NASA Finally Sets a Direction Under President Trump, But Will Its Plans Make It Through Congress?

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

This artist rendering shows an aerial view of the liftoff of the 70-metric-ton (77-ton) lift capacity configuration SLS from the launchpad. Funding for the SLS will continue. Source: NASA

America’s preeminent space agency is proposing a major change in focus for FY19. Along with the rest of the federal government, NASA released its fiscal year 2019 budget request on February 13. While NASA’s budget faced few changes in President Donald Trump’s FY18 budget request, for FY19 NASA is looking to shift its priorities and thereby change how its funding is spent. Continue reading

JSTARS Replacement Program Canceled Yet Again

by C. Zachary Hofer, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System Recapitalization (JSTARS Recap) program funding dropped in FY19.

It’s official.  The U.S. Air Force has taken formal steps to implement its stated intention to abandon the JSTARS Recap program. In the Department of Defense’s recently released forecast year 2019 budget documents, all requests for funding related to JSTARS Recap research, development, testing, and evaluation were dropped, with FY18’s budget of $417.2 million reduced to nothing. Continue reading

Pratt & Whitney’s GTF Woes Continue as Regulator Warns of Potential In-Flight Dual-Engine Shutdown

by J. Kasper Oestergaard, European Correspondent.

Airbus is assessing the situation after the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued an emergency airworthiness directive concerning a potential dual-engine in-flight shutdown on A320neo family aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney’s PW1100G PurePower geared turbofan (GTF) engine.  Photo Courtesy of Pratt & Whitney

On Friday, February 9, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive warning operators of a potential dual-engine in-flight shutdown on A320neo family jets powered by Pratt & Whitney’s PW1100G geared turbofan engine. Such a directive is issued when an unsafe condition exists that requires immediate action by an aircraft’s owner or operator. Continue reading

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General Dynamics Expands IT Offerings with $9.6 billion CSRA Buy

by Richard Pettibone, Aerospace & Defense Companies Analyst, Forecast International.

In a move aimed at gaining even more critical mass in its information technology services, General Dynamics has agreed to acquire CSRA in a deal valued at $9.6 billion, including the assumption of $2.8 billion in CSRA debt.  Continue reading

India’s Illusory Defense Budget Hike

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley unveiled the government’s fiscal year 2018 Union Budget on February 1. Included within the budget is a year-on-year nominal increase of 5.91 percent for defense. The latest outlay marks the fourth consecutive increase by the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and pushes India’s topline defense budget from its 2017 revised estimate of INR2.79 trillion ($43.6 billion) up to INR2.96 trillion ($46 billion) for 2018. Continue reading

Electronic Warfare Simulation: Making Today’s Fighter Jets Ready for Real World Engagement

by Andrew Dardine, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

EA-18G Growler

Like a prizefighter needing a sparring partner between bouts, next-generation fighter aircraft and their operators require constant testing and training.  They simply cannot wait until they face a real air-to-air engagement to find out if critical self-defense systems actually work.  This is especially true for the many advanced electronic warfare systems being installed on the latest aircraft.  Accurate simulation is the only way to provide that much-needed sparring partner.    Continue reading

2017 Was a Banner Year for the Launch Industry

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Forecast International has just released its 2017 launch vehicle year in review. The 12-page document provides a broad overview of the 90 launches conducted in 2017.

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Recapping Global Defense Spending for 2017, Eyeing Future Growth

by FI’s International Military Markets Group.

The first annual Global Defense Snapshot by Forecast International’s International Military Market (IMM) group indicates continued growth in the worldwide market following relatively flat investment over the course of the 2015-2016 periods. An increasingly multi-polar global security environment buffeted by healthy economies and ongoing military modernization cycles contributed to a 3.3 percent year-on-year rise in consolidated worldwide defense spending for 2017. Continue reading

Airbus, Boeing Report December and Full-Year 2017 Aircraft Orders and Deliveries

Boeing Wins by Deliveries as Airbus Takes Orders Crown in Wild Year-End Finish

by J. Kasper Oestergaard, European Correspondent.

A record order for 430 A320neo family jets announced at the Dubai Air Show in November 2017 – and firmed up after Christmas – helped Airbus win the orders race in 2017. Photo: Airbus SAS

Boeing and Airbus delivered a record 83 and 127 commercial jets in December 2017, respectively, compared to 67 and 111 during the same month last year. In all of 2017, Boeing delivered 763 jets (748 in 2016) in line with company expectations, while Airbus surpassed its delivery target of 700 jets by handing over 718 aircraft during 2017 (688 in 2016). Continue reading

Turkey’s Aselsan to Develop National Long-Range Defense System

by C. Zachary Hofer, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Aselsan’s short- to medium-range KALKAN air defense radar. Source – Aselsan

Aselsan, one of Turkey’s largest defense electronics companies, has formed a business partnership with Rocketsan and defense industry research development institute TUBITAK SAGE to develop a national long-range defense system for Turkey. The news was delivered on Tuesday, January 16 to Turkey’s Borsa Istanbul (BIST) stock exchange.  Aselsan said that under the agreement, its share of the contracts would be TRY869 million ($227 million) and EUR279.3 million ($342 million), and that deliveries would be completed in 2021. Continue reading