India Launches Second Scorpene Submarine, but Capacity Pressures Still Haunt Navy

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

Scorpene class submarine

With India’s submarine capacity dwindling, small rays of sunshine are beginning to appear in the distance. The launching on January 12 of the second in a six-boat class of French-designed Project 75 Scorpene attack submarines (SSKs) marks another small, slow step in building up a capable submarine arm that has dangerously atrophied over the years. During the 1980s, the Indian Navy submarine inventory numbered 21 vessels, while today it features just 13 conventional submarines, plus one indigenous nuclear-powered ballistic missile (SSBN) submarine, the Arihant. Another boat, the Russian Akula-class Chakra, is leased and used only for training purposes. Continue reading

Poland’s Legislature Backs 2017 Defense Earmark

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

Flag of Poland

Poland’s defense allocation for fiscal year 2017 received approval from the country’s highest legislative body on January 4. The defense oversight element, the Senate National Defense Commission, remarked positively on the planned PLN37.152 billion ($9 billion) military budget, which represents a 3.4 percent year-on-year nominal increase from 2016. Continue reading

Sounds of Life Heard from Cold War Sonar System

by Richard Sterk, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

U.S. Navy Surveillance Towed Array Sensor Systems (SURTASS) Low Frequency Active (LFA) is part of the Integrated Undersea Surveillance System (IUSS), installed on U.S. Navy T-AGOS class ships. (Source: U.S. Navy)

Today, more and more nations are using highly advanced diesel-electric submarines that are extremely difficult to detect. And, the U.S. Navy has been forced to rely once again on its Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System (SURTASS) – not seen in priority use since the height of the Cold War. This sonar system is considered essential to America’s efforts to detect newer and quieter diesel-electric submarines, especially those operating in the littoral environment. Continue reading

Indian Navy’s Quest for New Minehunters Mired on Shoals of Indigenization Pressures

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

Kangnam mine countermeasures vessel

The Indian Navy’s long-standing quest for a new-build, modern class of mine countermeasures vessels (MCMVs) continues to flounder amid government demands regarding technology transfer and indigenization. A $5 billion project to build 12 MCMVs through state-owned Goa Shipyard Ltd is currently stalled as South Korea’s Kangnam Corporation balks at the Indian Ministry of Defence requirement for transfer of complete intellectual property rights of the ships. Continue reading

Kazakhstan Plays Mediator for Middle East Conflicts

 by Derek Bisaccio, Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Russian President Vladimir Putin,
at a recent CSTO meeting in St. Petersburg.
Source: Russian Presidency website

Starting with the decision in the mid-1990s to relinquish its inherited nuclear arsenal, Kazakhstan has maneuvered itself on the international stage as a responsible global player. That decision, which saw Kazakhstan return Soviet nuclear weapons to Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union, may have been made for a number of reasons, but Astana regularly points to it as an indicator of Kazakhstan being a positive international force. Continue reading

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

U.S. Defense Authorization Bill Prioritizes Halting End Strength Reductions

by Shaun McDougall, Military Markets AnalystForecast International.

Source: U.S. Army

Source: U.S. Army

The U.S. House and Senate have signed off on an FY17 defense policy bill that would halt ongoing end strength reductions, but the legislation does not include a House proposal to shift billions of dollars to bolster procurement programs.  The bill, which cleared the House on December 2 (375-34) and the Senate on December 8 (92-7), authorizes $543.4 billion in base spending for the Department of Defense and nuclear functions within the Department of Energy, plus $67.8 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations.  The latter includes $8.3 billion set aside for base budget requirements, comprising $5.1 billion requested by the administration and $3.2 billion added by lawmakers for additional troops.  The bill also includes funding to pay for a November 2016 supplemental budget request submitted by the White House that contained $5.8 billion for operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Europe.  The supplemental contained $529.9 million in additional acquisition funding. Continue reading

SAIC Looks to Renewed Growth

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

SAIC's headquarters building in Huntsville's Cummings Research Park.

SAIC’s headquarters building in Huntsville’s Cummings Research Park.  (Source: SAIC)

As a firm that derives almost all of its revenues from U.S. federal markets, Science Applications International Corporation has been acutely aware of the ongoing slowdown in spending.

Partially in response to this decline, SAIC was split in 2013 into two “new” companies, SAIC and Leidos. According to reports, the decision to split freed the high-margin science and technology business and the lower-margin IT and technical services business from organizational conflicts of interest (OCI) restrictions, particularly for the government services business.  In broad terms, SAIC focuses on services and Leidos concentrates on information technology, especially in the health technology and national security domains. Continue reading

The Effect of 2016’s Presidential Election on Worldwide Aerospace and Defense Markets Part 2/2

By Matthew Beres, Forecast International.

election-2016

Welcome to the Forecast Roundtable Podcast. Forecast Roundtable brings together expert analysts, industry professionals, and government officials to discuss the latest issues in the aerospace and defense markets. Produced at the Forecast International headquarters, Forecast Roundtable offers unique and in depth insight and discussion on any range of topics from geopolitics to aerospace and defense markets. Topic suggestions are welcome.

This episode features Ray Jawarowski, Senior Aerospace Analyst, Dan Darling, Europe and Asia, Australia & Pacific Rim Analyst, Bill Ostrove, South America & Space Systems analyst, Derek Bisaccio, Middle East and Eurasia analyst, and Matthew Beres, Airborne Retrofit and Modernization analyst. Continue reading

Malaysia Plans to Buy Ships from China as Beijing Courts Southeast Asia

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

By 樱井千一 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26092295

Type 056 (Jiangdao class) corvette.  Source: 樱井千一 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Marking a new step in military cooperation between China and Malaysia, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak has announced that his country will be purchasing “at least” four naval ships from China tailored for missions in littoral waters. Continue reading