Sniffing around the US Air Force Association show in Washington DC, The DEW Line caught whisperings that Boeing and Saab may be close to announcing an offer for the USAF’s long-anticipated T-X trainer need, based around the Swedish firm’s Gripen fighter (pictured). Interesting idea, especially with Gripen’s low acquisition and operating costs – but can it fly? Just maybe – Saab has been working on carrier version, so it might be the ticket for a joint type for the air force and navy. Hyperbola, meanwhile, reflects on musings that NASA’s SLS Space Launch System – already the world’s biggest-ever rocket if it gets built – would be too small for manned Moon or Mars missions. Not boasting, of course, but Hyperbola has long suggested that a 200t-class launch vehicle would be needed, because the alternative is dual launches.
Week on the web 24 September
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