Sukhoi Builds on Initial Success

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

Sukhoi Superjet 100

As the primary foundation upon which Russia’s United Aircraft Corp has been built, Sukhoi remains the strongest of the Russian manufacturers.  The company’s success is due to two programs: one civil aircraft, the Sukhoi Superjet 100; and one military, the Su-35 fighter. Continue reading

Keeping Legacy Aircraft Current

by Matthew Beres, Airborne Retrofit & Modernization Analyst, Forecast International.

Brazilian Air Force AMXA1 Source: Brazilian Air Force

Brazilian Air Force AMXA1
Source: Brazilian Air Force

As deliveries of new aircraft such as the Gripen and F-35 begin to ramp up, operators must transition their air forces to the new fighter era. In order to do so, legacy aircraft must be equipped with at least minimal fifth-generation capabilities while maintaining an acceptable and safe level of structural integrity. Continue reading

MiG Engine Buy Exemplifies Bulgaria’s Cognitive Dissonance Vis-a-Vis Moscow

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

Bulgarian MiG-29s are slated for phase out.

Bulgarian MiG-29.

In an effort to resuscitate its dilapidated and obsolete fleet of MiG-29 Fulcrum combat aircraft, the Bulgarian Defense Ministry has reached out to an unnamed Russian company (likely RSK MiG) for the acquisition of up to 10 repaired fighter engines. Continue reading

India Finally – Finally – Inks Rafale Deal

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

Dassault Rafale

Dassault Rafale

More than nine years after India initially sought out a Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) under its $11 billion “Deal of the Century” competition, over four years since the Rafale was downselected as the winning bid, and nearly a year-and-a-half since Prime Minister Narendra Modi cut through the byzantine MMRCA technical parameters in an attempt to speed things up by reaching an inter-government agreement with French President Francois Hollande, India finally signed a deal with France for the procurement of Dassault Rafale combat aircraft on September 23. Continue reading

F-15 Modernization is Hot Again, but EO and Radar Upgrades Have Been Underway for Years

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

U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle

U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle

The conversation has heated up again: the U.S. Air Force will be modernizing its aging fleet of Boeing F-15s.  Although CNN and Fox have both recently reopened discussion of the topic, this upgrade has been a long time coming and was confirmed to news sources even in advance of one of the aerospace and defense industry’s most prominent coming out parties, July’s Farnborough Air Show.  However, one of the humorous aspects behind the latest wave of news reports (including those this past July) is that information on the F-15 upgrade had been available for a significant amount of time through regular government reporting. Continue reading

India Creeps Closer to FGFA Final Work-Share Agreement with Russia

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

Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA)

Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA). Source: aerofatos.com

Reports in the Indian media indicate that following months of intense negotiating over technical details, a work-share agreement for joint production of a fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) between India and Russia is now close at hand. Continue reading

Pratt & Whitney Engine Programs in High Gear

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

Pratt & Whitney PW1000G

Pratt & Whitney PW1000G

With the recent boom in commercial aircraft orders over, focus now turns to fulfilling the tremendous backlogs both Airbus and Boeing have accumulated. The boom was driven in large part by airlines’ desire for more fuel-efficient aircraft and the engines that power them. Continue reading

GE F110: A Link to Three Major Fourth-Generation Fighters

by Carter Palmer, Power Systems Specialist, Forecast International.

F110-GE-129

General Electric F110-GE-129 engine

As fourth-generation fighters are slowly pushed aside by next-generation aircraft, it is easy to forget the importance of these older platforms. Built amid Cold War tensions, these fighters were the pinnacle of technology. The F-14 and fictional MiG-28 in the film Top Gun defined what was cool about flying fighters. The F-14, F-15, and F-16 were indeed the top dogs; however, aside from their era, they shared very little in common. Continue reading

Antonov Becomes Cornerstone of New Ukrainian Aircraft Corp

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

Antonov An-32

Antonov An-32 (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson)

Under the aegis of Ukraine’s state-owned defense conglomerate Ukroboronprom, Antonov is rapidly becoming the focal point of the country’s aviation industry.

The new ownership has not been idle with its acquisition. In June 2016, Ukroboronprom consolidated its aerospace holdings into a new Ukrainian Aircraft Corp centered on Antonov.  This new group is aimed at helping the nation’s aviation industry to develop and to integrate into the global market.  Further, the cluster will also help reduce redundancy in production, planning, procurement and marketing among its various operations.  Perhaps most importantly, the formation of this corporation will help Ukraine sever ties with Russia’s United Aircraft Corp. Continue reading

As Combat Aircraft Fleet Atrophies, Sri Lanka Seeks New Fighters

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

Kfir fighter

Kfir fighter

A single Israeli-built Kfir fighter was purchased in 1995. That lone aircraft represents all that remains of Sri Lanka’s operational jet fighter fleet. After a 26-year war against Tamil Tiger insurgents and a failed $400 million bid last summer to purchase eight JF-17s from Pakistan (the failure stemming in part from Indian diplomatic intervention against the deal), Sri Lanka’s Air Force finds itself in a desperate situation as it seeks to protect the national airspace and claims to the offshore exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Continue reading