Crime and Internal Strife Remain Greatest Drivers of Military Spending in Latin America

by Bill Ostrove, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Georgia Army National Guard provides CQB/MOUT [close quarters combat and military operations on urbanized terrain] weapons handling instruction with two soldiers from the Guatemalan Interagency Task Force.  Photo: Georgia National Guard

The greatest threat to most Latin American governments is internal.  Even though transitioning to a democracy and using effective counterinsurgency strategies have successfully defeated – or at least defused  – several insurgencies, the risk of guerrilla activity remains.  This is especially true in Colombia and, to a lesser extent, Peru.  In Mexico and Central America, violent gangs have forced a military response. Continue reading

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

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

Estonia Earmarks 2.2 Percent of GDP for Defense under 2017 Budget

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

Flag of Estonia

Under the Estonian government’s 2017 budget, recently has passed by the Parliament, topline defense spending will reach a record high. The FY17 state budget will see government expenditures climb by 7.6 percent year-on-year, with defense receiving a 5.8 percent boost to bring military spending up to EUR477 million ($498 million). More importantly, the uptick in military-related spending will increase the defense budget to 2.2 percent of GDP – above the symbolic 2 percent of GDP minimum threshold required of its members by the NATO Alliance.  Continue reading

Brazil’s Budget Spending Limit Amendment to Cut into Defense Spending

by Bill Ostrove, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

brazil-flag-small

On December 13, Brazil’s Senate approved a constitutional amendment, effective December 15, 2016, that will cap growth of government spending. This law will have a direct effect on defense spending, limiting it for at least the next 10 years.  However, with Brazil’s large defense budget (number 10 in the world), the market in that country will continue to be strong. 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

AVIC Leads China’s Drive to Become an Aerospace Powerhouse

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

China's Comac rolled-out its new C919 airliner on November 2. [Photo: Comac]

China’s Comac rolled-out its new C919 airliner on November 2. [Photo: Comac]

As China continues to refine its aviation dreams, Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) remains at the forefront.  The company leads that nation’s drive to become a major aerospace power. As such, it has been subject to numerous changes throughout the years.  Most recently, the government has borrowed a page from Western corporate practices and begun to focus the firm on its core operations in airframe manufacturing. Continue reading