March 2018 Afghanistan’s then-ambassador to India, Shaida Mohammad Abdali, told the Hindustan Times newspaper that the Mi-24s were being acquired under a trilateral agreement signed between Afghanistan, Belarus, and India.
News reports say Bulgaria’s deputy prime minister and defense minister has floated the idea of buying the KAI T-50 and set up an assembly line for the aircraft locally. KAI developed the T-50 Trainer with US Lockheed Martin from 1997-2006. This helped the Bulgarian government select the trainer. The T-50 is 13.14 meters long, 9.45 meters wide and 4.94 meters tall and weighs 6.3 ton, which is 77 percent of the F-16 weight. It runs on the F404-GE-102 engine, which is used for the US FA-18 model. The T-50 features a high speed of Mach 1.5, a rare speed for a trainer and the latest digital flight system. The F-50 is evaluated suitable for so-called fifth-generation fighters such as the F-35 and the F-22. It has a maximum flying range of 2,592 kilometers and a maximum flight altitude of 16 kilometers.
Boeing, StandardAero and AAR Aircraft Services each won a contract modification in support of the P-8A Poseidon. Boeing and StandardAero will provide CFM56-7B27A/3 and CFM56-7B27AE engine depot maintenance and repair, field assessment, maintenance repair and overhaul engine repair, and technical assistance for removal and replacement of engines for the P-8A Poseidon aircraft in support of the Navy, the government of Australia and Foreign Military Sales customers. AAr Aircraft Services will provide P-8A Poseidon aircraft depot scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, fulfillment of depot in-service repair/planner and estimator requirements, technical directive incorporation, airframe modifications, aircraft on ground support, and removal and replacement of engines in support of the Navy, the government of Australia and Foreign Military Sales customers. Boeing won $193.3 million, StandardAero was awarded $174.7 million and AAR won $44.9 million. Work is expected to be complete by October next year.
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