Test-Launch Of Unarmed ICBM | DoS Approves AMRAAM Sale To Spain | South Korea Starts Final Assembly Of KF-X Prototype
Captive carry tests of two hypersonic weapons have been completed, with their first free flights scheduled for later this year, according to DARPA and the US Air Force. Lockheed Martin and Raytheon have each designed hypersonic missiles for a combined program of the Air Force and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept program “seeks to develop and demonstrate critical technologies to enable an effective and affordable air-launched hypersonic cruise missile,“a DARPA said in a statement. The HAWC weapon employs “hydrocarbon scramjet-powered propulsion,” meaning the traditional fuel and air mixture but in prolonged airflow at speeds in excess of five times the speed of sound.
A test launch on September 2 of an unarmed Minuteman III missile shows that the nuclear deterrent remains safe and reliable, according to the US Air Force. The Air Force Global Strike Command successfully launched the intercontinental ballistic missile, equipped with a test reentry vehicle, from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The reentry vehicle traveled about 4,200 miles to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. “These test launches verify the accuracy and reliability of the ICBM weapon system, providing valuable data to ensure a continued safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent,” the Air Force said in a statement following the launch.
Middle East & Africa
The UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan announced Wednesday it was deploying troops to the country’s strife-torn south following an upsurge in violence by armed rebels against civilians and aid workers. The UN peacekeepers will set up a base at Lobonok, some 110 kilometers southeast of the capital Juba, in a region witnessing a resurgence in violent clashes between rebel and government forces. This deployment to establish a new outpost in Central Equatoria follows attacks on humanitarian convoys this week that left two civilians dead as well as a roadside ambush in the same region in late August that killed six vice-presidential bodyguards.
The US State Department has approved a sale of four AE-2100D Turbo Prop engines and two Multifunctional, Information Distribution System-Low Volume Terminal Block Upgrade Two (MIDS-LVT BU2) to France. The possible FMS also includes related equipment and is estimated to cost $350 million. Additionally, the US will provide AN/ARC-210 radios, AN/ARC-164 radios, L-3 CSW Multiband Receiver/Transmitters, AN/ARN-153 Navigation Systems, AN/ARN-147 Receivers, AN/APN-241 Radar Receiver Transmitter Processor and ARC-190 High Frequency Receivers among others. Lockheed Martin, Rolls Royce, General Electric Aviation System, Raytheon and ViaSat will serve as principal contractors. In a statement, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said: “The proposed sale will improve France’s capability to meet current and future threats by providing the necessary sustainment, services, and spare parts to support the co-managed fleet of French and German C-130 aircraft.”
The US State Department has approved a possible sale of 100 AIM-120C-7/8 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) to Spain for an estimated cost of $248.5 million. The Government of Spain had requested to buy 100 AIM-120C-7/8 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) and one AMRAAM Guidance Section (spare). Also included are KGV-135A encryption devices; containers; weapon support and support equipment; spare and repair parts; publications and technical documentation; US Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistical and program support. The prime contractor will be Raytheon Missiles and Defense, Tucson.
Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) started the final assembly of the KF-X prototype. South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said in a statement that the company has begun joining the aircraft’s fuselage sections and wings at its facility in Sacheon, South Gyeongsang Province, and confirmed that, despite the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the prototype is expected to be rolled out in the first half of next year as planned.
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