End of an Epoch

by Stuart Slade, Senior Naval Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Decommissioning of the Almirante Grau
Source: Peruvian Navy

Five hundred years of naval history ended in late September when the world’s last armored, gun-armed cruiser was decommissioned by the Peruvian Navy.  The Navy’s long-time flagship BAP (Buque Armada Peruana) Almirante Grau lowered her flag for the last time after 45 years of service.  With her departure, the world’s last warship designed primarily as a platform for her guns is gone and a line of development stretching back to the 15th century has ended.  The BAP Almirante Grau was replaced as fleet flagship by BAP Montero, a Carvajal class frigate built by Servicios Industriales de la Marina (SIMA) and commissioned into the Navy in 1984. Continue reading

Moscow and Bishkek Discuss Second Russian Base in Kyrgyzstan

by Derek Bisaccio, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev (L) meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) in Sochi in September 2017 to discuss bilateral cooperation. Source: Russian presidency website

Russia and Kyrgyzstan are discussing the possible establishment of another Russian military base in Kyrgyzstan, amid a renewed Russian emphasis on the security environment in Central Asia. The Russian military currently operates a military air base at Kant, near the capital, Bishkek, and the two sides are considering a second that would be located in southern Kyrgyzstan. Continue reading

Pentagon Faces Yet Another Continuing Resolution

by Shaun McDougall, Military Markets AnalystForecast International.

The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle is among the programs impacted by a continuing resolution. Source: U.S. Army

President Trump and congressional leaders reached an agreement that will keep the U.S. government operating at FY17 funding levels through mid-December. The continuing resolution (CR), part of a broader legislative package that also included a three-month increase to the debt ceiling and nearly $8 billion in hurricane relief funding, was signed into law on September 8.  Republicans had been pushing for a longer extension  to the debt ceiling, but the agreement sets up critical votes on both the budget and the debt ceiling in December. Continue reading

U.S. Approves Canadian Super Hornet Deal that May Never Happen

by Shaun McDougall, Military Markets AnalystForecast International.

A U.S. F-18 Refuels from a KC-10 Tanker
Source: U.S. Air Force

The U.S. State Department has approved the sale of 18 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and associated equipment to Canada as part of a potential deal worth $5.23 billion, according to a September 12 announcement from the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA).  The announcement outlines the potential sale of 10 F/A-18Es, eight F/A-18Fs, eight F414-GE-400 engine spares, APG-79 radars, 100 AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder Block II missiles, 30 AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder Block II Captive Air Training Missiles, and eight AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder Block II Special Air Training Missiles, as well as additional avionics and electronics.  Continue reading

The Doklam Plateau and Indian Air Superiority

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

Historical Map of Sikkim. Source: Wikimedia

The standoff between China and India on the Doklam plateau hasn’t quite exploded onto the international headlines, but the situation nevertheless has great implications.  These are the largest nations in Asia, and the two countries have growing – and competing – economies. Aside from Russia, India is the last remaining Asian deterrent against Chinese territorial expansion in Asia. Continue reading

It’s Official, UTC Buying Rockwell Collins in $30 Billion Deal

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

 

After a summer of speculation, United Technologies Corp (UTC) and Rockwell Collins announced that they have reached a definitive agreement under which UTC will acquire Rockwell Collins in a cash and stock transaction valued at $30 billion. Continue reading

UTC Aerospace Systems Even More Formidable With Rockwell Collins

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

Rockwell Collins MFD-268C4 Displays in a UH-60M helicopter

While new aircraft orders have slowed lately, the production of commercial aircraft is exceptionally vibrant.  Airbus and Boeing are maintaining tremendous backlogs, and both manufacturers are ramping up production of their new fuel-efficient aircraft designs.  This robust market is one that UTC Aerospace Systems is especially well positioned to capture.  The combined entity offers a vast amount of product content – one-stop shopping – for commercial aircraft primes.  The combination should also offer economies of scale, making product costs lower and even more attractive. Continue reading

A Positive Half-Measure: Taiwan’s Proposed 2018 Defense Budget

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

Taiwan’s ruling cabinet announced on August 17 that it has approved a fiscal year 2018 budget proposal that favors the Ministry of National Defense over all other government departments.

The FY18 budget calls for an allocation of TWD331.8 billion ($10.95 billion) toward defense, which would make this area the largest of all government expenditures at 16.7 percent of the total national budget. Continue reading

With Latest Funding Agreement, Sweden Awakens from Its Defense Slumber

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

Sweden’s Stridsfordon 90 CV9040. Source: Wikipedia

Sweden’s minority government and political opposition Alliance bloc have agreed to a new defense deal that will provide SEK8.1 billion ($1 billion) in additional funding for the country’s broad security needs over the upcoming three-year period through 2020. The agreement bolsters spending on the Swedish military (which will receive SEK6.8 billion – or $841 million – worth of the additional funding) and civil defense (SEK1.3 billion, or $160 million). Continue reading

Turkmenistan Wary of Afghan Border

by Derek Bisaccio, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov steps out of a truck and, after posing for pictures, takes aim at several targets, first with a rifle, then a handgun, and lastly throwing knives. He then calls in helicopter strikes during the military exercise. The video, which first aired on Turkmen State TV, gained prominence after the Chronicles of Turkmenistan, a dissident website, satirized the original by editing in clips of Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando, a 1985 movie. Continue reading