North Korea’s nuclear threats and claims have led the U.S to deploy the WC-135 Constant Phoenix to track the origin of any radioactive substances in the area around North Korean alleged hydrogen bomb test zone.  Atmospheric gatherings will be collected by the aircraft to determine whether North Korea’s nuclear test did indeed happen.  The WC- 135 has been flown by flight crews from the 45th Reconnaissance Squadron from Offutt Air Force Base. Often called by the crew the WC-135 also known as the “sniffer” or “weather bird” is known for its ability to track radioactive activity using filter papers with two scoops on the sides of the fuselage collecting Radioactive Specimens or effluent gasses. The WC-135 has been used to control compliance with nuclear weapon treaties.


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Upgrades to the Raytheon-made Patriot Integrated Air and Missile Defense System have proven to be very effective with a recent flight test proving that the they are capable of destroying advanced threats at greater ranges. The test where performed using a Patriot system upgraded with a suite of improvements known as PDB-8 (Post Deployment Build 8) which successfully tracked and engaged a ballistic missile target with PAC-3 MSE missiles.


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Airbus and Aerion recently got the thumbs up on putting together a master piece known as the AS2 jet plane; traveling at supersonic speeds. The manufacturing location is not yet decided by Aerion and Airbus but is hoped by both companies to be established in the US according to Bloomberg Business. With estimated times for test flights and commercial traveling commencing in the year 2021 to 2023, this private jet is designed to have a 30 ft. cabin and feature wings that will reduce approximately 20 percent of drag.


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Epic Aircraft’s E1000 prototype has successfully completed its first test flight, setting the course for the company to begin deliveries. The aircraft, valued at $2.95 million, should ready for delivery in the next year. The Oregonian manufacturers completed a big step towards getting certification for their single-engine turboprop with their successful maiden voyage. The aim of the project is to have it be the fastest single engine civil aircraft in the world. The first successful flight for the plane nicknamed “FT1” took place on December 19th at Bend Municipal Airport in Deschutes County. Chief Pilot David Robinson took it for a twenty minute test run, and gave it a glowing review. The experienced flyer reported that it handled extremely well, just as he expected it to. Officials at Epic were just as delighted to meet their deadline of getting the plane off the ground by the end of the year.


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Italy’s Finmeccanica group is beginning 2016 under a new unified structure, one that has ended its long-standing structure of being a holding group consisting of multiple separately controlled businesses. On January 1st 2016, the restructured company implemented a reorganization process originally launched by CEO and general manager Mauro Moretti in June 2014.


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 On January 4, 2016 Airbus has announced that the first delivery of the A320neo will be delayed due to problems and conflicts that are occurring with the plane.


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Following the completion of successful on-orbit testing, the U.S. Navy accepted the fourth Lockheed Martin-built Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite for Secure Communications Network. Launched September 2, the MUOS-4 is the latest addition to a network of orbiting satellites and relay ground stations that is revolutionizing secure communications for mobile military forces.


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Although unmanned aircraft are typically not used to combat fires, Lockheed has just proved any doubters otherwise. This past week, Lockheed used its Stalker XE UAS drone to provide data and a precise location to an unmanned K-MAX cargo helicopter. By using an innovative dual-capability electro-optical infrared camera, the drone was able to work in tandem with the K-MAX helicopter to pinpoint fires and determine their intensity.


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The United States Navy has recently made the decision to upgrade the Boeing EA-18G Growler with an updated datalink as well as various other systems which would enable the aircraft to locate vessels at a long distance without the use of a radar.


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Thales Alenia Space announced that it has signed a contract with ARSAT Empresa Argentina de Soluciones Satelitales SA to supply the payload for its third geostationary telecom satellite manufactured in Argentina, ARSAT-3, as well as options for two additional payloads. The ARSAT-3 is slated to enter service in 2019, and will be positioned at 81 degrees west as a baseline. It will provide high speed data, Internet and television transmission services for South America while weighing about 3 tons at launch.


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