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

Cash-Strapped Serbia Eyes Russian Military Hardware – But Its Future Lies Westward

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

Flag of Serbia

Flag of Serbia

The much-neglected Serbian armed forces are in need of an equipment overhaul, and the government is betting on Russia to be its provider. The two countries have a centuries-old friendship rooted in ethnic, religious, and political ties. More importantly, Russia has stood in Serbia’s corner over such issues as the 1999 Kosovo War between the Serbia-led Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and NATO and the postwar declaration of independence by the Kosovar Albanian government in February 2008. 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

With the U.S. Election in the Rear View, Is It Time to Worry in Eastern Europe?

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

US Flag

The U.S. election has been decided and, contrary to the overwhelming predictions by the establishment media and pollsters, Republican candidate Donald Trump will be the country’s next president.

The question for America’s European partners now becomes, what will happen to their relationship with the U.S. under a Trump administration?  Continue reading

The Effect of 2016’s Presidential Election on Worldwide Aerospace and Defense Markets Part 1/2

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. Continue reading

Russia Contemplates Large Defense Budget Cut

by Derek Bisaccio, Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Russian Troops Conducting Joint Drills with the Egyptian Military  during the "Defenders of Friendship 2016" Exercises  Source: Russian Ministry of Defense: http://mil.ru/

Russian Troops Conducting Joint Drills with the Egyptian Military
during the “Defenders of Friendship 2016” Exercises
Source: Russian Ministry of Defense: http://mil.ru/

Citing a draft budget document released by business daily Kommersant, a number of Russian news outlets have reported that Russia is considering cutting close to a third of its defense expenditures for 2017.

Though not final, the document suggests that Russia might reduce defense expenditures by nearly 30 percent. It is likely that the Defense Ministry will fiercely oppose the moves; a Reuters report in February of this year cited a source as saying there was “mighty opposition” from the Defense Ministry to potential procurement cuts.[i] Continue reading

Poland Opts to Scrap Multibillion-Dollar Caracal Utility Helicopter Procurement

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

Airbus Helicopters H225M

Airbus Helicopters H225M

After many months of speculation, Poland’s center-right Law & Justice (PiS) government has at long last opted to forgo further negotiations with Airbus regarding a PLN13.5 billion ($3.5 billion) deal to purchase 50 H225M Caracal medium-lift utility helicopters. The PiS government inherited the negotiations from its predecessor, the centrist Civic Platform (PO) government.

Continue reading

The European Defense Environment: Part 2

By Matthew Beres, Forecast International.

2podcast logo

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 Dan Darling, European Military Markets analyst, and Matthew Beres, Airborne Retrofit and Modernization analyst, as they continue to discuss the European Defense Environment, with an emphasis on an EU army.

Continue reading