EU Taking Steps to Bring Harmony to Its Discordant Defense Market

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

After years of talk with little to show for it, the governments of Europe are finally moving forward with long-held cooperative defense ambitions through the auspices of the European Union. The announcement by the EU on June 7 of a European Defense Industrial Program co-financed by members to the tune of EUR500-EUR590 million annually through 2020, thereafter growing to EUR1-EUR1.5 billion annually, marks the launch of an effort to bring commonality and unity to an otherwise fragmented market. Continue reading

Switzerland Begins Plotting Future Air Defense Solutions

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

Swiss F/A-18 Hornet. Source: Defense Industry Daily

Switzerland’s long-term air-defense plans are beginning to come into view following the unveiling by the Swiss Department of Defense, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS) of recommendations by an expert group charged with examining the country’s combat aircraft and air defense requirements. Continue reading

Line Now Blurred Between Peace And War, Says NATO Secretary General On Visit To U.S.

Pamela Hurt, Forecast International.

A day after meeting with President Trump at the White House, NATO head Jens Stoltenberg discussed the unique challenges of a time when the line between peace and war is increasingly unclear.

“Before, it was easy to distinguish whether it was war or peace,” the Secretary General stated, during a talk on Thursday, at George Washington University. Now “there is a much more blurred line between peace and war,” he said, observing that in past conflicts, war occurred in identifiable geographical areas, and within defined periods of time.

That clarity is now often absent.

Continue reading

Poland Leaning Towards Patriot Buy But Hurdles Remain

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

Patriot launch. Source: Raytheon

On March 31, Polish Minister of Defense Antoni Macierewicz announced the submission of a revised request for information (RFI) to the U.S. government concerning the potential buy of eight Raytheon-produced Patriot air-and-missile defense batteries to fulfill the Wisla program requirement. Continue reading

Greece Aims for F-16 Upgrade, but F-35 Plans Remain a Pipe Dream

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

F-16V
Source: Lockheed Martin

The Hellenic Defense Ministry announced on February 7 that Greece intends to move forward on an upgrade to its large inventory of F-16C/D combat aircraft and begin exploring a future purchase of the new-generation F-35 from the U.S.

The first project represents a much-needed focus on deteriorating Greek military capabilities in the air-sea domain, while the second remains an over-the-horizon dream nowhere remotely near Athens’ current fiscal reality. Continue reading

RUAG Expands into Cybersecurity

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

Not content to remain idle, RUAG has expanded the scope of its defense operations with a new focus on cybersecurity.

Over the past year, the company has initiated a strategy that will rapidly expand its presence in the growing cybersecurity market.  As part of this effort, RUAG established a dedicated Cyber Security business unit and plans to invest “multiple millions of Swiss francs over the next few years.” Continue reading

Serbia’s Soviet-Legacy Military Rearmament Project Gets New Supplier

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

MiG-29

In an interesting twist to the long-expected Serbian acquisition of a batch of MiG-29 combat aircraft and Russian-designed missile systems, Serbia’s defense minister, Zoran Djordjevic, has announced that both military platforms will be donated from Belarus. 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

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

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